Publication Date

January 1, 2012

Perspectives Section


Editor's Note: The purpose of this column, which is published in Perspectives on History as space permits, is to recognize and honor the accomplishments of AHA members. Submissions are welcome; entries will be published in alphabetical order. To submit an entry, e-mail or write toElisabeth Grant, Web Editor, AHA, 400 A Street SE, Washington, DC 20003-3889.

  • Gordon Morris Bakken(California State Univ., Fullerton) recently published two essay collections that he edited:Invitation to an Execution: The Death Penalty in United States History(Univ. of New Mexico Press, 2010) andThe World of the American West(Routledge, 2010). InInvitation to an Execution, Bakken gathered essays from historians, political scientists, and lawyers to explore the evolution of American cultural attitudes about crime and capital punishment. The World of the American Westis a collection of essays by 20 scholars who use new research to discuss wide-ranging issues pertinent to the West from fresh perspectives. A paperback edition of Bakken's book, Mining Law of 1872(Univ. of New Mexico Press, 2008), was published in 2011.
  • Thomas ("Tim") Borstelmann(Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln) has just published The 1970s: A New Global History from Civil Rights to Inequality(Princeton Univ. Press). The book looks at a decade during which the cultural left and economic right came to the fore in American society and the world at large. While many have seen the 1970s as simply a period of failures epitomized by Watergate, inflation, the oil crisis, global unrest, and disillusionment with military efforts in Vietnam, Borstelmann's book uses a new framework for understanding the period and its legacy. He demonstrates how the 1970s increased social inclusiveness and, at the same time, encouraged commitments to the free market and wariness of government.
  • Trudy Huskamp Peterson, founding executive director of the Open Society Archives, and director of archives and records management for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, was conferred the second International Impact Award by the University of Iowa's international programs division. The award was instituted in 2010 to honor "exceptional individuals in any field who have made sustained and deep contributions internationally or in the United States to promote global understanding." The award was presented by Sally Mason, the president of the University of Iowa, at a WorldCanvass program at the university on November 11, 2011. Peterson is a member of the editorial advisory board of Perspectives on History, and a former member of the AHA's Council. She has served as acting Archivist of the United States.
  • Steven Volk. Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones, courtesy Oberlin College.Steven S. Volkhas been named Outstanding Baccalaureate Colleges Professor of the Year for 2011 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Volk, professor of history at Oberlin College, and the chair of the Latin American Studies committee there, is also the founding director of the Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence at the college. The judges for the 2011 competition recognized Volk as an "extraordinarily dedicated undergraduate teacher, who is skilled in engaging students with history . . . ." The judges also remarked on the innovative ways in which Volk used technology to both interest students and to free up more time for classroom discussions. Volk has previously received the AHA's Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award and numerous other awards for his teaching and service. He told Amanda Nagy, who wrote about the award for the Oberlin College Web news, that three basic tenets shaped his philosophy on teaching: "First, he believes that in the classroom, the person who does the work is the person who is doing the learning. Second, teaching and learning both require patience. And third, 'teach every young person as if they're your own child'." An article by Volk—on mentoring—appears in this issue.

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