William Cronon's Writings for the American Historical Association

William Cronon served as President of the American Historical Association from January 2012-January 2013. This page collects links to the various writing he did in this capacity.


AHA Presidential Address: "Storytelling"
(Delivered January 4, 2013, New Orleans)

A meditation on the changing nature of historical practice in a digital age;
a comparison of the different ways historians, journalists, novelists, and filmmakers
tell stories about the past; and a defense of teaching and storytelling as
the most ancient and essential of all historical tasks. The closing section is an extended homage to Dick Ringler, the teacher who most inspired me as an undergraduate.

Full text of AHA Presidential Address in HTML format:

Full text of AHA Presidential Address in PDF format as published in
the American Historical Review 118:1 (February 2013):
(Be patient; download is slow and may appear to be frozen.)

Full-sized YouTube video of AHA Presidential Address:

MP3 audio file of AHA Presidential Address suitable for podcast listening (103mb):
(Right-click on URL and save target file to desired location for loading into podcast software.)


William Cronon

AHA William Cronon Presidential Biography

This biography, authored by Richard White of Stanford University, was included in the program
for the awards ceremony and presidential address in New Orleans on January 4, 2013.
Many thanks to Richard for the time and care he took to do such a wonderful job writing this.

AHA presidential biography in HTML format::

AHA presidential biography, in PDF format as originally published by AHA:


(AHA presidential photo by Hilary Fey Cronon)



"From the President" Columns for AHA Perspectives

Among Cronon's responsibilities at the AHA was authoring a series of nine columns for AHA's monthly newsletter Perspectives. All address the theme "The Public Practice of History in and for a Digital Age."

"The Public Practice of History in and for a Digital Age," January 2012:

"Scholarly Authority in a Wikified World," February 2012

"Professional Boredom," March 2012

"Loving History," April 2012

"Breaking Apart, Putting Together," May 2012

"Two Cheers for the Whig Interpretation of History," September 2012

"How Long Will People Read History Books?," October 2012

"Recollecting My Library...and My Self," November 2012

"And Gladly Teach," December 2012

AHA Statement on Standards

Cronon served as Vice President of the Presidential Division from 2001-2004, during which time he oversaw and helped draft a large-scale revision of the AHA's Statement on Standards, the most important articulation of professional practices and ethics for historians in the United States. An extensive discussion of how the Statement's history and how it was revised can be found in Cronon, "A Watershed for the Professional Division," AHA Perspectives (September 2003), available online at http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2003/0309/0309aha1.cfm

The current version of the Statement on Standards is available here: pdf html


Course Materials on Plagiarism (authored by Michael Rawson)

While serving as Vice President for AHA's Professional Division, Cronon recruited one of his graduated students, Michael Rawson (now a faculty member at Brooklyn College in New York), to produce a set of curricular materials for teaching students about plagiarism and how to avoid it. These pedagogical tools are available online from the AHA website at:



Page revision date: 23-Feb-2013