Sexual Harassment: AHA to Survey Its Members

Historians in the News
tags: sexual harassment

Rick Shenkman is the publisher of the History News Network and the author of Political Animals:  How Our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics (Basic Books, January 2016). You can follow him on Twitter. He blogs at stoneagebrain.

"Historians and Sexual Harassment: The Challenge for the AHA"  –  Interviews

Related Link Do Historians Have a Sexual Harassment Problem? By Rick Shenkman

The American Historical Association plans to survey its members to determine how extensive the problem of sexual harassment is in the profession.

The survey will be modeled on a similar canvassing done by the American Political Science Association.  (APSA's results will be disclosed shortly.)

The AHA survey will be distributed  soon after the end of the annual convention.

It was prompted by the shocking headlines indicating that sexual harassment is rampant in American society.  A recent survey of the readers of the Chronicle of Higher Education drew more than 1,900 responses.  As we reported this past week, the survey featured stories involving some 200 historians.

In November Marcy Norton,  a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, circulated a letter asking the AHA to focus on the problem of sexual harassment faced by its members.  Some 750 historians backed the proposal.  This led to the establishment of a group now known as the Feminist Historians' Collective.

A panel on sexual harassment – "Historians and Sexual Harassment: The Challenge for the AHA"  –  was quickly added to the program of the annual meeting now underway in Washington DC. 

Seventy-five people turned out for the panel, which featured the incoming and outgoing presidents of the organization.  James Grossman, the executive director, was present in the audience.  

Some in the audience noted that most of the people in attendance were women.  This was a cause of concern to many. One male historian stood up to complain about the absence of his peers.

Audience members live tweeted the event, as can be seen below. 

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