Dear AHA Member,
Fortnightly News is the AHA's e-mail newsletter, sent out around the first and fifteenth of every month to keep members up to date with the AHA and the history profession.
In this Issue
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The Directory is entering the 21st century!
The complete Directory will be available online (as well as in its traditional print form) beginning with the upcoming 2009-10 edition! This online edition, to be available in the fall, will be accessible throughout the year in a searchable format.
The deadline for institutions to submit Directory entries is May 1, 2009. Find out more information about listing in the Directory through the AHA web site.
The cover of the April 2009 issue of Perspectives on History features the question: “How ‘Historic’ Is the 2008 Election?” This same question was raised at a special forum at the 123rd AHA Annual Meeting, read how four of the seven panelists explored this question:
Eric Foner gives the introductory remarks, noting the need for “long historical perspective,” and introduces each panelist.
A Remarkable Election
Jacqueline Jones thinks most of us can admit “that this election was truly remarkable” and focuses her talk on the “idea of race” and how it factored in.
Election 2008: How ‘Historic’ Was It?
David Levering Lewis looks at the 2008 election through three lenses: “the global; the racial; the catastrophic.”
What Makes an Election Historic…And Has That Happened In 2008?
Julian E. Zelizer considers the 2008 election by asking three questions: Did something happen that we have not seen before? Has the election helped to create a genuine opportunity for change to occur? And, is it historic?
Forum on Capstone Courses
The April issue also contains articles from another forum, this one on Capstone Courses.
Placing the Senior Capstone Course within the History Program
Timothy L. Schroer outlines the benefits of “organizing the history major around the senior capstone course.”
History in the Trenches: Teaching the Undergraduate Capstone Course
Mary Stockwell explains how she runs her capstone course to mimic how a historian prepares a publication.
How the Capstone Course Changed the Curriculum at Sienna College.”
And finally, Wendy Pojmann, Bruce Eelman, Barbara Reeves-Ellington, and Scott K. Taylor lay out “how the introduction of a capstone course led to a comprehensive restructuring of our curriculum.”
In the news, hear about the National Humanities Alliance meeting in Washington, read about the death of John Hope Franklin, learn of an upcoming PBS special on WWII, and get a recap of the first Museums Advocacy Day. Robert A. Schneider then gives a detailed look at the contents of the April issue of the American Historical Review.
In other AHA news, the AHA Nominating Committee is accepting nominations for the 2009 election and a working group has been created to “explore historical perspectives on same-sex marriage at the 2010 meeting in San Diego.”
From our affiliates, read the National Coalition for History’s coverage of the “Omnibus Appropriations Bill Enacted,” the National History Center’s 2009 Decolonization Seminar participants and director’s recent award, and the Historians Film Committee at the 123rd Annual Meeting.
A range of topics are covered throughout a number of articles in this issue. See the following:
The AHA in the Second World War: Trying to Win the Peace with Wartime Pamphlets – Robert Townsend looks back at the AHA’s participation in the WWII war effort through the production of 42 pamphlets for the U.S. War Department.
The Hot Dynasty: The Tudors on Film and T.V. - Cynthia Herrup takes part in our continuing series, “Masters at the Movies,” by taking a look at the popularity of the Tudor dynasty. See also Robert Brent Toplin’s introduction: Masters at the Movies: Take 10 .
Preserving Our History: Unfinished Business at Foggy Bottom
Wm. Roger Louis discusses “bureaucratic mismanagement” at the State Department’s Office of the Historian and how it’s affecting the The Foreign Relations of the United States series.
Find all of this, plus a number of Letters to the Editor and In Memoriam pieces in the contents online from the April 2009 issue of Perspectives on History.
Recent disasters have damaged two major archives.
On March 3, 2009, the six story Cologne archives collapsed (due to nearby construction) resulting in two deaths and the loss of the papers of Heinrich Böll, a Nobel Prize-winning novelist. See the following articles for more information on this tragic event:
Acclaimed German writer's archive lost in building collapse
The Guardian reports on the collapse in the days after, and examines the loss of Heinrich Böll’s papers.
Cologne archive: after the disaster
Bettina Schmidt-Czaia, director of the Cologne archives, gives a firsthand account of the disaster
State Archive in L'Aquila
The recent earthquake in Italy claimed many lives and caused a great deal of damage. See images from the Boston Globe’s Big Picture site and check out a before and after comparison of the State Archive building in L'Aquila.
The National Coalition for History
Recent news from the NCH includes:
Bill to Reform Teaching of American History and Civics Introduced in the SenateSee all past updates on Washington in the NCH news archive.
Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA)
COSSA recently posted their Washington Update newsletter (PDF) to report on funding, bills, new appointments, and more that may be of interest to those in the social and behavioral sciences.
The deadline for applying for the Roy Rosenzweig Fellowship for Innovation in Digital History is May 15, just a month away.
This fellowship is sponsored jointly by the AHA and the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University. It was developed by friends and colleagues of Roy Rosenzweig (1950–2007), the Mark and Barbara Fried Professor of History and New Media at George Mason University, to honor his life and work as a pioneer in the field of digital history.
This nonresidential fellowship will be awarded annually to honor and support work on an innovative and freely available new media project, and in particular for work that reflects thoughtful, critical, and rigorous engagement with technology and the practice of history. See the Roy Rosenzweig Fellowship page for more information and instructions on how to apply.
We have already received generous support from many members of the Association. If you have not yet contributed, and would like to aid in the expansion of the Association’s public programs and outreach efforts, we hope you will give your support to the AHA 125th Anniversary Fund.
You can contribute to the fund online at www.historians.org/give or by check to AHA Anniversary Fund, 400 A St. S.E., Washington, DC 20003.
Between issues of Perspectives on History, we continue to track information on the state of the profession on the AHA’s blog, AHA Today. Among the recent posts:
Re-Directions 1: The Historical Configurations of Space: Keith Robbins Considers the British Case
With this article we launch a new series of posts under the subtitle “Re-Directions” that will point to noteworthy articles published in History Compass, the online journal published by Blackwell Publishing.
Becoming A Historian: A Canadian Manual
The Canadian version of the AHA’s pamphlet Becoming a Historian: A Survival Manual.
History Podcasts, Take 3
From lectures to speeches, from the Revolutionary War to World War II and beyond, history enthusiasts everywhere are likely to find a podcast that suits their fancy. In this post we point to a few.
Office of the Historian’s New Web Site
The Office of the Historian, within the U.S. Department of State, has launched a new, sleeker, and more interactive web site.
African History Book Prize
In 2006 the American Historical Association authorized the establishment of an African History Book Prize to be awarded annually to the best book in African history as selected by a jury of scholars in the field. The initial campaign met with modest success, but we need your support to get us the rest of the way.
Vaulted Treasures: Digitized Medical Books from UVA
How exciting to enter the vault at the University of Virginia Claude Moore Health Sciences Library and experience the treasures that lay within. But for those who can’t make the trip to Charlottesville, just make a stop online to view high quality digital images from 50 books in the collection.
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Contributions to this issue of Fortnightly News came from: Arnita A. Jones, Elisabeth Grant, and Robert B. Townsend.
Last Updated: April 14, 2009