Dear AHA Member,
AHA news and updates for the history profession.
In this issue:
- Survey: AHA Online
- AHA Committee Appointments 2012
- Prizes from the AHA
- Summer Reception for Visiting Researchers
- Update Your Directory Entry
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Perspectives on History – May 2011
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From the President & Executive Director
In a joint article this month, AHA President Anthony Grafton and AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman discuss the role of historians in public life in light of the recent William Cronon affair. Cronon’s situation demonstrated some of the hazards of public engagement, but also demonstrated that historians who participate in public debate can expect their communities to rally around them.
The news this month includes Robert B. Townsend’s report on history faculty salaries falling behind inflation and academia, the announcement of Eric Foner’s Pulitzer Prize in History, and Lee White’s coverage of the recent decision to not allow a casino near Gettysburg, as well as a look at the fiscal 2011 budget’s impact on the history and archives communities. And the “In Memoriam” column marks the passing of John Philip Dawson, Nora Faires, Elisabeth Glaser, Paul Kenneth Longmore, Donald George Quataert, and Harry Rosenberg.
Political History Today
The bulk of the May issue is comprised of a series of 18 articles on political history today, considering political history through a variety of different lenses.
Topics and Changes
Julian E. Zelizer examines the interdisiplinarity of political history, Steven Pincus and William Novak look at the social-cultural turn, Karen Offen links in feminism, Kellie Carter Jackson takes on violence, David Paull Nickles notes the diplomatic history and political science wars, Jason Parker takes a look at the intersections of the domestic and the international dimensions in U.S. foreign policy, Christopher R.W. Dietrich tackles domestic poltics, and Darren Dochuk examines the sacred in political history.
Gretchen Adams assesses how the digital revolution changed the way political history is taught, E. Thomas Ewing details some digital resources that can be used to teach U.S. Policy in the Middle East, and Rosemarie Zagarri highlights the New Nation Votes database, which is now coming online.
Other resources, beyond just the digital, are offered as well, including assessments of materials for diplomatic history from Carl Ashley, political resources from Donald A. Ritchie, and images from Rachel Burstein.
Historians' Thoughts on the Federal Budget
By Jim Grossman, executive director of the AHA
The New York Times for Sunday, April 24, 2011, carries several stories of interest to historians. We draw particular attention to the editorial pages, where two of our colleagues have entered the conversation on the federal budget.
Jill Lepore and Richard White draw on their historical research to offer perspectives on current debates. One criticizes proposed cuts to education and family planning. The other argues against subsidies for high-speed rail. As the year goes on, we hope to see more historians follow their example, and that of William Cronon, and enter the public square.
For more on the federal budget, see Lee White’s report on history programs facing cuts from earlier this month at the National Coalition for History web site.
A Historian's Historian
Note: This article is an appreciation of Drew Faust on the occasion of her Jefferson Lecture (which took place last Monday, May 2, 2011). “A Historian’s Historian” by David W. Blight was first published in the May-June 2011 issue of Humanities magazine, which is published by the National Endowment for the Humanities and can be found at http://www.neh.gov/.
“War is terrible and yet we love it,” wrote Drew Gilpin Faust in 2004. “War is, by its very definition, a story. War imposes an orderly narrative on what without its definition of purpose and structure would be simply violence. We as writers create that story; we remember that story….We love war because of these stories. But we should ask ourselves how in the construction of war stories we may be helping to construct war itself.” With such probing insights, Faust has made a permanent impact on the writing of American history.
Faust is widely known today as an important American first—the first woman president of Harvard University. For this distinction, her remarkable career should be recognized and studied as a story of ambitious and graceful achievement. Since her appointment as Harvard’s 28th leader in its 375-year history, she has established a reputation as a skilled manager of people. Universities, and especially the humanities, are vital to the very survival of our civilization. President Faust represents that essential truth as a model, but the trajectory by which she became Professor Faust tells us even more about her as a person and a scholar.
Read the rest of this article on the AHA’s 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 quick 5 question survey and let us know. The AHA is rethinking all aspects of its online publishing program, so 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with “Committee on Committees” in the subject line. The nomination and c.v. should be e-mailed no later than June 1, 2011.
Prizes from the American Historical Association
The AHA invites submissions for its 2011 awards and prizes, including 20 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 email@example.com). 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.
Update Your Directory Entry
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, by June 15, 2011. 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 15, 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.
Keep up with the latest information on history and the profession on the AHA’s blog, AHA Today. Recent posts include:
Hungry for History: Articles and Exhibits on the History of Food
Take a quick look at an upcoming exhibit from the National Archives and links to a few other history of food resources.
James Percoco Inducted into National Teachers Hall of Fame
James A. Percoco, AHA award recipient and U.S. history teacher at West Springfield High School in Virginia, has been inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame.
History and Fiction: Authors’ Thoughts from the AHA’s 125th Annual Meeting
Revisit video from session 156, “History and Fiction: Creative Intersections,” from the AHA’s 125th Annual Meeting in Boston, which took place earlier this year and hear some authors respond to questions like “How important is historical accuracy to you in writing historical fiction?”
Also, see the most recent What We’re Reading (April 28 and May 5) and Grant of the Week (NEH Preservation and Access Research and Development Grants and Prizes from the AHA) posts.
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.
Council on Undergraduate Research Holds Humanities Event on the Hill Humanities Alliance co-hosts program featuring undergraduate scholars
Coalition for International Education Responds to Reports of Devastating Cuts to International Ed Programs Organizations Communicate Concerns to Secretary of Education
- May 2, 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: May 6, 2011