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  • What the Professional Division Can and Cannot Do Added July 30, 2014

    The AHA Professional Division (PD) boasts a broad mission: to promote integrity, fairness, and civility in the practice of history; to articulate ethical standards and best practices in the profession; and to collect and distribute information related to the employment of historians. In practical terms, this mission means that the PD deals with a wide variety of issues confronting historians in the workplace as well as in the profession more generally. The great challenge faced by the PD is ho...

  • AHA Roundtable: Historians' Perspectives on Web Ethics Added July 30, 2014

    How is the web, particularly social media properties like Twitter, changing the way scholars communicate and form connections with each other?" When I first started considering this question after the AHA annual meeting in New Orleans, I had been talking with bloggers and self-described "Twitterstorians" who had expressed concern over the lack of live-tweeting etiquette at conferences and meetings. Intrigued, we responded by crowdsourcing a " Dos and Don'ts of Live-Tweeting " list,  bu...

  • John Fea Added July 30, 2014

    By John Fea Associate Professor of American History and Chair of the History Department Messiah College Blogger at The Way of Improvement Leads Home Additional responses to the roundtable can be found here . At The Way of Improvement Leads Home I am constantly dealing with issues related to civility. Perhaps I have an overly pessimistic view of human nature, but I assume that people writing in the comments section of the blog or tweeting a response to a post I have written are...

  • Ann M. Little Added July 30, 2014

    By Ann M. Little Associate Professor, History Colorado State University Blogger at Historiann Additional responses to the roundtable can be found here . Anyone who has taught a class, trained a dog, or raised a child knows this simple truth: you get the behavior you settle for. This is an important maxim to remember when beholding the boundless wonders of the non-peer-reviewed world wide timewasting web. Over at el rancho Historiann , my commenters have been trained to scrape...

  • Claire Potter Added July 30, 2014

    By Claire Potter Professor of History The New School for Public Engagement, New York Blogger at Tenured Radical Additional responses to the roundtable can be found here . If a scholar gives a poorly received talk, should it be followed by a discussion about whether and how s/he would enjoy being sexually assaulted by the audience ? This is what happened to me in the unmoderated comments section of a law professor’s blog. If you disagree with colleagues about a high-prof...

  • Action Items by the AHA Council 2013 Added July 30, 2014

    Through e-mail correspondence between February 20 and May 15, 2013, the Council of the American Historical Association made the following decisions: Approved an AHA amicus brief for submission to the Supreme Court case US v. Windsor, a case contesting the validity of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). (Note: this vote followed an extended discussion of the issue, and preliminary approval, at the January 2013 Council meeting.) Appointed William Thomas of the University of Nebraska&ndash...

  • Dispatches from an Eventful #Summer Added July 30, 2014

    There is an astonishing circulation of letters and newspapers among these savage woods.... I do not think that in the most enlightened rural districts of France there is intellectual movement either so rapid or on such a scale as in this wilderness. -Alexis de Tocqueville, 1831 During his journey through America, Alexis de Tocqueville quickly became entranced with the burgeoning communication revolution wrought by the United States Postal Service, noting to readers of his  Democracy...

  • History Coalition Active, Even as Government Stalls Added July 30, 2014

    This article was written on the first day of fiscal year 2014, as the process of shutting down the federal government had just begun. Once again the appropriations process was held hostage to partisan brinksmanship by both parties. Looming ahead, if Congress fails to act, is another mandatory round of across-­the-­board cuts (known as sequestration) if a fiscal year 2014 budget is not passed by January 1, 2014. It's estimated this would add an additional $20 billion in cuts to those imp...

  • Historians under Criminal Law Added July 30, 2014

    The “framework decisions” of the Council of the European Union rarely get the attention of historians. Intended to align the laws of the various EU member states, the framework decisions deal with matters that do not usually impinge upon the historical profession. However, a “Framework decision on combating racism and xenophobia,” approved on November 28, 2008, by the Council of the European Union, aroused simmering anxieties among historians because in its implication...

  • The Ethical Historian Added July 30, 2014

    The Ethical Historian features the Professional Division’s reactions to the ethical and professional questions it regularly receives. We welcome suggestions for this column, which may be sent to the division members listed below at PD@historians.org . The Professional Division will not reveal in this column the identities, or identifying characteristics, of individuals or institutions involved. O ver the years, quite a few candidates have contacted the AHA’s Professional Div...