AHA Activities

Report of the 2013 AHA Nominating Committee

2013 AHA Nominating Committee, January 2014

On behalf of the Nominating Committee, I am pleased to report the results of the 2013 election for AHA offices. The committee is extremely grateful to all the candidates who agreed to stand for Association elective office and committee positions despite their many other obligations. The Association depends for its continued well-­being on the willingness of its members to serve. Elected candidates are indicated in boldface.

President (1-­year term)

Jan Goldstein, Univ. of Chicago (modern European intellectual and cultural history in social and political context; modern France; history of the human sciences, including medicine; history of women, gender, and sexuality; historiography)

President-­elect (1-­year term)

David Levering Lewis, New York Univ. (20th-­century US social and civil rights history, comparative history of early Europe and Islam, modern France, 19th-­century Africa, political biography)

Vicki L. Ruiz, Univ. of California, Irvine (Chicano/Latino history, US women’s history, immigration, labor, the US West)

Vice President, Professional Division (3-­year term)

Steven Hahn, Univ. of Pennsylvania (19th-­century United States, history of the South, African American history, international history of slavery and emancipation, social and political history, labor history)

Philippa Levine, Univ. of Texas at Austin (British Empire; history of sexuality, gender, race; history of medicine and science)

Councilor Profession (3-­year term)

Catherine Epstein, Amherst Coll. (Nazi Germany, genocide, modern Germany, modern Europe, history of the historical profession)

Ruth Rogaski, Vanderbilt Univ. (Qing and 20th-­century China, colonialism, transnational histories, history of medicine, urban history, gender history)

Councilor Research (3-­year term)

Kyle Harper, Univ. of Oklahoma (ancient history, long-­run economic history, historical demography, natural sciences and history, climate history, history of disease)

Farina Mir, Univ. of Michigan (modern South Asia, Islam/Muslim South Asia, British Imperialism)

Councilor Teaching (3-­year term)

Trinidad Gonzales, South Texas Coll. (Borderlands, Chicana/o history, imperialism, civil rights, ethnicity)

Charles Anthony Zappia, San Diego Mesa Coll. (US immigration, ethnic, and labor history; corporatization of higher education)

Committee on Committees (3-­year term)

Herman L. Bennett, Graduate Center, CUNY (African diaspora with a focus on early modern Latin America and precolonial Africa)

Cynthia Radding, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Latin America, environmental history, ethnohistory, borderlands)

Nominating Committee (3-­year terms)

Position 1

Pamela Scully, Emory Univ. (comparative women’s and gender history, African history, South African history, slavery and emancipation, sexualized violence in war, transitional justice)

Ibrahim K. Sundiata, Brandeis Univ. (West African trading elites, the Atlantic slave trade, comparative slavery in the Americas, ethno-­racial identity in the Americas)

Position 2

Edward Muir, Northwestern Univ. (Italian Renaissance, cultural and social history, history of ritual, history of violence)

Thomas F. X. Noble, Univ. of Notre Dame (late antique and early medieval history, the Mediterranean World, the city of Rome, the papacy)

Position 3

François Furstenberg, Univ. of Montréal (US intellectual and cultural history, slavery, print culture, Atlantic history, with a particular focus on the French Atlantic)

Samuel Truett, Univ. of New Mexico (US-­Mexico/North American borderlands, environmental, US West, Native American, global frontiers and borderlands)

Election Process and Results

Ballots were mailed to 14,350 members, with 3,104 casting ballots before the AHA constitutional deadline of November 1. This was 21.63 percent of the total receiving ballots, compared to the 22.10 percent casting ballots in 2012. With the advent of e-­voting, there have been higher levels of participation in AHA elections than in the preceding two decades. The rate of return corresponds closely to the median range of voter participation in major associations, which is 24 percent.

The 2013 election marked the ninth year that AHA members had the opportunity to vote online to elect the Association’s officers. Survey & Ballot Systems of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, distributed election ballots to AHA members and received, validated, and tallied the votes. Members who furnished valid e-­mail addresses and agreed to receive messages from the Association were asked via e-­mail about their preference for an online or a paper ballot. For the first year, all members who voted elected to do so online; no paper ballots were returned (members were given the option to vote by paper or online ballot). Members were also invited to rate the voting process. Slightly fewer than 92 percent rated their response to the process “very satisfied” or “satisfied.”

