Who's a Historian to the AHA?





My piece questioning the supply-side bent to the American Historical Association's 2010 job report has gotten thoughtful replies by historiann, Alan Baumler, Jonathan Rees, Ellen Schrecker, Sandy Thatcher and others, both at my home blog and here at Brainstorm.

I really appreciate these thoughts, and want to emphasize how much I respect Townsend's work for AHA over the years, including his parsing of the data on many fronts-especially "privilege," which I believe informs his diss as well- or I'd probably have come on a bit stronger on the supply-side orientation.

It seems one part of the problem is the relationship of history faculty at smaller schools and community colleges to the discipline, and to the AHA as a disciplinary organization. As Alan wrote in response to my discussion of the many faculty literally off the AHA's chart:

Ph.D programs don't want that. They judge themselves by the number of dissertations completed and the number of good jobs their grads get. If a grad student finishes and gets a job at a no-name school, leaves with an A.B.D and gets a job with the State Department or gets eaten by wolves it's all the same to most programs; they don't count.

Isn't that a fairly unhealthy (not to mention undemocratic, elitist, etc) basis for reproducing one's profession?...



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