April 2014

April 2014

Volume 52, Number 4
Contents of the online edition

Editor: Allen Mikaelian
Associate Editor: Shatha Almutawa

From the President

Precocious Professionalism
By Jan Goldstein

From the Executive Director 

Changes at the National History Center
By James Grossman


Creating and Preserving Cultural Heritage in the Arab World
By Shatha Almutawa

Recording Divergent Histories of Homelessness
By Shatha Almutawa


The Congressional History Caucus
By Lee White

AHA Activities

What’s in the April AHR?
By Robert A. Schneider

AHA Committee Appointments 2015

2014 AHA Nominations

Digital Dispatches

Tweeps Discover the Past
By Vanessa Varin

National History Center

Farewell to the NHC
By Marian J. Barber

Affiliated Societies

Letters to the Editor

On "Transforming the Preparation of Historians"
An Invitation to Secondary School Teachers

In Memoriam

James Lockhart


It’s Complicated
By Allen Mikaelian


Tuning History in Utah: Winning Friends and Influencing Policy Makers
By Daniel J. McInerney


A National Treasure at the Brink: Survey Highlights Historians' Love of, and Frustration with, the National Archives
By Richard Immerman, Kenneth Osgood, and Carly Goodman

The TurnPerspectives on Television

The Revolution Takes a Turn: AMC's Drama About Washington's Spies Aims for Moral Complexity
By Carolyn Eastman


My New Attendance Policy
By Jonathan Ablard

Teaching with a Tea Set: Using Objects in the US History Survey
By Abby Chandler

On the Cover

April Cover ImageWaiting for the Right Moment," by Ammar Abd Rabbo, was taken in 2007 in Hama, Syria.

In the Byzantine era, enormous water wheels were built on the Orontes River as part of an aqueduct system. In the medieval period, 30 norias were documented; today 17 norias that were built in the Ayyubid period remain in the city of Hama.

Photographer Abd Rabbo writes, "The kids of Hama like to stand on the wheel, get 'lifted' with it, and then jump in the waters of the river Orontes. The game is 'free' and seems like great fun, especially in the hot summers of Hama." Abd Rabbo imagines the youngsters of Hama diving from the norias for generations and generations.

Abd Rabbo stresses that historic artifacts are part of everyday life in Syria. "Families would picnic on the grass of Aleppo Citadel, kids would run in ancient mosques," he wrote in an e-mail. So when fighting began, endangering monuments and manuscripts, Syrians mobilized to protect them by hiding what they could, building walls around the shrine of Zachariah, and educating the revolutionaries about the importance of the archaeological sites. As Shatha Almutawa writes in this issue, the Arab world boasts many cultural artifacts and sites from periods such as prehistory, the Bronze Age, and the Ottoman Empire. Many of these irreplaceable treasures are threatened by revolutions and civil war, but Arabs in and out of the region are working with others on protecting and preserving them.

Image courtesy of Ammar Abd Rabbo, all rights reserved. Abd Rabbo's photography can be found at ammar.photoshelter.com.