AHA Today

What We’re Reading: September 11, 2014

AHA Staff | Sep 11, 2014

Today’s What We’re Reading features comics that promote public understanding, museum collections, a database on The Simpsons, and much more!

Historical Understanding

The Ineffable Joy of Transforming Boring Scientific Explanations into Exciting Comics

Entomologist Jay Hosler tackles scientific explanation via comic and explains how illustration can help aid the growth of public understanding.

Isis Jihadis Aren’t Medieval—They Are Shaped by Modern Western Philosophy

Kevin McDonald suggests looking at the French Revolution and the writings of Abul ’Ala Maududi to understand ISIS’s philosophical background.

From History PhD to Life Coach?

Life Coach Jennifer Polk finds common ground between historical study and the job-seeking PhD with “her commitment to understanding their motivations” in an essay for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Protect More Land witHetch_Hetchy_Valleyh the 50th Anniversary of Wilderness Act

James Morton Turner advocates for an expansion of not only the wilderness, but our “shared capacity to govern.”


All That Is Solid? The Politics of Digitization

The National Council on Public History’s Public History Commons explores the implications of digitizing underused museum collections. It is a reaction to an earlier two-part piece on online collections as exhibit resources, written by an exhibitions researcher at the Indiana Historical Society.

MetCollects: America Today

The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently acquired Thomas Hart Benton’s mural America Today. “It immerses the visitor in a profoundly transitional period in American history, the cultural rupture between the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression.”

Borscht Belt Ruins on Display in New York City

An exhibit at Yeshiva University Museum of photographer Marisa Scheinfeld’s work is a haunting reminder of these institutions of 20th-century American Jewish culture.


“Revisionism” Shouldn’t Be a Dirty Word, Says Historian

AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman was a guest on the Kathleen Dunn Show on Wisconsin Public Radio. Listen to him discuss the controversy over the new AP US history framework.

A University of Kansas Linguist is Risking Russia’s Ire in Helping Kazakhstan Change Its Writing System

As Kazakhstan seeks to establish a new writing system, linguists seek one that accommodates more of the native Kazakh sounds, an area where the currently used Cyrillic script comes up short.

Fun and Offbeat

Behold, a Database That Tracks More Than 500 Episodes of The Simpsons

The Simpsons archive has finally been created. In addition to the videos themselves, the archive will contain the text of every episode. Exactly what you need going into the new academic year.

A Brief History of Animal Death in Space

In the wake of Russia’s “Space Sex Geckos” experiment being lost, a laundry list of animals lost in the pursuit of space science Bakermakes one ponder their place in history.

Are You Sitting Comfortably? Then I’ll Begin…

Historian Matt Houlbrook makes a case for how important, and complex, the first line of text is in any written piece.

Every Type of E-mail College Students Send Their Professors

Fall term has begun; keep a discerning eye on those inboxes.


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