What We’re Reading: May 27, 2010 Edition
Last week, former president of the AHA Jonathan Spence gave the 39th Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities. We start off this week with two related links on what he said. Then, John Fea live blogs the Texas Social Studies hearings, the National Archives uses Facebook to locate items and seeks comments for the National Declassification Center, and Mark Twain’s memoirs go public. Looking to digital history, Lincoln Mullen considers digital-minded humanists, Dan Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt write a book in one week, and ProfHacker looks at WordPress for building web sites. Also read about how not to procrastinate, the ancestry of corn, and a mass murder in 1832. We also take a look at a number of objects this week: maps, a money order, and African American garments. Finally, just for fun, learn the history of men in tights and the ATM.
2010 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities
On Thursday, May 20, Jonathan Spence, former president of the AHA (2004) and Professor of History emeritus from Yale, gave the 2010 National Endowment for the Humanities’ Jefferson Lecture.
- When Minds Met: China and the West in the Seventeenth Century
Read the full text of the 39th Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities online.
- History, Not Politics
Serena Golden at Inside Higher Ed sums and reflects on the 39th Jefferson Lecture.
- Live Blogging of Texas Social Studies Hearings
John Fea highlights some comments from the recent meetings of the Texas State Board of Education.
- National Archives Launches Archival Recovery Team Facebook page
From a recent NARA press release: “The National Archives Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has launched an Archival Recovery Team Facebook page. Each month the Archival Recovery Team Facebook page will feature an item (or related group of items) that is missing from the collection of the National Archives.”
- National Declassification Center
Also from the National Archives, the National Declassification Center is seeking comments on its just released its prioritization plan to "serve as a roadmap for the NDC to declassify and process for release Federal records and Presidential materials in the custody of the National Archives."
- Century-long wait for Mark Twain’s autobiography is over
100 years after his death, Mark Twain’s memoirs are being made public.
- Digital Humanities Is a Spectrum; or, We’re All Digital Humanists Now
Lincoln Mullen (a doctoral student at Brandeis) surveys the continuum of practices that connect "traditional" scholars working with tools like MS Word and JSTOR to the most digital-minded humanists, and makes a positive case for bringing the two sides together.
- One Week, One Book: Hacking the Academy
Dan Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt are writing a book, with your help, in one week (May 21-28).
- Hacking an Alternative Department Site with WordPress
The always insightful ProfHacker column over at the Chronicle describes the revitalization of Mary Washington University’s Department of History and American Studies web site using social media software.
- Procrastination — II
At Inside Higher Ed, Peg Boyle Single bestows some more “practical interventions that you’ll want to try if you struggle with procrastination.”
- Tracking the Ancestry of Corn Back 9,000 Years
Scientists have recently discovered the origin of corn and the early cultivation of it some 9,000 years ago through an unlikely ancestor: teosinte, a Mexican grass.
- Fates Of Irish Workers Sealed In Mass Grave
In the summer 1832, 57 Irishmen working on a railroad line outside of Philadelphia dropped dead of cholera; however, historians have recently uncovered the truth: a mass murder. Listen to the story from NPR’s All Things Considered.
- Ten of the greatest: Maps that changed the world
From the British Library’s Magnificent Maps exhibition (which we noted on Monday), a look at ten maps that changed the world.
- Object of the Month: Money Order from USS Kanawha (AO-1)
The National Postal Museum selects an object each month to display and discuss on its web site. This month’s object is a money order from a sunken ship.
- Stitches of History
Flip through a Washington Post photo gallery of garments donated by Joyce Bailey and collected by her mother. This collection consists of clothing made and worn by African American women that the National Museum of African American History and Culture will soon display.
- Men in Tights: A Brief History
In light of the recent release of the new Robin Hood movie, Joshua David Stein takes a playful look at the history of tights and the confident men who dared wear them, including Henry VIII, who “had six wives, founded a church and could still pull off a pair of white tights”!
- The ATM guy
The Wells Fargo Guided by History blog takes a brief look at the inventor of the ATM.
Contributors: Elisabeth Grant, Jessica Pritchard, and Robert B. Townsend
This post first appeared on AHA Today.
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