What We’re Reading: November 19, 2009 Edition

Serenade-The PropositionWe start off this week with some news items: the Committee on Lesbian and Gay History has put out a press release for the 2010 AHA Annual Meeting and Georgetown University has a new masters in global history. Then, we look at the future of print: Syracuse University is keeping its “little used” books, Tom Peters at Library Journal weighs in, and some history students switch to the Kindle. We also link to a number of interviews this week. Hear from Richard Moe, individuals from the Depression and WWII, and editors Mark Philip Bradley and Marilyn Young. Three articles tackle a variety of topics: academic writing, the history of the internet, and the end of the ‘00s. And finally, take a look at Lincoln through dance, view lesser known photos from the JFK investigation, and see remembrances of Veteran’s Day around the world with the Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog.

News

The Future of Print

  • In Face of Professors’ ‘Fury,’ Syracuse U. Library Will Keep Books on Shelves
    The Chronicle reports on humanities professors successfully resisting an effort to remove "little used" volumes from the stacks at the Syracuse University Library. This suggests some of the challenges for libraries facing pressures to serve different constituencies with limited space, and historians’ traditional methods of browsing in the stacks. Inside Higher Ed also covered this story, with their article, “A Win for the Stacks.”
  • As the book changes form, the library must champion its own power base—readers
    This article relates to the one above. In it Tom Peters advises librarians that they "cannot rest on our pulpy laurels." He suggests a reader-centered librarianship.
  • History class goes paperless by piloting new Kindle DX
    “When students sat down for their first day of Dr. Vincent Arnold’s history class in September, instead of being handed a syllabus, all twenty-eight students were given a brand new Kindle DX. No textbooks required. History 131 ‘European History in Perspective to 1500’ was the class selected to pilot a two-year program to compare using kindles to ordinary textbooks.”

Interviews

Articles

  • Defending the academicians
    At the Washington Post, Professor Gordon S. Wood explains that “advising academic historians that they have to write more stimulating prose if they want to enlarge their readership misses the point.” He takes a look at narrative versus analytic history and the challenges academic historians face in finding an audience.
  • The History of the Internet in a Nutshell
    Cameron Chapman at the Six Revisions blog presents “a brief history of the Internet, including important dates, people, projects, sites, and other information that should give you at least a partial picture of what this thing we call the Internet really is, and where it came from.”
  • Naming the ’00s
    In just a little over a month the first decade of the 21st century officially becomes history. How will the ‘00s be branded?

Dance

Photos

Contributors: Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, Arnita Jones, Jessica Pritchard, and Robert B. Townsend

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