Whether it’s the recent report about the future of the AHA or reoccurring issues at the Job Register, you can be sure there will be reactions and opinions on the blogosphere about it. We start off this week’s “What We’re Reading,” by linking to Jeremy Young at Progressive Historians and Sterling Fluharty at PhdinHistory for their takes (and requests for opinions) on the AHA. Also in this post we cover this year’s college grads and their job prospects, professional histories and history by professionals, teaching with YouTube, and grants for improved student learning. We finish up with links to an interview with Daniel Walker Howe, images from Hitler’s private gallery, a look at social networking and scholarship, and a “pirate problem”.
Opinions on the AHA
- The AHA Should Aid Bloggers, Not Control Them
Jeremy Young at Progressive Historians weighs in on the recent final report from the Working Group on the Future of the AHA, mentioned last week on AHA Today, offering a detailed and thoughtful analysis.
- Let Your Voices Be Heard: A Survey about the AHA
Sterling Fluharty of PhDinHistory has created an interesting, albeit lengthy, survey to ask how his readers feel about the AHA and its potential reforms. Though some questions replicate some of the more contentious views in the blogosphere about what the AHA does or does not do (i.e. “The AHA is so spineless that it does not want to police plagiarists in the profession”), it’s still a useful starting point for discussion. And with a substantive response, the results could be equally useful.
Please Note: This survey is an independent project and is neither supported nor endorsed by the AHA, so while we will read the results with interest, we still hope you will also send comments to Robert Townsend.
- For Class of ’08, A Scramble for Jobs
Though this Wall Street Journal article from April 8 doesn’t mention historians in the text, it does include them in a handy chart about halfway down the page. The article is about the difficulty this year’s college grads are having with the job market, and it pegs the starting salary for a person graduating this year with a BA in history at $34,257, just below average (though $15,000 less than the top earning field of an engineering graduate).
- The Difference Between History Written By Professionals And Professional Histories
An interesting article from Tim Lacy pondering "The Difference Between History Written By Professionals And Professional Histories."
- The Teaching Part of Teaching History with YouTube
Jonathan Rees at More or Less Bunk writes about how to use YouTube when teaching history, which is the topic of an upcoming Perspectives on History article he’s written as well. See also his past blog post “Teaching with YouTube” and also check out his excellent collection of YouTube favorites he uses in class.
- IU History Faculty Receive Grant to Improve Student Learning
A recent press release from Indiana University announced that “four Indiana University Bloomington faculty members have been awarded an $80,000 foundation grant for a three-year project to document and improve student learning in history… The four created the History Learning Project (HLP) in 2006 to define the kinds of critical thinking required in college history courses.”
- An Interview With Daniel Walker Howe
The National Book Critics Circle Board (NBCC) blog, Critical Mass, presents an interview with Daniel Walker Howe about his Pulitzer Prize winning book, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848.
- Images of ‘Hitler’s Private Gallery’ Now Online
Matt Raymond at the Library of Congress Blog describes the “Third Reich Collection,” which is now available online.
- Strategies for Promoting Social Scholarship
As the popularity of social networking continues to increase, the Digital Scholarship in the Humanities blog considers the development of social scholarship.
- The Pirate Problem
Dan Cohen talks up some of the interesting potentials for online materials, but concludes on the rather sweeping note that it somehow threatens the way all historians do their work: "For every time we focus on text mining and pattern recognition, traditionalists can point to the successes of close reading—on the power of a single word. We propose new methods of research when the old ones don’t seem broken."
Contributors: David Darlington, Debbie Ann Doyle, Noralee Frankel, Elisabeth Grant, and Robert Townsend