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Professional Organizations and Political Engagements

The Organization of American Historians recently conducted an “interchange” conversation among current and past leaders of the organization. The discussion focuses on the complex relationship between the duties, professional obligations, and avowed mission of a learned society and the personal or political ideologies of the individual members it represents. Ed Linenthal, editor of the Journal of American History, facilitated the lively online discussion.

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Posted: February 9, 2012
Tagged: News of the Organization


2012 OAH Annual Business Meeting

The OAH Business Meeting will be held immediately preceding the OAH Awards Ceremony and Presidential Address, Saturday April 21 at 3:30 p.m. All OAH members are encouraged to attend and participate in the governance of the organization. Proposals for action by the OAH shall be made in the form of ordinary motions or resolutions. As outlined in Article VIII, Section 3 of the OAH Constitution and Bylaws (http://www.oah.org/about/constitution.html), all such motions or resolutions must be submitted at least thirty days prior to the meeting (or March 22, 2012) to the OAH Executive Director Katherine M. Finley and the OAH Parliamentarian Jonathan Lurie. Proposals should be sent to the OAH, 112 North Bryan Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47408.

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Posted: January 12, 2012
Tagged: News of the Organization


Actions of the OAH Executive Board

The OAH Executive Board took action on several of its November agenda items, including hearing reports from the task forces assigned to examine the annual meeting and membership, reviewing a proposed plagiarism policy, discussing disability issues, and approving appointments of individuals to OAH service and award committees.

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Posted: December 19, 2011
Tagged: News of the Organization


The OAH recognized by the Indiana Society of Association Executives

The Indiana Association of Association Executives held its annual Star Awards banquet on December 8. The Organization of American Historians received first-place awards in two association categories: the OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program was recognized as the best non-dues revenue program, and our new membership newsletter, OAH Outlook, was recognized as the best association newsletter or bulletin.

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Posted: December 19, 2011
Tagged: News of the Organization


OAH Mourns the Passing of David Montgomery

The Organization of American Historians notes with sadness the passing of OAH Past President David Montgomery, Farnam Professor of History emeritus at Yale University, on December 2, 2011. Montgomery was 84 years of age.

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Posted: December 18, 2011
Tagged: News of the Organization


In Memoriam: John Morton Blum, 1921-2011

John Morton Blum, Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University, died at his home in North Branford, Connecticut on October 17, 2011 at the age of ninety. A preeminent scholar of American politics and culture during the second half of the twentieth century, Blum was born on April 29, 1921 in New York City. A Yankee fan from his early youth, Blum followed the Bronx Bombers, the NFL Giants, and Yale football with equal gusto. He was educated at Andover and at Harvard, from which he received his Ph.D in 1950. He was a co-editor of the Letters of Theodore Roosevelt (1951—1954). Blum taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1949 to 1957 and at Yale from 1957 to 1991. Among his thirteen books, The Republican Roosevelt (1954) and V was for Victory (1976) had the widest influence, but his three—volume work From the Morgenthau Diaries (1959—1967) displayed the extensive range of his talents. His memoir A Life with History (2004) traced the many accomplishments of his career as author, scholar, and administrator in lucid and revealing prose. He was a gifted undergraduate lecturer whose recreation of Theodore Roosevelt at Kettle Hill became a classic experience for his student listeners. He was also a superb mentor to his many graduate students and friends within the historical profession. A memorial service at Yale University on November 11, 2011 brought more than 500 people together to honor his rich life, his vibrant personality, and his outstanding scholarly accomplishments. He lineis survived by Pamela Z. Blum (pzb23@comcast.net) of 88 Notch Hill Road, #176, North Branford, CT, 06471, their three children and three grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the John Morton Blum Fellowship in American History at Yale University or to the scholarship fund of your choice at any university.

Lewis L. Gould

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Posted: December 15, 2011
Tagged: In Memoriam


In Memoriam: David Montgomery 1927-2011

The Organization of American Historians notes with sadness the passing of OAH Past President David Montgomery, Farnam Professor of History emeritus at Yale University, on December 2, 2011. Montgomery was 84 years of age.

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Posted: December 6, 2011
Tagged: In Memoriam


The OAH Joins in Support of House Resolution 3071

The Organization of American Historians has joined the National Coalition for History in supporting House Resolution 3071, which amends the Presidential Records Act to establish procedures for the consideration of claims of constitutionally based privilege against disclosure of presidential records. The OAH supports the proposed legislation which significantly reduces the possibilities of closing presidential records while keeping them as accessible as possible.

More information is available at: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h112-3071

Posted: November 8, 2011
Tagged: News of the Organization


The OAH Executive Board Issues Statement on Institutional Review Boards

In its letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, the executive board of the Organization of American Historians (OAH) unanimously agrees that the work of historians, especially oral historians, should be exempt from the purview of institutional review boards (IRBs).

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Posted: October 28, 2011
Tagged: News of the Organization


In Memoriam: William S. Hanable, 1938-2011

Posted: October 4, 2011
Tagged: In Memoriam


In Memoriam: Robert W. Johannsen, 1925-2011

Robert W. Johannsen, J. G. Randall Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Illinois, died in Urbana, Illinois, on August 16, 2011, six days shy of his 86th birthday.

Best known for Stephen A. Douglas (1973), his biography of the Little Giant, Johannsen also wrote extensively on Lincoln, the Pacific Northwest in the frontier period, and the U.S.-Mexican War.

