IN CONCLUSION of course there is bias in the writing of academic history; it’s just not the kind of bias you think it is.
As for how to fix these problems, I’ll start with the academic system of checks and balances.
I don’t know how the issues perpetuated by this system should be handled. That system was put in place to protect the intellectual freedom of academics, and to keep them from being fired for things like pissing off the government. I honestly think that this system is a primarily positive one; the problem is that people are imperfect and can mess up even the most well-intentioned and well-developed of systems. Another way of saying this is that the system is flawed as a result of academic culture, not in and of itself.
Academic culture is an extremely insular one. The insular/ivory tower image of academia is largely self-perpetuated, and that is part of the reason academics have such a minimal impact on the mainstream understandings of their disciplines. I think historians could have a greater effect on the mainstream historical canon if they were to engage in some form of independent outreach, and learn how to talk to people from varied backgrounds on multiple levels of discourse. The public isn’t going to go to them, and they should not assume that museum professionals, public historians, archivists, librarians, and digital humanists are going to the job for them (although they are doing an amazing job), and they cannot assume that k-12 teachers are going to have the time or ability to do the job for them.
I obviously greatly admire and respect the hard work that professional historians do, and I fully understand that they are under intense pressure to churn out publication after publication and that they thus have very little free time to spend arguing with people on the internet. But I also think that they, as experts, have a responsibility to the humans in the stuff they study to make sure that those lives aren’t lost in the hatred of the Arizona Board of Ed and other such bodies. I certainly feel a responsibility towards some of the women I study, and I know that many of my academic peers feel the same way about the people involved in the stuff that they study.
Two other issues I discussed were the problems of the over-reliance on theory, and the over-specialization of many historians. I was actually kvetching to one of my friends (a PhD student) in my department about this a few weeks ago, and he told me that the over-reliance on theory has been “trendy” for a while, and that it is now on the way out. He also told me that intersectionality is becoming trendier with historians, leading to the falling out of favor of the practice of over-specialization. I am going to take his word for it, because, to be perfectly honest with you, the time PhD students use to keep on top of those sorts of historiographical trends is the time I allocate to the viewing of cat macros and Jim/Pam gifs.
So basically, my answer to these problems is that there are some structural issues within academia which need to change, and change does not come quickly in academia; I’m pretty sure it was only a few years ago that Romanists agreed that it was ok to theorize about the effects of PTSD on ancient militaries. This pre-existing resistance to change combined with the fact that many universities have frozen hiring indicates that structural change will not quick in coming.
And there is my response; I hope it adequately covered the basics.