AHA Today

What We’re Reading: May 27, 2010 Edition

AHA Staff | May 27, 2010

Jonathan Spence Jefferson LectureLast 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.


Digital History


  • 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.


For Fun

  • 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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