August 15, 2011
AHA news and updates for the history profession.
Getting Free of the IRB: A Call to Action for Oral History
By Robert B. Townsend
The federal government is offering a significant opportunity to weigh in on the intrusion of institutional review boards (IRBs) into history work, as part of a major re-evaluation of the rules governing human-subject research. Any historian who uses oral history methods, or supervises students who conduct interviews, should speak out and demand change. Read more.
Members, Send Us Your News
AHA members are invited to submit news about themselves, including notices of recent hires, promotions, publications, fellowships or awards received, and other updates of a professional nature to Elisabeth Grant, web editor at the AHA. Read more.
Changing Rules for Three AHA Prizes
By Robert B. Townsend
Starting with next year's competition, some rules for the AHA's John A. Dunning Prize, Herbert Feis Award, and Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History are changing.
You can read about the changes to the Dunning Prize, Feis Award and Rosenzweig Prize in this blog post.
National History Center: Sixth Decolonization Seminar
The National History Center opened its sixth annual International Seminar on Decolonization July 10 in Washington, DC with a diverse group of scholars working on topics ranging from Nationalist Saigon in war and division, to Indian radicals in Moscow between the world wars, to European marriages in decolonizing Indonesia, to the purge of foreign influences from Shanghai.
Funded by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and hosted by the John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, the seminar brings together 15 historians near the beginning of their careers to discuss the breakup of empires and pursue research at Washington-area archives including the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, and the National Institutes of Health.
The seminar also hosts two public lectures on decolonization each year. John Darwin of Nuffield College, Oxford University, who joined the seminar as a faculty member this summer, addressed the topic “Decolonization – A History of Failure?” on July 13. Eric Van Young of the University of California, San Diego focused on his work on Mexican statesman and intellectual Lucas Alamán in a talk entitled “‘In Mexico There Are No Mexicans’: Decolonization and Modernization, 1750-1850” on July 20.
Jennifer L. Foray, a member of the 2008 seminar and a 2010-2011 fellow of the Kluge Center, discussed decolonization themes in “Visions of Empire in the Nazi-Occupied Netherlands,” a public lecture at the Library July 26.
Keep up with the latest information on history and the profession on the AHA’s blog, AHA Today. Recent posts include:
Five History Books Recommended by You
By Elisabeth Grant
A week ago we asked: “What book or author has had the longest running impact on you?” You responded with over 50 book and author suggestions. This blog post highlights just five of your book picks. Read more.
Are Citations the Best Measure of History Journals?
By Robert Townsend
The American Historical Review was the most cited journal in history in 2010, garnering one in every eight citations, according to a Journal Citation Reports analysis of references to 1,000 articles from 43 history journals. But does “most cited” equal “best journal”? The underlying data highlights some of the problems inherent in using this sort of information as a measure of history scholarship. Read more.
Help Transcribe Historic Menus
By Elisabeth Grant
The New York Public Library needs your help in transcribing its collection of over 10,000 digitized historic restaurant menus at its “What’s on the Menu” site. These menus are morsels of history that date back to the 1840s, but in their current state are difficult to search for specific information, like dishes, prices, and other details. Read more.
An Aptly Named Book: American History Now
By Chris Hale
Published by Temple University Press for the American Historical Association, American History Now is a thought-provoking follow up to The New American History, originally published in 1990 (with a revised edition in 1997). Like its predecessor, American History Now thoroughly examines the current states of American historiography. Read more.
What We’re Reading
The August 11, 2011 edition of What We’re Reading includes articles on the Rosa Parks Archive for sale, analyzing Google Books, new articles on possible IRB changes, and more. For August 4, 2011 edition, we linked to news on history and Institutional Review Boards, Nixon’s secret testimony, 10 historical recordings, and the question: “does it matter if students fail history?”
Grant of the Week
Our most recent Grant of the Week posts include International Dissertation Research Fellowships and the Journal of Women’s History Graduate Student Article Prize.
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.
National Coalition for History
In recent news, the federal government is contemplating changes to the regulations overseeing research on human subjects. Also, a judge has ordered the release of Nixon's testimony before a Watergate grand jury, and Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero recently announced two appointments to the new National Archives Executive Leadership Team.
National Humanities Alliance
The National Humanities Alliance reports that the proposed amendment to cut NEH is still pending in the House, 105 business leaders have sent a letter to Appropriators regarding Title VI/Fulbright-Hays Funding, and the Institute of International Education has announced new fellowships for International Study with Mellon Foundation Funding.
The following items may be of interest to members. See the AHA Calendar for more upcoming meetings and seminars, research, awards and fellowships, internet resources, and upcoming exhibitions. Have a call for proposals, event, or award listing you’d like to submit? Simply send it in through our online form.
Call for Papers: Making Educational Oral Histories in the 21st Century
The Oral History Forum is seeking submissions to a special issue, entitled "Making Educational Oral Histories in the 21st Century." Submissions might concern, but are not limited to, the following topics: case studies where Oral History strategies are used with students at various levels; challenges of Oral History for scholars and educators; advantages of using Oral History for students of History at all levels; recommended software for generating Oral History within educational contexts; combining conventional educational history with Oral History sources; institutional responsibilities and ethical dilemmas in utilizing Oral History with students.
Conference: 35th annual Conference of the Appalachian Studies Association
The Center for Northern Appalachian Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania invites participation in the 35th annual Conference of the Appalachian Studies Association, at IUP in Indiana, Pennsylvania (about 55 miles northeast of Pittsburgh). We especially encourage proposals on any aspect of northern Appalachia, but also proposals about the Appalachian diaspora and about Appalachian influences and connections in other parts of the country.
Prize: Laura Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies
The $10,000 Laura Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies is now accepting nominations for the history and social sciences cycle for books published in 2010 and 2011. The prize is administered by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Nominations may be made by authors or publishers. Additional details about the prize and the entry form are available at the website.
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Last Updated: August 12, 2011