American Historical Association Draws In Grad Students With Blog Contest

The association’s annual blog contest, now in its third year, focuses on challenging graduate students to think differently about their research—and to write about it for a wide audience.

The American Historical Association wants to give some of the budding researchers of the world an audience for their work.

AHA is calling for applications from graduate students who are interested in writing for its AHA Today blog over the summer. The two winning entrants will be called upon to each write one article for the blog in June, July, and August.

“If you are looking to hone your blogging skills and share the process of doing history with a wide audience, consider applying to be a summer blogger on AHA Today, and show readers how historians’ habits of mind shape the way they see the world,” wrote Kritika Agarwal, AHA’s associate editor for publications.

Beyond access to a wide audience, winners will receive a one-year AHA membership, or, if they’re already members, free registration for the 2018 AHA annual meeting or $50 toward AHA publications.

This year, the association is challenging entrants to consider a specific historical document and how it made them think differently about their research. “We especially want to hear about how engaging with this particular document led you to ask different questions and how it took your research in exciting new directions,” Agarwal explained.

AHA first launched the contest in 2015, and since then has featured the work of students like University of Southern Mississippi PhD candidate Allan Branstiter, who wrote a series of posts on Mississippi history—including one that highlighted a research subject who turned out to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Branstiter noted that writing for the blog gave him a new perspective on his approach to research.

“I usually discuss my work in class or at conferences with people who are already familiar with what I do, so writing succinct posts for AHA Today’s larger audience forced me to really refine how I described my research and experiences,” Branstiter noted in a post from last September. “With the help of the blog’s editor, I struggled with the hard task of tightening up my writing, staying focused on the series’ overarching theme, and parsing out aspects of my research readers would be able to relate to.”

AHA is accepting applicants for this year’s contest through April 21.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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