AHA Today

What We’re Reading: May 20, 2010 Edition

AHA Staff | May 20, 2010

2010 America’s Most Endangered Historic PlacesWe start off this week with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2010 list of America’s Most Endangered Historic Places. Then, hear about the Spring 2010 Roy Rosenzweig Forum, check out an upcoming New-York Historical Society seminar, take a look at the Washington Post’s photographic collection of oil spills through history, and peruse some of the Smithsonian’s more unique holdings. We also note two articles, one from The Chronicle and the other from Inside Higher Ed, on pursuing non-academic jobs. From the British Library, a new newspaper digitization project and a closer look at their online maps exhibit. With the approaching summer months in mind we look to two articles on homes and history. Finally, just for fun, have you picked up your copy of Twilight and History, picked up some tips from Leonardo da Vinci’s résumé, or learned the history of the toilet from Bill Bryson?

Outside of Academia

  • A Difficult Quandary
    Over at Inside Higher Ed, the pseudonymous Eliza Woolf, a recent history PhD, kicks off a new series, "to pick apart my own and others’ preconceptions about both academic and non-academic jobs and to contemplate the social and psychological reasons why it is so hard to walk away from the ivory tower."
  • And If You Just Don’t Go?
    Alexandra M. Lord, historian in a federal agency, talks about the decision to go to grad school and the decision to work as a public historian.

British Library

History and Homes

  • History’s haven: A week in Cape Cod’s Barnstable
    William Powers recounts his weeklong trip to the little Cape Cod town of Barnstable, staying at Packet Mail, once home to writer Kurt Vonnegut.
  • Maryland’s Civil War Country Seeks a Softer Side
    Nora Roberts and History? Last year the notable romance novelist renovated “Inn BoonsBoro, a 1790s-era eight-room boutique hotel meant to cater to women’s romantic sides.” This little Maryland town neighbors Antietam, but Roberts explains that she doesn’t want her inn to take away from the area’s history: “What people should do when they come is relax and sample Boonsboro and all its history, especially Antietam,” Roberts said. “You can’t walk through there without it grabbing your heart.”


  • The New Twihards
    Inside Higher Ed takes a look at scholarship focusing on the Twilight movies. One such book is Twilight and History, whose author “hopes that offering a scholarly approach to a popular subject will give readers a better understanding” of history.
  • Leonardo da Vinci’s Résumé
    Marc Cenedella of the job site TheLadders, takes a look at Leonardo da Vinci’s résumé and what pulls out lessons for job hunters today.
  • Bill Bryson: the history of the toilet
    Bill Bryson is an author who can expertly combine well researched facts with humor. In his new novel, At Home: A Short History of Private Life, Bryson explores the history behind commonalities found in everyday homes, such as toilets, stairs, and lawns, with the levity that characterizes his numerous other books.

Contributors: Elisabeth Grant, Arnita A. Jones, Jessica Pritchard, and Robert B. Townsend

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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