What We’re Reading: August 7, 2008
In the news this week, the Higher Education Act reauthorization bill (H.R. 4137) made it through Congress with contributions from both sides of the political spectrum. Also, the death of Nobel Prize winning author and historian Alexander Solzhenitsyn has sparked many remembrances, we point to a few. The Library of Congress has posted a webcast of Dane Kennedy’s lecture at the recent Decolonization seminar put on by the National History Center. The LOC also grabbed our attention with a webcast on “How the States Got Their Shapes” and National Book Festival podcasts available through iTunes. Also, follow links to Brett Bobley’s look at the digital humanities, news of the reopening of the National Museum of American History, the Britannica Blog’s week in preview, a collection of satirical WWI maps, and a showcase of Olympic torches over time.
- Conservatives Claim Some Victories in Democratic Congress’s Higher-Education Bill
While Democrats may have been the strongest proponents of the Higher Education Act reauthorization bill that went through Congress last week, two parts came from conservative groups: a requirement that “federally financed international-studies programs ‘reflect diverse perspectives and a wide range of views’” and a new grant program for the “teaching of traditional American history and Western civilization.” See the Chronicle article linked above (requires subscription), and read the full text of the bill on the Library of Congress site, or as a PDF.
- Remembering a Conversation with Solzhenitsyn
The death of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel Prize winning author who wrote about the Soviet gulag, prompted NPR to post two audio remembrances of him, on their site. Also, see this New York Times article.
- Decolonization and Disorder
Historian Dane Kennedy looks at “three waves of European decolonization, from the late 18th century through the late 20th century,” in this webcast from the Library of Congress. This lecture was part of the third International Research Seminar on Decolonization from the National History Center. Read more about Dane Kennedy’s lecture here.
- Why the Digital Humanities (PDF)
Brett Bobley, director of the Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities, asks "Why the Digital Humanities?" (PDF) in an interesting survey of the "game changing" effects of technology on what we do.
- Star-Spangled Reopening Set for Nov. 21
After nearly two years of renovations the National Museum of American History is scheduled to reopen in November.
- Britannica.com Week in Preview: August 4-August 10
The Britannica Blog takes a look at who was born and what occurred this week in history.
- How the States Got Their Shapes
In another webcast from the Library of Congress, from an event sponsored by the Center for the Book, Mark Stein discusses his book “How the States Got Their Shapes.”
- National Book Festival Podcasts Now on iTunes
At the beginning of this week we mentioned the upcoming National Book Festival. But for those who can’t make the festivities, podcasts of the authors are now available on iTunes.
- Dogs of War
The blog BibliOdyssey presents an interesting collection of satirical WWI maps. Hat tip.
- Passing the Torch: An Evolution of Form
The Olympics start tomorrow, so in the spirit of the games we link to a cool visual timeline the New York Times has created of Olympic torch designs from 1936 to 2008.
Contributors: Noralee Frankel, Elisabeth Grant and Robert B. Townsend
This post first appeared on AHA Today.
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