AHA Today

What We’re Reading: June 14, 2012

AHA Staff | Jun 14, 2012

Today’s roundup of interesting articles and links from around the web includes news of the appointment of poet-historian Natasha Trethewey as the Poet Laureate, a debate over the Federal Research Public Access Act, and more.

News and Opinion

  • Poet-Historian Natasha Trethewey Named 2012–13 Poet Laureate
    Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the appointment of Natasha Trethewey as the Library’s Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2012–13. Billington said, “Her poems dig beneath the surface of history—personal or communal, from childhood or from a century ago—to explore the human struggles that we all face.”
  • Surviving Writing Comprehensive ExamsScreen Shot of Grad Hacker Post
    Following up on her post about how to study for comps, Stephanie Edge at GradHacker offers pointers on how to get through the actual exam. 
  • Reducing ‘I Mixed Up My Notes’ Plagiarism
    Christopher Shea at the Wall Street Journal’s Idea Market reflects on a study that suggests that ‘unconscious’ plagiarism is greatly reduced by knowledge that someone will be paying close attention.

Discussion Points

  • Wikifying Historical Archaeology
    Paul Mullins, the president of the Society for Historical Archaeology, references William Cronon’s article in Perspectives on History in his own call “to take Wikipedia seriously and recognize all the potential it has for historical archaeology and the SHA.”
  • Scholars, Publishers Battle over Access to Agency Research
    The Hill
    summarizes the debate over the Federal Research Public Access Act. 
  • Liberation as Death Sentence
    Jennifer Schessler from the New York Times writes about historian Jim Downs’s book Sick from Freedom,which argues “historians have to look beyond military casualties and consider the public health crisis that faced the newly liberated slaves.”
  • Massive Open Online Courses
    Four professors teaching on different platforms share their experiences of teaching free online courses for thousands of students (part of the growing move toward “Massive Open Online Courses”).


  • National History Day
    This week nearly 2,800 history students travelled to the University of Maryland at College Park for the National History Day competition after winning their state and local contests. You can browse the student websites here.
  • Inside a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon
    The Smithsonian Institution’s The Bigger Picture blog covers its second edit-a-thon—a concentrated group effort to get material from the archives into Wikipedia.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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