Dear AHA Member,
AHA news and updates for the history profession.
In this issue:
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Eric Foner Receives the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for History
Eric Foner, the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, and a former president of the AHA (for 2000), received the 2011 history Pulitzer Prize for his book, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, which was published in 2010 by W.W. Norton.
The book, which has already been awarded the Bancroft and Lincoln prizes, has been called “the definitive account of this crucial subject” by David Brion Davis. The Library Journal has described it “as the most sensible and sensitive reading of Lincoln’s lifetime involvement with slavery and the most insightful assessment of Lincoln’s—and indeed America’s—imperative to move toward freedom.”
American Historical Review – April 2011
Note: AHA members should be receiving their print versions soon. The online version is now available, and members should login to member services and click the link to the American Historical Review to access the full text from these articles.
In This Issue
The April 2011 issue of the American Historical Review includes an article on narcotics trafficking and territoriality in the interwar Middle East and an AHR Forum on "The Senses in History." There are also three featured reviews, followed by our usual extensive book review section. "In Back Issues" calls attention to articles and features in the AHR from 100, 75, and 50 years ago.
In "The Many Worlds of ‘Abud Yasin; or, What Narcotics Trafficking in the Interwar Middle East Can Tell Us about Territorialization," Cyrus Schayegh examines specific spaces to elucidate the multiple geographic scales—local, national, transnational, and international—in play in narcotics trafficking in the post-Ottoman Levant. From a historical standpoint, this focus helps us better understand the competing forms of territorialization pursued by different historical actors in new Mandate Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Transjordan, especially the constraints experienced by French and British Mandate officials in an increasingly treacherous colonial state of affairs after 1918. From a conceptual standpoint, it enables us to avoid unhelpfully reductive oppositions between geographic scales—such as "the global" pitted against "the local"—and also to avoid inflating the significance of any one geographic scale, such as the nation-state. Schayegh's emphasis on territorialization highlights multiple historical actors and processes that tend to be overlooked when primacy is given solely to either the nation-state or "the global."
The six articles in "The Senses in History" treat the five canonical human senses, even though they are not so easily separable, as rightly noted by one of the contributors, Mark S.R. Jenner. While the senses are now often studied individually, this forum juxtaposes current research in each of the traditional senses to put such work in greater dialogue and to bring new work in "sensory history" to the attention of historians generally. The essays themselves vary in strategy: some are more historiographical and others more empirical.
Read more about the April 2011 issue of the American Historical Review here on the blog.
Survey: AHA Online
Do you use the AHA's web site, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages? What do you think of them? Take our 5 question survey and let us know. The AHA is rethinking all aspects of it online publishing program, so we we're interested in which parts of our online presence you use, what you value the most, and how you think we could improve it. This is your opportunity to weigh in and let us know how you and where you think we should develop our online presence in the future.
AHA Committee Appointments 2012
Nominations to be submitted through e-mail by June 1, 2011
AHA members are invited to submit by June 1, 2011 (through e-mail only) names, together with c.v.’s, for consideration by the Association’s Committee on Committees as it draws up its list of nominees for service on the various appointive committees—standing, ad hoc, joint, and the book prize committees. In fall 2011 the Committee on Committees will draw up its list of nominations and submit it to Council for approval.
Nominations should clearly indicate for which committee or committees the member is being nominated. A list of the committees is in the March 2011 issue of Perspectives on History.
Self-nominations are also encouraged. These also should be accompanied by the nominee’s c.v. and should indicate the committee or committees in which the member would like to serve.
Please note that only AHA members may serve in these appointive positions.
Nominations, along with a c.v. (of not more than five pages) of the nominee, should be sent by e-mail only to Noralee Frankel at email@example.com with “Committee on Committees” in the subject line. The nomination and c.v. should be e-mailed no later than June 1, 2011.
Historians and The Conspirator
AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman saw The Conspirator a second time (his first viewing was at the AHA’s 125th Annual Meeting) and considers how it can be a vehicle for teaching and for public conversation on the Civil War, in his recent article on the blog:
Is it possible to produce a credible film about the Civil War without mentioning slavery? I’ve now seen The Conspirator (opening this week across the country) twice, and I’m still not sure. This very question provides one of the many elements that make this film such a superb vehicle for teaching and for public conversation on the Civil War. And remember: for the next five years there will be a lot of public conversation about the Civil War.
Read the rest of this article here.
