What We’re Reading: December 11, 2008 Edition

Strange Maps Atlas of True NamesThe big news this week is the resignation of Allen Weinstein from his position as Archivist of the United States. The deputy archivist will step up until President-elect Obama nominates a replacement in January. Speaking of the president-elect, we point to an MSNBC article featuring historians discussing the historic nature of the recent election. Then read articles on ranking journals, the fight against plagiarism, conference advice, and a fun look at “original meanings of the world’s place names.”

  • Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein Resigns
    Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States, has put in his resignation due to health reasons, effective December 19, 2008. See the National Coalition for History’s post for more information.
  • Historians write 1st draft on Obama victory
    In this article, a number of historians weigh in on the historic nature of the recent election. Just a reminder that the AHA will host a longer discussion of the historic nature of President-elect Obama’s win in “Election 2008: How ‘Historic’ Was It?”  at the upcoming annual meeting, on Sunday night, January 4th, in the New York Hilton’s Grand Ballroom West.
  • Multi-scalar governance technologies vs recurring revenue
    While the title is rather daunting, this posting at the blog Globalhighered offers a useful survey of the recent international efforts to rank journals and institutions, parsing a number of intriguing national differences in what they try to rank and why.
  • Vigilante Justice on Plagiarism
    A Texas A&M International University instructor is fired for naming the students who cheated on their management information systems midterm on his blog. Is public shaming an appropriate weapon in the war on plagiarism?
  • Conference Rookies
    Faculty members dispense advice for first-time conference attendees.
  • The Atlas of True Names
    “Isles of Sea Monsters.” “Cape by the Dark Warrior’s Village.” “Bright Helmets Town.” These are some of the place names listed in The Atlas of True Names, a book that “substitutes the original meanings of the world’s place names for the better-known, ossified toponyms.” The Strange Maps blog profiles the book, taking a look at some funny and interesting examples. Hat tip.

Contributors: David Darlington, Elisabeth Grant, and Robert B. Townsend

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