Europe is down. Asia is up. And some specialties that scholars have feared were disappearing appear to be alive and well.
Those are some of the results available in an analysis by the American Historical Association of its members and their primary fields of interest (by both geography and subject matter). As a popular major and as a key provider of general education courses, the discipline of history is watched for even slight shifts in its focus. (AHA membership does not, of course, include all historians, and the membership is probably less reflective of community colleges, which tend to hire Americanists or generalists. But the membership shifts generally are viewed as consistent with trends in the field.)
Currently the top geographic area of specialization is Europe, with 37.2 percent of historians. That’s down from 41.5 percent a decade ago — a drop of such magnitude that historians of North America are now almost equal, at 36.2 percent. Asian history, at 8 percent, has overtaken Latin American history as the third most popular area of specialization…. READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on July 21, 2011
HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP
The Association enjoyed a modest increase in membership over the past year. The number of annual dues-paying members increased by 227, alongside the addition of four new life members. We also modestly increased the number of complimentary memberships we give out, primarily to journalists and others that we hope will engage with and share our work. As a result of these changes, we show a net increase of 250 total memberships over the previous year—an increase of 1.7 percent—to 14,196 total members.
Much of the overall gain came from graduate students and faculty at an early stage in their careers. We have seen substantial growth in the number of new and student members in recent years, and a significant number of former students are moving into the new Early Career category, which now holds almost 500 members.
Students at all levels now account for 32 percent of the Association’s members. A decade ago (in 2001), they accounted for only 15 percent of the total membership. The growth in the number of younger members offers a positive indicator for the future of the Association—assuming the difficulties in the job market settle out soon…. READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on July 20, 2011