What We’re Reading: December 20, 2007 Edition

Among the articles selected for this week’s “What We’re Reading” is an Inside Higher Ed piece on a new project between the Center for History and New Media at George Mason and the Internet Archive. Furthermore, we link to Dan Cohen’s blog where he explains the project in more detail. Also from Inside Higher Ed, comes a look at new efforts at Harvard to cut down the time it takes doctoral candidates to complete their degrees. And keep reading to find articles on publishing the Founding Fathers’ papers, questioning the role of the research assistant, the deaths of two historians, and good news for a former AHA staff member.

  • Pooling Scholars’ Digital Resources
    This article from Inside Higher Ed describes the collaborative effort between George Mason’s Center for History and New Media and the Internet Archive to help researchers share resources they’ve collected on their personal computers. Sharing will be facilitated by CHNM’s Firefox plug-in Zotero. For more on this read Dan Cohen’s (director of CHNM) blog posts: “Zotero and the Internet Archive Join Forces” and “Two Misconceptions about the Zotero-IA Alliance.”
  • The Job-Market Horror Story
    Otis Nixon, a PhD in history writing under a pseudonym for the Chronicle, recounts a harrowing tale of an AHA Job Register interview gone awry. But despite the cringe-worthy tale experience, he ends his story with a positive mission for his continuing job search.
  • How to Cut Ph.D. Time to Degree
    Harvard has some new techniques for helping doctoral students complete their degrees, and Inside Higher Ed reports that they seem to be working.
  • In the Course of Human Events, Still Unpublished
    The Washington Post had an intriguing article this past Saturday on the time, cost, and effort involved in publishing the papers of the Founding Fathers—projects that are likely to extend beyond the productive lifetimes of most historians working today.
  • A Million Little Writers
    An interesting article at the 01238 site (for Harvard grads) delves into the question of the role of the research assistant—asking whether the image of the individual great writer in a field like history is often built on concealed and exploited labor.
  • Two Distinguished Historians Die
    Duke University’s online news site, Duke Today, reports the deaths of two members of the Duke history department. John Jay TePaske, former vice president the AHA’s Professional Division, died December 1st, and his colleague Warren Lerner died December 3rd.
  • Life on the Tenure Track: A Historian’s History
    Voice of America reports that the AHA’s first "web master," Andrew McMichael, just received tenure at Western Kentucky University. We extend our heartiest congratulations!

Contributors: Elisabeth Grant, Robert Townsend, Sharon Tune

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