What We’re Reading: April 17, 2008 Edition

The Guggenheim Fellowships for 2008 were announced earlier this month, and among the awardees were a number of AHA members. We begin this week’s “What We’re Reading” by recognizing them. Then, we look at the value of history for the public, another interpretation of Google Books, the NARA web capturing debate, and an interview with Thomas Bender on his new book. Finally, our last two selections examine blogging: at the conference and as a habit.

Guggenheim Winners

  • AHA Members Among Guggenheim Winners
    Several members of the AHA were among the winners of the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowships for 2008. Out of more than 2,600 applicants, the Guggenheim Foundation selected 190 winners and awarded $8.2 million in fellowships in the 84th annual competition. Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of stellar achievement and exceptional promise for continued accomplishment.  For more information about the Guggenheim, click here.

    Congratulations to the following AHA members:

    Margaret Lavinia Anderson, professor of history, University of California;
    Brigitte Miriam Bedos-Rezak, professor of history, New York University;
    Michael D. Bess, Chancellor’s Professor of History, Vanderbilt University;
    Christopher S. Celenza, professor of German and Romance languages, Johns Hopkins University;
    Deborah Cohen, associate professor of history, Brown University;
    Laurent Dubois, professor of history and Romance Studies, Duke University;
    Leon Fink, UIC Distinguished Professor, Department of History, University of Illinois at Chicago; 
    Rachel Fulton, associate professor of history, University of Chicago;
    Allan Greer, professor of history, University of Toronto;
    Sumit Guha, professor of history, Rutgers University;
    Woody Holton, associate professor of history, University of Richmond;
    Daniel Horowitz, Mary Huggins Gamble Professor of American Studies, Smith College;
    Joanne Meyerowitz, professor of history and American Studies, Yale University;
    Samuel Moyn, professor of history, Columbia University;
    Mary Kay Vaughan, professor of history, University of Maryland;
    Sarah Watts, professor of history, Wake Forest University;
    Kevin A. Yelvington, associate professor of anthropology, University of South Florida.

What Else We’re Reading

  • The Value of History
    Two articles explore the value of history to the public sphere. See: David Bell’s review of John Burrow’s A History of Histories and Tony Judt’s “What Have We Learned, If Anything?” at the New York Review of Books.
  • How Google Books is Changing Academic History
    An interesting, though slightly overwrought reading of the value of Google Books. This article can be best summed up by the observation that, "in the last six months, while academic history has meandered in its habituated paths of grinding research, the possibilities of scholarship have been utterly transformed."
  • NARA and Capturing Web Sites – A view from both sides
    The blogosphere has been energized by a great deal of agitation about the National Archives and Records Administration’s decision not to do a harvest of public web sites at the end of the Bush Administration’s term. For different points of view, see .govwatch’s "The National Archives Is Quietly Destroying Millions of Documents," ArchivesNext’s more nuanced reading at "NARA and the web harvest: a discussion of the issues," and the NARA staff’s own explanation.
  • ‘American Higher Education Transformed, 1940-2005′
    An interview by Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed with Thomas Bender, professor of history at New York University, about his new book American Higher Education Transformed, 1940-2005, co-authored with Wilson Smith. Hat tip.
  • Blogging the National Council on Public History Conference
    Check out the National Council on Public History’s blog that covered its April conference in Kentucky. Then see Mary Stevens’ post on the problems with conference blogging.
  • Reading Blogs Can Become Habitual, Like Smoking (but Safer)
    The Chronicle’s Wired Campus blog explains why you need your daily fix of AHA Today.

Contributors: David Darlington, Elisabeth Grant, and Robert Townsend

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