Fayerweather Hall, Columbia University

Columbia University

The Department of History has constituted a four-member executive committee to oversee the AHA-Mellon initiative, which at Columbia is known as History in Action. The committee comprises senior and junior faculty, as well as a graduate student who is recompensed in form of release from TA duties. We have also constituted a highly engaged fifteen-member Graduate Student Steering Committee to help the executive on our four major initiatives for this year.

First, we have advertised funding for specific projects which mesh academic research, public outreach and utility through an internal award program; students have begun to apply for up to $2000 for awards beginning in the Fall semester. Second, we will be mounting in the Spring semester a History in Action clinic course, with a series of modules taught by professionals who employ historical methods: a museum curator, a documentarian, a book publisher, a long-form journalist, and digital humanists.  Students will be able to take the entire course for credit, developing a collaborative project under the guidance of one of the guest instructors, or participate in individual modules.  Third, we are coordinating with Columbia's Center for Career Education on a internship program that will launch in the Spring Term, pairing students with organizations where they can learn specific skills and utilize their own capabilities. These students can also get relief from TA duties to allow participation in the program. Fourth is the planning of a conference "History in Action II'." to take place 6-7 March 2015. This conference will revisit the themes of the 2013 History in Action conference http://historyinaction.columbia.edu/hia_i/, bringing together students, faculty, historians from outside the academy, and non-historians to explore the intersection of history and public life on both intellectual and professional levels. 

We are also planning several smaller scale events under the History in Action umbrella, and we are beginning to lay out our media presence: a place-holder announcement blog is up at historyinaction.columbia.edu/, but we will be augmenting that with a developed website with social components such as Twitter and Facebook, scheduled for launch in early 2015.

Created on July 7, 2014