All AHA members who opted to vote electronically received an e-­mail message with a unique computer-­generated user name and password, good only for the online balloting system. Once successfully logged in, members could read the election rules and link to the ballot, which was also linked to candidate biographies. Members who lacked a valid e-­mail address or who requested the paper ballot were mailed a paper ballot no later than September 1. The procedures for paper ballots were essentially the same as in previous years: after filling out the ballot, members returned it to SBS, which entered the information into the system. In theory, a member could receive both an e-­mail and a paper ballot. Since the system tracked whether someone voted, separate from specific votes, the system accepted the first vote received and entered into the system from that voter (but without identifying the specific voter).

Individuals who renewed their membership or joined the AHA for the first time after the initial mailing of ballots were also allowed to vote in the election. Anyone who renewed or joined before October 21 was able to vote online or to request a paper ballot. Although no paper ballots were mailed after October 21 (because the remaining time would be insufficient for members to receive and return the ballots to SBS before the constitutional deadline of November 1), those who renewed or joined before October 21 could vote online until midnight on November 1.

Committee Deliberations

The Nominating Committee met in Washington, DC, on February 9–­10. Present were Raúl A. Ramos, University of Houston, chair; Takashi Fujitani, University of Toronto; Thavolia Glymph, Duke University; Pekka J. Hämäläinen, St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford; Moon-­Ho Jung, University of Washington; Dane Kennedy, George Washington University; and Sophia Rosenfeld, University of Virginia. Also attending the meeting were James Grossman, executive director, and Sharon K. Tune, director, meetings and administration. Committee members Sandra E. Greene, Cornell University, and Alida Metcalf, Rice University, were unable to attend the meeting, though both contributed by forwarding candidate names or through conference call with the committee.

Deliberations began at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and continued through late morning Sunday. Members also circulated names and CVs of potential nominees via e-­mail prior to the meeting. The committee’s next meeting is February 8–­9, 2014; the chair of the 2014 Nominating Committee will be Dane Kennedy.

The Nominating Committee moved to its principal task: nominating candidates for office. As in the past, the committee was very concerned that all AHA members should have input into the process. Every year the Nominating Committee issues several appeals to the membership at large for nominees, including, this year, an open letter published in the January 2013 Perspectives on History. These appeals stress the committee’s commitment to diversity of all kinds. A number of AHA members responded to the open letter with suggestions; others, with expressions of willingness to serve. The committee also retained and reviewed suggestions and vitae of people considered over the previous five years. The nominations we received reflected the diversity of our organization with respect to gender, race, type of institution, field, and rank. In our deliberations, however, the committee expressed a special need for assistance in identifying candidates at the secondary-­school level and those engaged in museum work. As in the past, we would also like to remind our colleagues to renew their membership in the organization before the end of the calendar year, if they would like to be considered for nomination. In addition to active membership, multiple means to contact members particularly over the weekend aids the nomination process. Given the nature of historian and academic work, the committee attempts to use alternate means of contact when colleagues are out of reach or out of the country.

Fulfilling its constitutional responsibility, the committee selected two nominees for each Association office and elective committee position to be filled by election in fall 2013, with terms to begin in January 2014. The committee sought to identify able and energetic members who could work well with colleagues and who were, where relevant, familiar with broad sections of the profession beyond their immediate fields of expertise. In the case of the president and other top positions, the committee recognized the importance of selecting nominees who could represent the interests of historians to the public at large, and who had demonstrated some degree of administrative skill. In all its selections, the committee was eager to reflect the broad diversity of the historical profession in terms of type of institution served, geographic location, subdiscipline, interests, gender, and cultural background.

The committee wishes to thank the staff of the Association for their support of our efforts. We also want to express our gratitude to our executive director, Jim Grossman, whose sage advice, positive energy, and hands-­on assistance were invaluable to our deliberations this year. As always, we are especially grateful to Sharon K. Tune, director, meetings and administration, for her consistently outstanding guidance and advice, as well as her patience and good cheer. Last but not least, I would personally like to thank the other members of the committee and the members of the past two Nominating Committees. Their good humor, hard work, good judgment, and broad knowledge of the profession made it possible for us to work swiftly and effectively. It was a great pleasure to have served with them.

Respectfully submitted,
Raúl A. Ramos,
University of Houston
Chair, 2013 AHA Nominating Committee