What We’re Reading: March 18, 2010 Edition

Natalie Zemon Davis 2010 Holberg International Memorial Prize winnerCongratulations to former AHA president Natalie Zemon Davis for winning the $785,000 Holberg International Memorial Prize for 2010. This prize recognizes “outstanding scholarly work in the academic fields of the arts and humanities, social sciences, law and theology.” Meanwhile, we also note the sad news of the loss of Richard Stites, historian of Russian culture. We bring you two articles on politics and history: a new version of American history and the Texas Board of Education’s questionable textbook revisions.  On the topic of advice for the history profession read some thoughts on different approaches to tenure and how to write an article this summer. We also have two articles on American history and slavery, looking at a forgotten attempted slave escape and a collection of donated Harriet Tubman objects.  Check out a number of roundups and archives online, covering federal videos, C-Span, collections of private letters, and a patent medicine trade card collection. Finally, catch up on thoughts on Cuba-U.S. relations, a profile of an FBI historian, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, links on the history of food (that may or may not make you hungry), and more.

News

Rewriting History

  • Politics and History
    Dick Armey, notional leader of the “tea party” movement, serves up his version of early American history at the National Press Club. And not to be outdone, Texas conservatives have pushed through a whole raft of curriculum changes aimed at a thorough going rewriting of history text books.
  • Texas Messes with History
    Even the scientists are taking notice to Texas reworking history. Scientific American reports on the Texas Board of Education revising its history standards and deciding to leave Thomas Jefferson out of textbooks.

History Profession Advice

American History and Slavery

  • Pearl Coalition wants to boost awareness of escape attempt
    Washington, D.C. saw one of the biggest attempted slave escapes in American history in April 1848. The Pearl Coalition seeks to “foster a modern cultural understanding of slaves, slavery, and escapes from slavery.” Watch a video from the Washington Post detailing the coalition and sharing interviews with the board members.
  • Harriet Tubman Artifacts
    “The National Museum of African American History and Culture received 39 objects, including a hymnal, that once belonged to Harriet Tubman. Collector and author Charles L. Blockson, an expert on the Underground Railroad, donated the items to the museum.”

Roundups and Collections

Assorted Articles and Sites

Fun

Contributors: Kelly Elmore, Noralee Frankel, Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, Arnita Jones, and Jessica Pritchard

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