Dear AHA Member,
Fortnightly News is the AHA's e-mail newsletter, sent out twice a month to keep members up to date with the AHA and the history profession.
In this issue:
- Perspectives on History Online: September 2010
- Advocacy: TAH Grants and New York Records Law
- New AHA Membership Database System and the Future of Member Services
- David Weber, Vice-president of the AHA’s Professional Division, Dies at 69
- 125th Annual Meeting: Registration
- National History Center: Weekly Washington History Seminar & Call for Applications
- AHA Today – Recent history news
- Call for Submissions – Regions and Regionalism
- News from Washington – Updates from NCH, NHA, and COSSA
Please feel free to forward this e-mail to your friends and colleagues.
Perspectives on History Online – September 2010
The online version of the September issue of Perspectives on History is now available to AHA members (sign in to member services to gain full access). This issue, both online and in print, features numerous changes, including member-only access to online articles for the first month of publication, and member-only commenting on online articles. See the recent blog post, “Technicolor Dreams for Perspectives on History,” for information about these changes and more.
In this Issue
In his article, “History in a Public Square,” Jim Grossman, AHA’s executive director, encourages historians to get out of their comfort zones and engage with public by talking about history. Read also the article “South Asia at the AHA–Then and Now” by AHA President Barbara D. Metcalf, and learn about the history and current status of the field of South Asian history in the AHA.
Two reports on the history profession top the news this month. First, Robert B. Townsend reports on the annual meeting of the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) in, “Is There an E-book in Your Future?” Then, John Dichtl and Debbie Ann Doyle breakdown the report, “Tenure, Promotion, and the Publicly Engaged Academic Historian,” evaluating public history in promotion and tenure proceedings.
Two posts on recent advocacy concerns of the AHA follow. Read the full text of these posts on AHA Today.
Recently, a number of AHA members and others have expressed concern and dismay over the future of the Teaching American History (TAH) grants, a program begun virtually single-handedly by Senator Robert C. Byrd in 2003. He was the program’s devoted supporter who brooked no opposition in growing the program from an initial $50 million appropriation to the present approximately $120 million as a line item in the Department of Education’s budget. Now that the senator is gone, there are those, in the Obama Administration and elsewhere, who say that history must take second or third place to reading and mathematics, that in the midst of a the most severe recession in several generations the U.S. cannot afford the program. Some even argue there is no evidence that the TAH program has made much of a difference, or that it has improved history teaching.
Historians, history teachers, and others who support the TAH program need to take a deep breath, step back, and think about what has been achieved thus far with the program. My hope is that supporters will roll up their collective sleeves to continue the work of maintaining and improving the program.
Read the rest of this article here on AHA Today.
In a letter to David Paterson, the Governor of New York, AHA Executive Director Arnita Jones asks the governor to sign recent legislation (S6846/A9928) that would help ensure the proper treatment of state records. The bill, which was approved by the state legislature in late June, is expected to reach the governor’s desk on September 3rd. Noting that the proposed policy is modeled on the Presidential Records Act, the letter concludes that, “the records of the governor of New York should be preserved with the same diligent care that is now afforded to the records of presidents.”
Read the rest of this article here on AHA Today.
New AHA Membership Database System and the Future of Member Services
On July 1 the AHA made a transition to a new Association Management System (AMS). The most immediate and notable effect of this change is that members now need to use their e-mail address as a login for member services. Several members have also inquired about the membership directory, noting that the older version allowed for searching for members based on the member taxonomy. We hope to add this feature to the new database within the next month. Moreover, as some members and departmental staff are aware, a rather jury-rigged system that requires multiple logins for different services has grown up over the years. We are hoping to, within the next academic year, bring them all under a single login, providing the greatest amount of simplicity for members, departmental staff, and other users.
David Weber, Vice-president of the AHA's Professional Division, Dies at 69
David J. Weber, historian of the Borderlands, the American West, and Latin America, and vice-president of the American Historical Association’s Professional Division, died on August 20, after a long struggle with multiple myeloma. Weber was Robert and Nancy Dedman professor of history and founding director of the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He was the recipient of numerous other recognitions for his scholarship and teaching. A session dedicated to the impact of his work has been organized by the Conference on Latin American History’s Borderlands and Frontiers Studies Committee for the AHA annual meeting in Boston. Details on this session will be forthcoming in future issues of Perspectives on History.
Despite his illness, David had been actively involved in the work of the Association until just a few weeks before his death. He was truly an exceptional colleague, and will be deeply missed. To adjust for his absence, Professional Division member Trudy Huskamp Peterson (consulting archivist) has been appointed by the AHA Council to fill out the remainder of his term as vice president of the Division (until January 2011), and Research Division Vice President Iris Berger will fill his position on the AHA Finance Committee.
For a more extensive treatment of David’s life and accomplishments, see the recent blog post at AHA Today.
Registration Opens September 15
125th Annual Meeting
Registration for the 125th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association will open on Wednesday, September 15. Register online here. The paper registration form has been printed in the September issue of Perspectives on History and is also available to print from our website (PDF). Once registered, you may receive the deeply discounted hotel rates (PDF) that the AHA has set up for our attendees. Housing information will available upon completion of registration.
The theme for this meeting is “History, Society, and the Sacred.” In the coming months, we will highlight sessions and send out more information. Until then, check out Job Center information and video coverage of past years’ meetings.
