Publication Date

November 17, 2014

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities

The November issue of Perspectives on History is now available on the web (for anyone), and as an e-book and a PDF for members. Members will receive their copies in the mail soon.

We are receiving a high volume of high-quality submissions, and readers may notice that the issues are growing in size. The section devoted to the annual meeting contains the usual practical information and guides to sessions, but also features a historian’s guide to “Walking the City of Serendipity” by David S. Dunbar. Don’t miss AHA President Jan Goldstein’s description of the presidential sessions at the meeting, and check out the healthy list of digital sessions by the AHA’s director of scholarly communications and digital initiatives, Seth Denbo.

Jan Goldstein’s column this month explores the historical truths contained in Amitav Ghosh’s novels Sea of Poppies and River of Smoke. The novelist’s approach to global history describes a world where “everyone has to get by with imperfect understanding” and where “all social conventions are in flux.” Meanwhile, Executive Director James Grossman teams up with Jason Steinhauer, the program specialist for the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, to argue for “history mediators” as “a central aspect of the work we collectively do as historians.” And the AHA’s Professional Division takes a close look at the ethics of the hiring process. Job candidates and search committees alike will benefit from the division’s no-nonsense guidelines and recommendations.

This November, we knew we’d be hearing quite a bit about the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, so we assembled a diverse group of historians to offer their perspectives on the Cold War, including a look at commemorations of the Berlin Wall, the view from a historian of NORAD, challenges and opportunities faced by K–12 teachers teaching the Cold War, and a distinct approach to teaching the Cold War through James Bond and other spy novels.

There’s much more, including a new look at the data on history majors (with online interactive charts), a dispatch from the efforts to preserve WPA murals, the paperless archive, a new Mellon grant to support taking history to the halls of Congress, and our list of prizes and awards to be conferred at the annual meeting.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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