A native of Portland, Oregon, Johannsen graduated from Reed College in 1948, after his studies were interrupted by combat service in World War II. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Washington. After teaching a year at Washington and five years at the University of Kansas, he joined the Department of History at Illinois in 1959.

He attracted hundreds of students to his courses on nineteenth-century American history, the Jacksonian era and the Civil War. He also directed more than 35 dissertations.

In his writings, he endeavored to document the importance of Douglas in his own day. He sought to explain, not to defend, the Little Giant. Conversely, he attempted to moderate the popular, and even the professional, tendency to magnify Lincoln, to lift him beyond his own time and place.

Johannsen published not only a number of books and anthologies but also dozens of articles and reviews. The list of his writings in Politics and Culture of the Civil War Era: Essays in Honor of Robert W. Johannsen (2006) runs to 20 pages.

Johannsen was deeply committed to the study of the past and devoted beyond measure to teaching it. Those fortunate to have known him will always cherish the gentleness, warmth, and civility that pervaded his conversation and demeanor.

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Posted: August 26, 2011
Tagged: In Memoriam


In Memoriam: Vincent DeSantis, 1916-2011

VINCENT P. DE SANTIS, noted historian of the Gilded Age, died in Victoria, British Columbia on June 5, 2011 at the age of 94. A faculty member at the University of Notre Dame for over sixty years, he was a native of Birdsboro, PA. where he was born on December 25, 1916 to an Italian immigrant and his American wife. After graduating from Birdsboro High School, he spent two years at manual labor earning money for college. He graduated from West Chester State Teachers’ College in 1941, at which time he entered the Army as a private and served with the 19th Regiment of the 24th Infantry Division in New Guinea and the Philippine Islands. He left the service in December 1945 as a captain.

He used the GI bill to enter graduate school in history at Harvard University and then completed his doctoral degree at Johns Hopkins, studying under the eminent C. Vann Woodward. He began teaching at Notre Dame in 1949 and continued his tenure until 2010, producing fifteen doctoral students and being a favorite undergraduate teacher. He received three Fulbrights for teaching and research in Italy, India, and Australia.

His first book Republicans Face the Southern Question, The New Departure Years, 1877-1897 is the definitive work on southern politics and the freed people in the late 19th century. His textbook, which covered the Gilded Age through the Progressive Period, is widely used in college classrooms around the nation. He meticulously kept a daily diary beginning with his college days in the 1930s. He continued to research and write until his last days, still able to hold his own on the latest historiography.

He was a regular attendee at history conferences and was well known for his ability to tease his friends and colleagues. He could remember jokes about them for years. He also financially supported a variety of individuals and academic institutions.

He was married twice, his first marriage producing four sons. He is buried in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania.

John F. Marszalek
Ulysses S. Grant Association
Mississippi State University

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Posted: August 23, 2011
Tagged: In Memoriam


OAH Announces New Public History Manager

The Organization of American Historians is pleased to welcome Aidan J. Smith as its Public History Manager. Before arriving at the OAH in August 2009 as assistant editor of the Journal of American History, Smith served as reference librarian at the Southern Historical Collection Manuscripts Department at the Wilson Library housed on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Smith will begin September 1, 2011.

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Posted: August 5, 2011
Tagged: News of the Organization


In Memoriam: Elwin F. Hartwig

Professor Elwin F. Hartwig - 1929-2011

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Posted: June 1, 2011
Tagged: In Memoriam


The Civil War at 150: An OAH Commemorative Project

During the sesquicentennial of the Civil War (2011-2015), the OAH is committed to bringing the best current thinking on this complex era to a wide audience. Our commemoration efforts began in March at the OAH Annual Meeting in Houston and continue with the current issue of the OAH Magazine of History, which focuses on the origins of the Civil War. Read more >

We also invite you to visit our “Civil War at 150” Web site where you can listen to a series of podcasts and explore additional resources as we examine the history of the war from its beginnings through its aftermath. Read more >

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Posted: May 10, 2011
Tagged: News of the Organization


Minutes of the 2011 OAH Annual Business Meeting

Read brief reports from the OAH President, OAH Treasurer, OAH Executive Director, OAH Executive Editor, and OAH Nominating Board chair, at the 2011 annual business meeting of the Organization of American Historians in Houston, Texas.

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Posted: May 9, 2011
Tagged: News of the Organization


Jay S. Goodgold Appointed OAH Treasurer

On April 15, 2011 the OAH Executive Board voted unanimously to approve the five-year appointment of Jay S. Goodgold as the next treasurer of the Organization of American Historians.

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Posted: April 19, 2011
Tagged: News of the Organization


Action items from the Fall 2010 OAH Executive Board Meeting

At its fall 2010 meeting at the Hilton Washington in Washington, D.C., on November 13-14, the OAH Executive Board took the following actions:

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Posted: April 16, 2011
Tagged: News of the Organization


An Open Letter to OAH Members in Wisconsin

In an open letter to Wisconsin members, OAH Past President David Hollinger, the Preston Hotchkis Professor of American History at the University of California, Berkeley, shares his thoughts on the collective bargaining situation in Wisconsin and its impact on the 2012 OAH/NCPH Annual Meeting in Milwaukee.

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Posted: April 14, 2011
Tagged: News of the Organization


OAH Executive Board Approves Standards for Part-Time, Adjunct, and Contingent Faculty

At its 2011 annual meeting, the OAH Executive Board approved five standards and best practices for how colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education should employ and utilize nontenured and non-tenure-track history faculty.

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Posted: March 31, 2011
Tagged: News of the Organization