Committee on Minority Historians 2009

by Tiya Miles, University of Michigan

On October 30, 2009, Committee on Minority Historians (CMH) members met by phone. We were excited to see that the AHA Equity Award had been approved by Council, and an important item on our agenda was brainstorming means for the wide advertisement of the new award. A number of ideas were generated and recorded, including the plan to highlight the award on the web page for minority historians.

In response to concerned feedback from members of the Research Division (on questions such as the meanings of “race,” the vast size of Asia, and historical time periods), CMH revisited previous plans for a pamphlet on Race and Europe (for which one author was sought but declined the invitation), and a pamphlet on Race and Asia (for which an author had not yet been sought). We decided to research another author for Problematizing Race and Europe, while putting on hold the Race and Asia pamphlet. Out of this discussion an idea emerged for a pamphlet on Race in World History, and we elected to seek feedback from Patrick Manning about the feasibility of such a pamphlet, given the breadth of the topic.

CMH heard a report from the Graduate and Early Career Committee, given by Doug Kiel. They are continuing to carry out their inspired work.

In January 2010 CMH sponsored two sessions at the San Diego annual meeting. We sponsored a panel titled “Underground Archives of Native American and African History,” organized by Tiya Miles, and we co-sponsored the panel “Thinking about Race, Sexuality, and Marriage: A Roundtable on Peggy Pascoe’s What Comes Naturally,” as part of the Historical Perspectives on Same-Sex Marriage mini-conference. We also hosted our annual mentoring breakfast and reception. Our reception announcement included an invitation for attendees to speak about John Hope Franklin’s memory.

In 2009, the CMH talked at length about the problematic space of the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel as related to California’s Proposition 8. We heard clarifying background information from Executive Director Arnita Jones and Noralee Frankel. We then passed a resolution in support of the theme and aims of the threaded mini conference. The language read as follows: “The Committee on Minority Historians enthusiastically endorses the formation of the mini-conference of sessions on the history of same sex marriage at the 2010 AHA annual meeting. Further the CMH urges the AHA to publicize and otherwise distribute research from these sessions."

For the January 2011 annual meeting two sessions are being planned. Martin Summers will organize a major roundtable on the topic of John Hope Franklin’s work and legacy, and Ana Rosas will organize a panel on remapping race and historical terrains. Tiya Miles concluded her work as the committee’s chair at the 2010 annual meeting, and Ana Rosas stepped into this role.