What We’re Reading: January 26, 2012
In the news this week, the National Museum of African American History and Culture struggles to find artifacts like slave clothing, Facebook deletes profiles of historical figures, and AAUP announces “University Press Week.” Then, read thoughts on an app for the American Historical Review, protests to a French effort to criminalize some historical perspectives, lessons learned from serving on the AHA Graduate and Early Careers Committee, and advice for students writing their dissertations. Next, read about two 126th annual meeting sessions (on crowdsourcing, and historians and archivists), and coverage from two news organizations. Finally, just for fun, learn about cakes through history.
- In search of slave clothes: A museum director’s hunt for a painful symbol
In this recent Washington Post article, Lonnie Bunch, director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, discusses the challenges of building a collection of artifacts, like slave clothing, for the museum before it opens in 2015.
- Facebook Deletes University’s History Project for Violating Social Network’s Rules
Citing a violation of its terms of service, the popular web service deleted profiles of two historical figures.
- "University Press Week" Announced for Fall 2012
Marking its 75th year, the American Association of University Presses announced they will hold a series of events in November 2012, to celebrate the value of presses to scholarship and communities such as history.
- Dude, Where’s My Classroom? And Other Random Thoughts
Claire Potter, on her Chronicle hosted Tenured Radical blog, comments on recent articles by AHA President William Cronon and AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman and suggests development of an app for the American Historical Review.
- Speech crimes and France
Timothy Garton Ash protests a French effort to criminalize some historical perspectives, warning about the wider implications for free inquiry into the past.
- On retiring from GECC
Aaron Marrs, the former chair of the AHA’s Graduate and Early Careers Committee, looks back on his time in service, and offers some advice to current and prospective graduate students.
- Do I Have to Finish My Dissertation?
In the Advice section of The Chronicle, Ms. Mentor answers the question “Do I have to finish my Dissertation?” and then offers some questions of her own.
- Gingrich’s College Records Show a Professor Hatching Big Plans
The Wall Street Journal looks back at New Gingrich’s life as an academic in the history department at West Georgia College in the 1970s.
Sessions from the 126th Annual Meeting
Articles on sessions from the 126th annual meeting continue to come out, now that attendees have had a chance to process and reflect on the meeting.
- Processing the Past: Contesting Authority in History and the Archives
Presentations from a fantastic AHA session on historians and archivists are now online, with essays from Kate Theimer (ArchivesNext), Antoinette Burton (University of Illinois), and Peter Wosh (NYU). Prompted by a recent book by Francis Blouin and William Rosenberg, this rich discussion points to two professions that need to talk more.
- Crowdsourcing Transcription: FromThePage and Scripto
The Chronicle’s Profhacker blog profiles session 138, “Crowdsourcing History: Collaborative Online Transcription and Archives,” from the AHA’s 126th annual meeting and takes a closer look at two online transcription tools: FromThePage and Scripto.
Coverage of the 126th Annual Meeting
Recent and upcoming coverage of the 126th annual meeting:
- Windy City Times
Chicago’s Windy City Times has posted a number of articles on the 126th annual meeting, covering the variety of LGBTQ issues addressed, a panel on healthcare and identity issues, Southern lesbians, and “Patient Zero.”
- C-SPAN’s – Publishing and the American Century
Next weekend, on Saturday, February 4, 2012, C-SPAN’s American History TV will air video of the National History Center session at the 126th annual meeting, titled “Publishing and the American Century.” This session was part 2 of 4 of a series of sessions on “Historians, Journalists, and the Challenges of Getting It Right.”
- Cakes Throughout U.S. History
From the Boston Cream Pie in 1850 to the Smith Island Cake in 1981, America’s Test Kitchen takes a delicious trip through U.S. history by way of cakes.
Contributors: Elisabeth Grant, Jim Grossman, Chris Hale, and Robert B. Townsend
This post first appeared on AHA Today.
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