September 6, 2011
AHA news and updates for the history profession.
Perspectives on History
The online version of the September 2011 issue of Perspectives on History is now available to AHA members (sign in to member services to gain full access to all articles. The two articles listed below are ungated and open to the public).
From the President & Executive Director
The issue begins with AHA President Anthony Grafton’s piece,
“The Arc of Writing History,” in which he highlights the good work of early career historians who teach writing courses, but laments their disconnect to their history departments. The focus shifts from teaching to tests, in AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman’s article, “Casting the First Stone [or,Taking Pot Shots at the History NAEP].” He is discouraged by the results of the "History NAEP,” but cautions those who criticize the students and their teachers to reflect on how well they themselves would fare on this test.
Free Access to Job Ads
On September 1, 2011, the AHA opened up access to the history job advertisements posted on its web site to everyone. Until recently, the web pages where the AHA posted these ads could be accessed only by AHA members. Now nonmembers also can have full access to the ads after a simple registration process. Coming at a time when searching for history jobs has become increasingly difficult because of a shrinking job market, opening access should prove helpful to all historians.
National Archives Releases Statement on SEC
On August 18, 2011, the National Archives released a statement (see below), addressing an allegation that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had been destroying documents it wasn't authorized to destroy. Part of the AHA's mission is to advocate for the proper collection and preservation of historical documents, so we follow situations like this one closely.
National Archives SEC Statement
Washington, DC. . . In July 2010, the National Archives contacted the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding an allegation that the SEC had been destroying files pertaining to Matters Under Inquiry (MUI) for the past 17 years. Because a NARA-approved disposition schedule did not exist for these records, the SEC did not have authority to dispose of them per the Federal Records Act, 44 USC 3314 and 36 CFR 1220.18.
Read the full statement here.
The Constitution: A Cosmopolitan Examination
The Institute for Constitutional History announces its fall seminar, “The Constitution: A Cosmopolitan Examination,” at the New-York Historical Society. Professors Tom Bender and David Golove will lead the seminar.
This seminar will examine the ways in which the Constitution and constitutional law have drawn upon international ideas, incorporated international law into our domestic legal order, and responded to international legal/political issues.
National History Center News
Washington History Seminar Opens Its New Season
Journalist-historian Stephen Kinzer will kick off the 2011-2012 Washington History Seminar Monday, September 12, with a presentation entitled “Iran 1953 and the Uses of Middle Eastern History.”
A professor at Boston University, Kinzer covered more than 50 countries on four continents in over 20 years as a correspondent for the New York Times. His books include Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds (2001) and All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (2003). He will explore the long-term effects of the 1953 British-American coup against Iranian prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh and their role in the upheaval now spreading throughout the Arab World.
Co-sponsored by the National History Center and the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, the weekly Washington History Seminar provides historical perspectives on current international and national affairs. It meets every Monday during the academic year at 4 p.m. at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC. It is supported by a grant from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. Future sessions are scheduled to include Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose on how wars end, historian Rashid Khalidi on Arab nationalism, and historian Hope M. Harrison on the contested legacy of the Berlin Wall.
To be added to the seminar’s e-mail announcement list, please contact National History Center Associate Director Marian J. Barber at email@example.com.
National History Center Welcomes Applications for 2012 Decolonization Seminar
The National History Center is now accepting applications for the 2012 International Seminar on Decolonization, hosted by the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, November 1.
Now in its seventh year, the seminar brings together each summer fifteen early-career historians who study various aspects of the independence movements that led to the dissolution of the European colonial empires. Focusing on Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, participants make use of the rich archival resources of the Washington, DC area, including not only the Library of Congress and the National Archives, but more specialized collections, such as those of the World Bank, the National Institutes of Health, and the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University.
The four-week seminar also serves as a writers’ workshop for its members, who are expected to complete during their stay a draft article or chapter informed by their research. Seminar leaders for 2012 include the director, Wm. Roger Louis, of the University of Texas at Austin; Jennifer Foray of Purdue; Dane Kennedy of George Washington; Philippa Levine, also of UT-Austin; Jason Parker of Texas A&M; and Pillarisetti Sudhir, editor of the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History.
For more information on the seminar and how to apply, visit the National History Center’s website at www.nationalhistorycenter.org.
Keep up with the latest information on history and the profession on the AHA’s blog, AHA Today. Recent posts include:
Five Ways for Historians to Use Twitter
By Elisabeth Grant
What are history organizations, museums, and others who work in history doing on Twitter? They’re starting conversations, advertising jobs, sharing research, and much more. Whether you want to join the conversation, or just follow along, read on for five ways you can use Twitter. Read more.
Movie Reviews by Historians: Gods and Generals, The Aviator, and Titanic
By Elisabeth Grant
Each month since June, the National History Education Clearinghouse blog has been reposting reviews of “popular films, documentaries, miniseries, and other history-based features” from the Journal of American History. The movies reviewed include Gods and Generals, The Aviator, and Titanic. Read more.
Oral History Association Seeks New Institutional Home
The Oral History Association (OHA), a longtime affiliate of the AHA, recently announced that it is seeking a new institutional home and a new executive director.
Video: AHA Pacific Coast Branch Annual Meeting
This past August 11–13, 2011, the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association held its annual meeting on the theme of “Horizons of Change: The Unexpected, Unknown, and Unforgettable.”
What We’re Reading
The August 25, 2011 edition of What We’re Reading includes articles the East Coast earthquake's effect on historic buildings, the Footnote.com rebranding, Eric Foner’s review of American Crucible, and more. For August 18, 2011 edition, we linked to a new Teaching U.S. History blog, thoughts on the academic job market, and a TED talk on historic preservation.
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 American Institute for Conservation is offering emergency assistance (including advice following a disaster) to cultural organizations through a 24-hour assistance number.
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: From the Garden to the Trenches
“From the Garden to the Trenches: Childhood, Culture, and the First World War” is the second of three Leverhulme-supported conferences, marking the approaching centenary of the First World War. This conference will focus on childhood, culture and war from the perspectives of the Americas and the Caribbean. Suggested topics may include, in relation to the war and the Americas and the Caribbean: National and global ideas of childhood and nationhood; empire and its impact on recruitment; war in art, fiction, drama and music; the intersection of cultures of war and childhood cultures; war, empire and the colonial encounter; and lives of girls and women in relation to war.
Call for Proposals: Scientiae: Disciplines of Knowing in the Early-Modern World
Paper/panel proposals are invited for Scientiae: a new interdisciplinary conference on early-modern science, to be held in Vancouver, B.C. (Simon Fraser University), April 26th-28th, 2012. The working assumption of the conference is that that interdisciplinarity is not only an option, but a necessity, for the study of early-modern culture in its knowledge of the natural world. Period science emerged from Biblical exegesis, advanced design, and literary humanitas; as well as from natural philosophy, alchemy, craft traditions, etc. Scientiae offers a forum for scholars of the period’s art and literature, as well as intellectual history, to illuminate aspects of early-modern science in the latter’s proper strangeness.
Please feel free to forward this email on to a colleague or friend.
Last Updated: August 31, 2011