100 Films Reviewed by Historians
The idea that movies can be a teaching tool has been the theme of the “Masters at the Movies” article series in Perspectives on History since it began in 2006. Over the past 5 years, 17 historians have reviewed or noted over 100 films, applauding some while questioning the accuracy of others. Recently on the AHA blog, we put together a list of the movies they’ve mentioned, and the articles they’ve written. We include a part of the list below; see the complete list on the blog.
As noted before, you can find the remainder of the list here on the blog.
Prizes from the American Historical Association
The AHA invites submissions for its 2011 awards and prizes, including twenty book prizes, the Herbert Feis Award for distinguished contributions to public history, the Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History, the Raymond J. Cunningham Prize for the best article by an undergraduate, and the John E. O'Connor Award for outstanding interpretations of history though the medium of film or video. The submission deadline is May 16, 2011. There are no application forms. Entrants must submit one copy of their work to each committee member (or, in the case of the Rosenzweig Prize, by submitting their application to firstname.lastname@example.org). Further information and submission guidelines are available online.
Summer Reception for Visiting Researchers
The AHA invites historians doing research in D.C. this summer to a reception at AHA headquarters (400 A St. SE) on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. This gathering is an opportunity to mingle with colleagues who are doing research through local institutions and facilities in the Washington, D.C. area.
Listing in the Directory
The American Historical Association is preparing to publish the annual membership directory as part of the Directory of History Departments, Historical Organizations, and Historians. We are asking every member to review their current information for their annual listing, as well as their preferences about whether they want their name to appear in the annual membership directory. You may login anytime to Member Services to make changes.
Departments and Organizations
Institutions that have previously listed in the Directory can make changes to their entry online. Your institution’s login information has been sent by e-mail to department contacts. If your department or organization did not receive a message from us, please write to Liz Townsend
for assistance. To add your department or organization to the Directory, you can find details here.
Please log in and review your Directory listing by May 1, 2011, and let us know if your institution will or will not be listing this year. Updates to Directory entries before August 1, 2011, will be included in the print edition, and changes made throughout the year will appear immediately in the AHA Directory Online.
Free Access to the Directory in April 2011
As a reminder: during the month of April we are offering free, unrestricted access to the online version of the Directory of History Departments, Organizations, and Historians.
To try the online Directory, you will just need to log in here as a Guest at (user: Guest, password: April2011). At the end of April, only members and institutions who have subscribed to the Directory (through the Member or Departmental Services Programs) or purchased access through the AHAs Publication Sales Shop will have full access. A limited version of the Directory, allowing lookup of basic contact information for listing institutions, will remain available.
Check your Info
Log on and see how your information is listed at your department, or compare history programs, or find a long-lost colleague. The online version of the Directory is intended to make it more useful for historians, administrators, and anyone interested in the history profession. Like the annual print version, the online Directory has information on over 800 history departments and historical institutions, and nearly 20,000 historians and history specialists. But with the online version you will also be able to identify specialists in particular subjects and from particular schools; develop benchmark groups of departments with similar degrees, tuition levels, and numbers of students and faculty; and you can also look up the holdings and programs of more than 100 historical organizations. Also, institutions are now updating their listings for the 2011–12 print Directory, so the online version should have the most up-to-date information.
Please give the online Directory a trial run and e-mail us at email@example.com to let us know what you think about it. Any suggestion you may have for its future development is appreciated. We look forward to hearing from you.
Keep up with the latest information on history and the profession on the AHA’s blog, AHA Today. Recent posts include:
Recollection: Free Tool for Digital Collections
Recollection, a free software platform sponsored by the Library of Congress, allows users to upload their data and easily create interactive maps, charts, timelines, tag clouds and more.
History Programs Face Major Cuts in FY ’11 Federal Budget
Lee White, executive director of the National Coalition for History, reports on the House Appropriations Committee's list of proposed cuts in federal programs for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2011.
150 Years Ago Shots Fired at Fort Sumter, Civil War Begins
On April 12, 1861, 150 years ago, the first shots of the Civil War rang out at Fort Sumter in South Carolina.
National Council on Public History Meeting: Public Plenary with Tony Horwitz
AHA Public History Coordinator Debbie Ann Doyle reported from the National Council on Public History annual meeting in Pensacola this past April 6–9, 2011. In this post she discussed author Tony Horwitz’s thoughts on the relationship between academic and popular history.
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.
White House & Congress Reach Deal on FY 2011 Funding Significant cuts made to critical humanities programs
- April 18, 2011 Washington Update
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Contributions to this issue of Fortnightly News came from: David Darlington, Kelly Elmore, Noralee Frankel, Elisabeth Grant, James Grossman, Vernon Horn, Pillarisetti Sudhir, and Robert B. Townsend
Last Updated: April 22, 2011