“How the Historical Profession Has Changed Since 1970”

I found this great piece over at History News Network and figured I would leave some of it here to read.

Since 1970, much has changed. The unquestioned dominance of white men in America is long gone, in our national life as a whole and in the history profession in particular. After over one hundred years of male presidents of the American Historical Association, the primary organization for historians which also publishes the AHR, the first woman was elected in 1987. Since 1996, half of the presidents have been female. The most recent issue of the AHR was produced by a very different group of historians: the editor is male, but the board of editors has seven men and six women. Three of five articles were written by women, one about family in colonial America. Most books being reviewed are written by men, but the ratio is two to one instead of ten to one. Advertisements for books show a similar ratio.

Those data show that complete equality between men and women in the history profession is approaching, but has not been achieved. The proportion of women among those who earned a PhD in history has increased gradually and steadily from about 25 percent in the late 1970s to 45 percent in 2010. Once they went on the job market, however, women appear to have had equal success with men. About half of each gender had a job lined up when they received their degree. Women were as likely as men to land jobs at four-year institutions. Promotions from assistant to associate to full professor, and the job security of tenure, were equally likely for men and women.

Historians are more diverse than ever before. The dominance of the sons of well-established families of northern and western European background has given way to greater ethnic variety: many more historians are the first in their families to have attended college, come from immigrant familes, and/or are openly homosexual. The proportion of history PhDs earned by minorities has risen from under 10 percent in the 1980s to 19 percent in 2010.

– See more at: http://hnn.us/article/154202#sthash.1gbNKdOP.dpuf

It is really interesting to see how the field of history is changing in the make up of historians.  I think all these different perspectives and backgrounds bring different skills and approaches that will inevitably lead to more and more intriguing interpretations for historians to debate.



Christian, Lover of History, Aspiring Teacher

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