Dr. Rosemarie Zagarri, University Professor in the Department of History and Art History, was recently elected to the Society for American Historians. Membership in SAH is one of the highest honors that a scholar in the field of American history can receive (https://sah.columbia.edu). The total membership is capped at around four hundred members and includes journalists, filmmakers, public historians, and museum curators as well as academic historians.
Based at Columbia University, the Society of American Historians (SAH) was founded in 1939 to promote literary distinction in the writing of history and biography. Members are elected not only on the basis of the volume and significance of their scholarship, but also on the literary merits of their work: in SAH’s words, to those who present historical work marked “by clarity, empathy, narrative power, accuracy, and explanatory force.”
Dr. Zagarri, a specialist in Early American history, has produced an impressive volume of important scholarly work in her career. She has published many articles and four books, including her most recent work, Revolutionary Backlash: Women and Politics in the Early American Republic. In 2010, she was elected president of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
Dr. Matthew Karush, chair of the department of History and Art History, notes that the mission of SAH relates not only to the scholarly importance and public influence of historical scholarship, but also to the literary quality of historical writing. “Throughout her illustrious career,” Karush said, “Professor Zagarri has transformed our understanding of revolutionary era politics by uncovering the key roles played by women and, more recently, the impact of the larger British imperial context. Her evocative prose style rises well above the norm for academic historians. Therefore, her election to the Society of American Historians, an organization dedicated to recognizing literary merit in works of history, is entirely fitting.”
May 11, 2023