What We’re Reading: January 28, 2010 Edition

Blue Shield HaitiTo begin this week the National Coalition for History has news of recent appointments at the National Council on the Humanities and the Library of Congress’s John W. Kluge Center. Then, we send you to two places on Haiti: Blue Shield’s call for saving Haiti’s cultural heritage and a New York Times op-ed on Haiti’s history. We also report two deaths this week, historians Howard Zinn and Louis R. Harlan. Read two interviews as well, one from AHA President-elect Tony Grafton and the other from an associate professor at Elon University. Finally, we look to topics on History Day, sharing faculty positions, Business’s need for the Liberal Arts, the ethics of oral history, and the Harry Houdini Collection.


  • Historians Appointed to Prominent Washington Positions
    The National Coalition for History reports on two new positions that have been recently filled by historians: Adele Alexander is joining the National Council on the Humanities and William Roger Louis has been made the John W. Kluge Center Chair.


  • ICBS Statement on the Earthquake in Haiti
    The International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) has released a statement recognizing that while the current need in Haiti is to “find the missing, and to help the injured and homeless,” soon there will be a need to protect Haiti’s cultural heritage. The Blue Shield Mission is “to work to protect the world’s cultural heritage threatened by armed conflict, natural and man‐made disasters.” They have begun a Facebook page to share “news about cultural heritage, institutions affected in Haiti” and are calling for volunteers from libraries, archives, museums, to be placed on a list to go to Haiti as soon as the structural conditions have been assessed and it is safe  to work in the buildings or at the sites.
  • To Heal Haiti, Look to History, Not Nature
    An Op-Ed contributor at The New York Times takes a look at Haiti’s history, and the events that led up to the recent earthquake.




Contributors:  Noralee Frankel, Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, Arnita Jones, and Robert B. Townsend

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