Council Approves Creation of Interest Groups

AHA Staff, April 2010

Members of the American Historical Association will now be able to create interest groups (organized bodies of history specialists) within the Association, under a policy approved by Council in January 2010. The new interest groups are intended to supplement the existing affiliated societies—creating opportunities for new or underserved areas of topical and professional interest to develop within the AHA.

Based on the experience of other disciplinary societies, interest groups are expected to provide individual members concentrating on particular specialties with a more comfortable home within the AHA. Interest Groups will be able to offer more targeted programs, such as sessions and other gatherings at the annual meeting, as well as other communications in the form of sponsored listservs, blogs, and newsletters. Ideally this can satisfy members’ particular interests, while at the same time providing an incentive to remain connected to the Association’s more general disciplinary offerings.

Members interested in forming and organizing interest groups will be asked to submit an application (which can be downloaded—along with details about requirements and policies—as a PDF file from http://blog.historians.org/file_download/20); a petition from at least 50 members; and a brief note describing the proposed interest group’s location and significance within the discipline, outlining the types of activities envisioned for the new interest group, and explaining how these activities would contribute and relate to the larger intellectual and professional goals of the Association. Once organized and approved by Council, the interest groups will be able to set dues that they can use to support and sponsor activities in their area of interest.

Anyone interested in learning more about interest groups or the application process should contact Assistant Director Robert B. Townsend, staff to the AHA’s Committee on Affiliated Societies and Interest Groups.