What We’re Reading: March 18, 2010 Edition
Congratulations to former AHA president Natalie Zemon Davis for winning the $785,000 Holberg International Memorial Prize for 2010. This prize recognizes “outstanding scholarly work in the academic fields of the arts and humanities, social sciences, law and theology.” Meanwhile, we also note the sad news of the loss of Richard Stites, historian of Russian culture. We bring you two articles on politics and history: a new version of American history and the Texas Board of Education’s questionable textbook revisions. On the topic of advice for the history profession read some thoughts on different approaches to tenure and how to write an article this summer. We also have two articles on American history and slavery, looking at a forgotten attempted slave escape and a collection of donated Harriet Tubman objects. Check out a number of roundups and archives online, covering federal videos, C-Span, collections of private letters, and a patent medicine trade card collection. Finally, catch up on thoughts on Cuba-U.S. relations, a profile of an FBI historian, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, links on the history of food (that may or may not make you hungry), and more.
- Holberg International Memorial Prize 2010: Natalie Zemon Davis
Former AHA President Natalie Zemon Davis (see her 1987 presidential address) has won the Holberg Prize “for outstanding scholarly work in the academic fields of the arts and humanities, social sciences, law and theology.”
- Richard Stites, Historian of Russian Culture, Dies at 78
Richard Stites, AHA member and historian of Russian culture, passed away Sunday, March 7th while doing research in Helsinki.
- Politics and History
Dick Armey, notional leader of the “tea party” movement, serves up his version of early American history at the National Press Club. And not to be outdone, Texas conservatives have pushed through a whole raft of curriculum changes aimed at a thorough going rewriting of history text books.
- Texas Messes with History
Even the scientists are taking notice to Texas reworking history. Scientific American reports on the Texas Board of Education revising its history standards and deciding to leave Thomas Jefferson out of textbooks.
History Profession Advice
- Different Paths to Full Professor
Insider Higher Ed reports on one professor’s take on a different approach to awarding tenure.
- How to write an article this summer
In the same vein as our Perspectives on History “The Art of History” series (“Teaching Scholarship,” “How Writing Leads to Thinking,” and “Crafting Histories”), Mary L. Dudziak at the Legal History Blog offers some insight on how to write an article over the summer. Hat tip.
American History and Slavery
- Pearl Coalition wants to boost awareness of escape attempt
Washington, D.C. saw one of the biggest attempted slave escapes in American history in April 1848. The Pearl Coalition seeks to “foster a modern cultural understanding of slaves, slavery, and escapes from slavery.” Watch a video from the Washington Post detailing the coalition and sharing interviews with the board members.
- Harriet Tubman Artifacts
“The National Museum of African American History and Culture received 39 objects, including a hymnal, that once belonged to Harriet Tubman. Collector and author Charles L. Blockson, an expert on the Underground Railroad, donated the items to the museum.”
Roundups and Collections
- Long overdue round-up from around the Web
The ArchivesNext blog recently put up a roundup post featuring a number of very interesting links. Especially notable ones include: the New York Times article “Duplicating Federal Videos for an Online Archive,” an interesting look at “The 70’s Photos That Made Us Want to Save the Earth,” and the interactive site Jewish Women on the Map.
- C-Span Puts Full Archives on the Web
More than 160,000 hours of video are now available, including "Book TV". Video currently goes back to 1987, and a little more dating back to C-Span’s establishment in 1979 is coming soon.
- “I am almost coming to the conclusion that all histories are bad"
Randall Stephens at The Historical Society blog takes a look a number of online “collections of private letters.”
- Patent Medicine Trade Card Collection
Jonathan Rees at the More or Less Bunk blog links to a fascinating collection of Patent Medicine ads collected and presented online by UCLA. He teases that he’s going to spend his weekends finding links for our What We’re Reading posts, and we wholeheartedly support that! Please keep posting your interesting finds.
Assorted Articles and Sites
- Travel to Cuba
Stan Katz at the Chronicle’s Brainstorm blog advocates for enhanced openness between the United States and Cuba.
- Exploring the FBI’s role in American history
The Washington Post profiles FBI historian John Fox for its "Federal Player of the Week" column.
- The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail
The National Trust for Historic Preservation names Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, “The Crooked Road,” a distinctive destination for 2010.
- How business can learn from great leaders in history
What better way to move strongly into the future than to look carefully at the past? Jonathan Gifford from The Guardian lays out five lessons from five notable historical figures: Horatio Nelson, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, and Zhou Enlai.
- Statistical Atlas from the ninth Census in 1870
The FlowingData blog takes a look at the 1870 Statistical Atlas and is awed by the detail in the hand drawn illustrations and graphs.
- Dinosaur App from the American Museum of Natural History
Those with iPhones can now download a free dinosaur app from the American Museum of Natural History and explore hundreds of images of reconstructed dinosaurs, bones, dig sites, drawings, fossils, animals, research and people with corresponding informational snippets.
- London restaurant serves WWII rationing cuisine
The Imperial War Museum’s café, Kitchen Front, serves cuisine from the 1940s, when war rationing was in full effect.
- The Real American Pie
The Chicago Reader presents a very detailed history of the mince pie.
Contributors: Kelly Elmore, Noralee Frankel, Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, Arnita Jones, and Jessica Pritchard
This post first appeared on AHA Today.
Please read our commenting and letters policy before submitting.