Politics, Fashion, Food, and History: The Best of 2016 on AHA Today
Since launching in 2006, AHA Today has provided a platform for historians to showcase their research, professional activities, and historical expertise. The posts below—some of our most popular in 2016—demonstrate the diverse interests of historians and the diversity among historians. From fun annual meeting fashion forecasts to the serious business of Supreme Court nominations, AHA Today in 2016 had it all!
What to Do with a BA in History: Posts in this series consistently rake in the highest number of views on AHA Today. No surprise then that the most popular post in 2016 was Jacob Anbinder’s How a Major in History Gives You the Intangible Edge. Close behind was Changing Course: The Flexibility of a History Degree by UCLA graduate counselor Kamarin Takahara and nurse David Glenn’s account of how he uses his history degree in scrubs.
- Election Cake: A Forgotten Democratic Tradition: Readers bit into Maya Surdam’s history of election cake: “a special food reserved for a special occasion, when Americans treated Election Day as a revered holiday.” (For another look on the history of food traditions, see Amanda Perry’s The Aftertaste of Empire: Food and Decolonization.)
- The Natty Professor: AHA Annual Meeting Fashion Forecast: Vanessa Holden’s affectionate take on historians’ fashion sensibilities at the annual meeting had readers rethinking what it means to look like a history professor.
- The Supreme Court Nomination and the Politics of Checks and Balances: Published in February 2016, Marc Stein’s analysis on the politics of nominating justices for the Supreme Court still remains relevant.
- On Being a Historian Today: The Importance of Digital Literacy: What does it mean to be digitally literate? And how can graduate students acquire digital literacy? Seth Denbo, AHA’s director of scholarly communication, explains the importance of digital literacy. (Bonus post: Digital literacy also impacts how we do research. Googling History: The AHR Explores Implications of Using Digital Sources for Historians draws attention to Lara Putnam’s essay in the American Historical Review on how digital sources and digital discovery are changing the way historians do research.)
- The Rise of Dalit Studies and Its Impact on the Study of India: Historian Ramnarayan Rawat spoke to AHA Today about Dalit studies, what it is, and why scholars outside of South Asian history should pay attention to it.
- AHA Statement in Aftermath of 2016 Election: The 2016 election was a historic one. In this statement, the AHA reaffirmed “its commitment to mutual respect, reasoned discourse, and appreciation for humanity in its full variety.”
- Delivering History through a Smartphone App: An Interview with Clio’s David Trowbridge: Clio’s creator talked to us about developing the popular history app, whether it counted toward tenure, and using the app in the classroom. (Trowbridge wasn’t the only one to speak to us about public humanities and digital history. In Mapping Indigenous LA: Uncovering Native Geographies through Digital Storytelling, UCLA professor Mishuana Goeman discussed creating successful collaborations with community members, following indigenous protocol, and the meaning of indigeneity in Los Angeles.)
- Teaching with #DigHist: Introducing a New Series on Using Digital Projects in the Classroom: John Rosinbum’s series on using digital history is relevant to both K–12 and college teachers. Each month Rosinbum reviews a digital history project and discusses how he uses it in the classroom. For the entire series, visit https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/teaching-resources/teaching-with-dighist.
- Who’s Afraid of Being a Generalist? On Being a Historian Outside the Academy: Rachel Feinmark, manager of strategic communications at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City, explains how she uses her history PhD outside the academy. (Also see this post by Annie Johnson, another history PhD who found a professional home in the library.)
This post first appeared on AHA Today.
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