AHA Today

What We’re Reading: April 7, 2011 Edition

AHA Staff | Apr 7, 2011

EDSITEment Jazz Appreciation Month
In the news this week, the shutdown of the federal government looms, Wikipedia wants to know why experts don’t contribute, EDSITEment offers resources for jazz appreciation, legislators preserve land for the National Women’s History Museum, Drake University is digitizing its student newspaper, and some historians question the presidential bios on the White House site.  We’ve also come across a number of Civil War related links this week, including a collection of Civil War photographs, a Civil War soundtrack from the Backstory with the History Guys podcasts, and a look back at Jubal Early, “Virginia’s Bad Old Man.” Finally, we’ve rounded up more coverage on the William Cronon affair, including news that the University of Wisconsin-Madison will release a portion of his emails (excluding private messages) and found no wrongdoing on his part. This is supplemented with a statement of support from the American Anthropological Association, comparisons to other cases, and more.


  • Government Shutdown Looms
    The New York Times looks at the looming possibility of a federal government shutdown, and how it might affect state and local governments (including a number of history-related activities and sites).
  • Wikipedia Surveys Experts
    Wikipedia is undertaking a survey of "experts" to figure out why they "do (or do not) contribute to an open collaborative project such as Wikipedia."
  • Jazz Appreciated at EDSITEment
    EDSITEment celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month with classroom and online resources on jazz.
  • Women’s History Bill Introduced
    The National Women’s History Museum Act was introduced on March 30, 2011 to “preserve land next to the National Mall in D.C to build an expansive museum that celebrates and cherishes women’s lives.”
  • Digitizing a Long Run of Student Newspapers
    Jennifer Howard at the Chronicle reports that Drake University is digitizing its student newspaper, The Times-Delphic , which has issues going back 126 years.
  • Presidential bios Challenged
    Some historians charge that the presidential bios on the White House web site “examples of blatant boosterism and outdated scholarship.”

Civil War Photos Liljenquist collectionCivil War Remembered

  • Photographs
    The Women’s History Sources blog highlights images from the Liljenquist family collection of Civil War photographs, which was donated to the Library of Congress last year and is now available for viewing online. And for those in D.C., visit the Library of Congress’s Thomas Jefferson Building (10 First St. SE) to see a free exhibit of the photographs beginning April 12th and continuing through August 13, 2011.
  • Songs
    Backstory with the History Guys lists and links to the songs they used for a recent Civil War podcast. Some of the selections include: ”Battle Cry of Freedom” (Tony Schwartz), “Devil’s Halo”
    (Meshell Ndegeocello), and “Let the Band Play Dixie” (Chris Vallillo).
  • Jubal Early
    The New York Times introduces readers to Jubal Early, “Virginia’s Bad Old Man.”

William Cronon E-mail Controversy Continues

  • Emails released, no violations found
    The Chronicle reports that the University of Wisconsin-Madison will release AHA President-elect William Cronon’s e-mails to the Wisconsin Republican party, but withhold any e-mails deemed private. The university said they also reviewed the emails and for legal or policy violations and found no improper use.
  • American Anthropological Association Adds Its Support
    The American Anthropological Association released a statement (PDF) supporting the AHA’s position on the Cronon affair.
  • The Chronicle Cronon

  • Scholars and Scandal
    Dan Berrett at Inside Higher Ed takes a thorough look at “Scholars and Scandal,” from “Climategate,” to the Michael Bellesiles controversy, to the current Cronon affair.
  • It’s Not the First Time in Madison
    Paul Fanland at Madison’s Cap Times notes the parallels to an academic freedom case involving another early member of the AHA, Richard T. Ely, in 1894.
  • Washington Post Weighs in
    Three articles in the opinion section of the Washington Post take on the Cronon affair:
  • Still More from AHA President Anthony Grafton
    Anthony Grafton continued to cover the story in blog posts at The New York Review of Books (“Academic Freedom After the Cronon Controversy”) and the New Yorker (“The Cronon Affair: Wisconsin Answers”).

Contributors: Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, Pillarisetti Sudhir, John Thornton, Robert B. Townsend, and Lee White.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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