National History Center
Historian of the U.S. Senate Donald A. Ritchie will kick off the fall 2010 season of the weekly Washington History Seminar Monday, September 13, at 4 p.m. at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.
Drawing on his new book, The U.S. Congress: A Very Short Introduction, Ritchie will consider the question, “Why a Congress and Not a Parliament?” Focusing on the historical evolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives and their contrasting rules, powers, and cultures, he will explore how such a cumbersome system has managed to function rather successfully for more than 200 years.
Ritchie is a former member of the AHA Council and a past president of the Oral History Association. His other books include Press Gallery: Congress and the Washington Correspondents and Reporting From Washington: The History of the Washington Press Corps, as well as The United States Congress: A Student Companion.
The Washington History Seminar, inaugurated in January 2010, convenes each Monday during the academic year. It is co-sponsored by the National History Center and the Wilson Center. The fall line-up of presenters includes Caroline Elkins, Joan Wallach Scott, and Frédéric Bozo. For further information, visit the NHC website. Because of limited seating, reservations are always requested. To reserve a space, please contact Miriam Cunningham at 202-544-2422, ext 103, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call for Applications for the 2011 Decolonization Seminar
The National History Center is now accepting applications from early-career scholars to participate in the sixth international summer seminar on decolonization, which will be held for four weeks, from Sunday, July 10, through Saturday, August 6, 2011, in Washington, D.C. The seminar is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and takes place at the Library of Congress.
The application deadline is November 1, 2010 and due via email at the following address: email@example.com
Click here for more seminar and application details.
Keep up with the latest information on history and the profession on the AHA’s blog, AHA Today. Recent posts include:
Digital Military Newspaper Library
The University of Florida Libraries Digital Collections has established a Digital Military Newspaper Library that features contemporary and historic military newspapers from Naval and Air Force bases in Florida, Georgia, the Panama Canal, and Cuba, including the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
National Book Festival Returns to D.C.
Less than a month from now—September 25, 2010—the Library of Congress will hold its 10th annual National Book Festival on the National Mall between 3rd and 7th streets.
Technicolor Dreams for Perspectives on History
The entire September 2010 issue of Perspectives on History (and every issue thereafter) will appear in glorious four-color print on glossy text stock, a first in the 48 years of the AHA newsmagazine’s existence. This beautification is not the result of a midlife crisis for a magazine on the verge of entering its 50s. Counterintuitive though it may seem, it is a reflection of attempts to economize in a time of financial cutbacks. But this metamorphosis of the magazine is also an opportunity for us to go beyond mere cosmetic and surface transformations in its appearance.
The 90th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment
Ninety years ago, on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote, was ratified. The amendment had first been introduced in Congress over forty years earlier, in 1878. To explore and celebrate the 19th Amendment here are some images, a film, and lesson plans.
Preparing for Constitution Day
Constitution Day commemorates September 17, 1787, the day the U.S. Constitution was signed. To help educators prepare for this day next month, we’ve put together links to a number of helpful resources.
Also, see the most recent What We’re Reading (August 19, August 26, and September 2) and Grant of the Week (J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award, Jacob K. Javits Fellowships for Graduate Students in the Humanities, and The Lincoln Prize from Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History) posts.
Call for Submissions – Regions and Regionalism
The AHA invites proposals by October 1, 2010, for a new pamphlet series on Regions and Regionalisms.
Regions and Regionalisms
Regions and the concomitant phenomenon of regionalisms are increasingly receiving attention as an object of historical study. For a large number of issues and questions, regions – understood as more or less integrated arenas of historical interaction that reach beyond the nation-state – appear to be the appropriate level of historical analysis. They promise to mediate between the local and national on the one hand, and global dimensions on the other.
Prospective authors may want to consider including in their essays the challenges that teachers and researchers working in the field encounter, as well as the current state and future prospects for the field of history. Manuscripts should be up to 60 typed pages (double-spaced) or about 15,000 words, with no more than 90 endnotes.
Proposals, of about 300 to 600 words, may be e-mailed by October 1, 2010, to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Publications Department, American Historical Association, 400 A Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003-3889.
Find more information in this recent post on the AHA’s blog.
News from Washington
In addition to AHA Today, the Association also draws on the efforts of a number of coalitions that support the Association's agenda to keep track of issues in the nation’s capital that will be of concern to historians. Here are news updates from some of them.
History Organizations Fight to Save Teaching American History Grants
In July, the National Coalition for History (NCH), and ten other NCH members joined forces with over 20 educational organizations representing other K-12 academic disciplines in issuing a statement to Congress and the Administration calling for the continued robust funding of core academic subjects including history.
Department of Education Accepting Javits Fellowship Applications
The Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program provides fellowships to students to undertake study at the doctoral and master of fine arts level in selected fields of arts, humanities, and social sciences.
President Obama Signs $26.1 Billion Education-Medicaid Package Measure Expected to Prevent Teacher Layoffs, Reduce State Higher Education Cuts
Agencies Already at Work Crafting FY 2012 Budgets Congress to return to work on the FY 2011 appropriations process in September
Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL) Proposals Due September 15 Support for projects to develop and advance knowledge concerning endangered human languages
August 9, 2010 Washington Update
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Contributions to this issue of Fortnightly News came from: David Darlington, Kelly Elmore, Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, Pillarisetti Sudhir, and Robert B. Townsend
Last Updated: September 3, 2010