Publication Date

September 10, 2015

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities

The September issue of Perspectives on History has arrived in the mailboxes of AHA members and is also available on our website. We’re excited to present a wide-ranging set of articles addressing everything from higher education policy to the restoration of Roman silver to the Association’s advocacy efforts this past summer.

COVER-V1-R01 (1)The first thing you’ll likely notice is our Forum: four penetrating essays on dual enrollment (DE) policies. Touted by the likes of President Obama, DE has the potential to help high school students save money on college tuition and give them a leg up on earning college credits that they can combine with their high school graduation requirements. But detractors say many high school DE courses have nowhere near the rigor of introductory college-level surveys. At a time when general education requirements in some places are shifting away from requiring history, a high school DE history course may be the last one a student takes. Committed to presenting the issue from as many angles as possible, Perspectives invites readers to discuss the articles on our website.

In light of this year’s quickly evolving public discussions on the history of slavery in the United States and how it should be integrated into US history and contemporary politics, Perspectives also includes a Viewpoints article, “Black Histories Matter,” by MIT’s Erica Caple James and Malick W. Ghachem. James and Ghachem begin with an idiosyncratic iteration of history in the public sphere: a Connecticut replica of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello—minus slave quarters. The replica brings up issues of collective memory and public tellings of history. When “great man” histories displace histories that consider race, what are historians to do?

Our revamped News section opens with senior editor Shatha Almutawa’s consideration of a smash-hit Arabic-language soap opera, the lush scenes of which take place in Cairo’s Jewish Quarter in the 1940s. Scholars of the Middle East weigh in to discuss the show’s historical accuracy and the politics of representing middle-class Egyptian Jews in the 2010s. Also in News, our own Stephanie Kingsley delves into an ambiguity at the center of one of the most revered documents of the United States—the Declaration of Independence. One single piece of punctuation, argue some scholars, could change the meaning of the document entirely.

Finally, the AHA is in full swing in preparation for the 2016 annual meeting in Atlanta. Our September Annual Meeting section includes information you need to know—hotel rates and registration instructions, for example—but we also sneak-preview sessions and get meeting coordinator Debbie Doyle to come clean about bones of contention regarding the meeting, such as the perennial complaint that it takes place at the most expensive time of the year for travel. (Truth: it’s the cheapest.) More will follow in October, so stay tuned.

As always, Perspectives values the participation of the wider historical community in what we cover. We hope that many historians will leave comments on our website, in our Member Forum on AHA Communities, or in a letter to the editor.

We hope to hear from you soon!

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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