Welcome to the New Year from the H-Net President

Robert Cassanello (he/him/his)'s picture

We have started a new year and like many people we hope that 2021 will be better than 2020. We at H-Net want to express to everyone in the extended H-Net family our condolences to those of you who have lost family, friends or colleagues during the pandemic. We also want to express our hope for a fast and full recovery to people who are still stricken with illness and recovering from COVID-19. The pandemic and its impact on us will stay on our minds throughout 2021.


I would like to acknowledge the suspended work, lost income and job losses of so many in our professional circles. I know of graduate programs not admitting new classes of students during the pandemic and recent graduates on the job market as available positions dwindled to a trickle. In these difficult times, H-Net continues to offer a digital space for networking, conversations and the production of knowledge you have come to expect. If there is more we could be doing or if we could help to address your concerns from the pandemic please email me I will welcome that conversation.


This is the start of my term as President. Unlike our academic institutions our governing calendar runs the same as our yearly calendar, so my term will end December 31, 2021. I would like to recognize the new faces coming into H-Net governance and some who are returning in different roles this year. Seth Offenbach is President-Elect so he will follow me in 2022. Niels Eichhorn is Vice President for Research and Publications. Leigh Ann Wilson is Vice President for Teaching.  Patrick Cox is moving to H-Net Staff Editor and Doug Priest is now Past President. Bradley Camp Davis, Jordana Dym, and Andrew Kettler are joining Council for the current two year term. The full list of H-Net Officers, Council members and staff can be found here


H-Net ended 2020 on a promising note. We had a successful election with several candidates who brought interest, ideas  and energy to H-Net. We concluded one of our most successful fundraising campaigns and because of you and your support H-Net is better prepared to face diminished revenue from the lack of Job Ads. We have a lot to be thankful for heading into 2021 and let me thank you for putting us in this position. 


I hope to build on the promising foundation you all have left me. It seems we continuously have discussions on Council about the future of H-Net. I expect to oversee these conversations over the coming year, yet I think they will have importance more now than in recent years. I started with H-Net in 1993 when H-Net were networks of Listsevs and moved into H-Net leadership during the transition to H-Net 2.0 and our current Network environment. I remember the opportunities and possibilities H-Net inspired in me when I was a graduate student and I think those opportunities are still here as we demonstrate the value of scholarly conversations, reviews and new knowledge production in digital spaces. H-Net has always been an environment for inspiration for me from my first graduate seminar and especially now in my term as President. H-Net is evolving as our digital lives change and adapt to new tools and technologies. During my presidency and beyond I hope to be a champion of these changes that continue to make H-Net relevant and timely. 



Robert Cassanello

President, H-Net