What We’re Reading: September 30, 2010 Edition

CAW survey and Inside higher edThis week we announced the Survey of Contingent Faculty Members, and in today’s “What We’re Reading,” we link to Inside Higher Ed’s look at it. Also in the news is the National Research Council’s assessment of Research Doctoral Programs. Check out a number of links that consider this data. Then, read on to a Wall Street Journal article on the impact a school’s reputation on one’s future career. We also link to news on an upcoming Civil War Symposium and a new campaign to rename George Mason’s Center for History and New Media after Roy Rosenzweig. Finally, check out a push for the National Women’s History Museum bill, audio from the African American Political Scientist Oral History Project, a documentary on Daniel Ellsberg, another look at the Kennedy-Nixon debates, tracking down correct historical quotes, and a way to use Twitter to motivate.

Academia

  • A Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States
    The National Research Council’s assessment of Research Doctoral Programs was released this past week. The Chronicle of Higher Education offers a terrific visual tool for seeing the data on particular history doctoral programs, in comparison to up to two others. As this shows, there is no data for citations in history, but that is actually a good thing given the lack of a viable source for that information. But for a more general read of the potential problems with the data, see the report by Scott Jaschik at Inside Higher Ed. For a survey of some of the challenges in these sorts of projects see Robert Townsend’s 2002 report, and look for our review of the history data in the December 2010 issue of Perspectives on History.
  • Documenting Adjunct Work
    Scott Jaschik at Inside Higher Ed also provides a nice shout-out to the Coalition on the Academic Workforce survey the AHA is hosting. The survey has already received over 8,000 responses, but this only a small fraction of the more than 1,000,000 people employed in part-time, adjunct, and other short-term faculty positions. Please pass this link along to your colleagues. Read more about this effort to gain information on course assignments, salaries, benefits, and general working conditions of contingent faculty at the AHA blog, and if you are teaching off the tenure track please take the survey before November 30, 2010.
  • For Accountants and Engineers, School Name Plays Bigger Role
    The Wall Street Journal reports on a recent study that finds history majors are significantly less likely to say their school’s reputation mattered to their subsequent career. Just 29 percent of history majors say their college or university’s reputation was important to success in their careers (as compared to well over 50 percent of engineering majors).

Events and News

Museums and Projects

  • Unhold Us, Senators
    An op-ed in The New York Times encourages Congress to approve the National Women’s History Museum bill. 
  • African American Political Scientist Oral History Project
    The American Political Science Association is posting audio and transcript versions of interviews, conducted between 1988-94 of African American scholars, from the African American Political Scientists Oral History Project.

Public Figures

  • The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
    Next Tuesday, October 5, the POV documentary series from PBS will be broadcasting a film on Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1971 leaked 7,000 pages of top-secret documents to The New York Times. After the film airs, check back on the POV site for educator resources to use in the classroom.
  • Rewinding the Kennedy-Nixon Debates
    September 26 was the 50th anniversary of the first Nixon-Kennedy presidential debate. Over at Slate, Rutgers historian David Greenberg questions some of the conventional wisdom about the first televised presidential debates, such as whether Kennedy won the election because he looked better on television and whether radio listeners really did give the debates (there were four) to Nixon.

Tips

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

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