December 2008 Perspectives on History Online

December 2008 Perspectives on HistoryThe AHA’s president, Gabrielle Spiegel, starts off the December issue of Perspectives on History online with a “Modest Proposal.” She explains that, “January 2009 will mark the beginning of the Association’s 125th year,” and looks back at its past activities and concerns. She finishes up her article with the modest proposal that the title references: “That in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the AHA, each and every member commit to giving a $125 to a ’125th Anniversary Fund’ that is to be established in the coming year.” These donations will go to “expanding the public programs and outreach of the AHA.”

Executive director Arnita Jones also writes about contributing to the AHA, in her article, “On Leaving Legacies in the Future.” The piece was inspired by the recent bequest from Heather Huyck, a retired National Park Service historian and current visiting lecturer at the College of William and Mary, who has revived the congressional fellowships program.

Graduate Students and Early Career Professionals
Graduate students and new members of the history profession may be interested in the collection of articles from the CGS Forum on Making the Transition to a Professional Career. Lynn Sargeant starts the discussion off with “Temping toward the Tenure Track,” followed by Cheryl A. Wells’ look at the transition from student to teaching assistant to faculty member. Then, Natalie Kimbrough details the rewards to be gained from teaching at a community college, while Melissa Jane Taylor explains how one takes the different approach of going into public history.

Public History and News from the Hill
If Melissa Jane Taylor’s article piqued your interest, you should check out the other public history pieces in this month’s magazine. See both John Lawrence’s experiences as a historian in the House of Representatives, and the role of the Congressional Fellowship in Heather Huyck’s future career.

In other National Capitol news, Lee White of the National Coalition for History considers the recent “Historic Election’s Impact on History.” Speaking of the election, please note the recently added roundtable session at the annual meeting: “Election 2008: How ‘Historic’ Was It?” Also, read Lee White’s various news briefs, consider what may change for the humanities with the new administration, and learn of Bruce Cole departing from the NEH to lead the American Revolution Center in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

AHA Activities and Annual Meetings
Robert Townsend takes a close look, in “Mission, Media, and Risk: The American Historical Association Online,” at how the AHA continues to try to fulfill its mission, and what roles our publications, databases, and online projects play a part in that. Meanwhile, Robert Schneider, editor of the American Historical Review, takes a brief look at “What’s in the December AHR?”

In Annual Meeting news, award winning author Adam Hochschild will receive the AHA’s Roosevelt-Wilson award in New York, a resolution is on the table for the AHA’s Business Meeting, the call for proposals continues for the 2010 meeting, and a letter to the editor discusses childcare at the annual meeting.

And More…
All of this, plus the next installment of Masters at the Movies, news from the National History Center, two In Memoriams, and more are available online in the December 2008 issue of Perspectives on History.

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