What We’re Reading: August 4, 2011 Edition

In the news this week, online buzz about possiblehuman-subject research rules, judge orders release of Nixon grand jury testimony, increase in political science jobs, D.C. reaches temperatures it hasn’t seen in nearly a sesquicentennial, and a new translation is out for an 1830s autobiography of a “Muslim American Slave.” We also link to digital history articles on newly awarded digital humanities start-up grants, the new Historical Thinking Project website, and historians using digitized records from London’s Old Bailey courthouse. Also read a CNN contributor’s thoughts on the question“If students fail history, does it matter?” and the draft foreword of Dan Cohen’s new book. Finally, check out a collection of 10 historically significant recordings, Teaching Carnival 4.11, and the history of history tree.

News

    Inside Higher Ed Common Rule
  • History and Institutional Review Boards
    The recent federal proposal to change rules covering research and Institutional Review Boards at many institutions generated considerable discussion on the Web this past week, including a worrisome note from Zachary Schrag (George Mason Univ.) who notes that the proposal could limit the use of already published data, and an excellent piece on some of the wider issues raised by the proposals at Inside Higher Ed. See also our post from Monday: “Getting Free of the IRB: A Call to Action for Oral History.”
  • Nixon’s secret Watergate testimony ordered released
    In a significant victory for historians U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ordered the release of Richard Nixon’s grand jury testimony (pending appeal). Full disclosure: the AHA was a plaintiff in the case.
  • The Job Market and Placement in Political Science in 2009–10
    The American Political Science Association reports an 11 percent increase in political science jobs in academia last year.
  • Temperatures in D.C. hottest in 140 years
    The AHA’s headquarters are located in Washington, D.C. and recently we’ve been feeling the heat. Last month’s temperatures included 25 days of 90 degrees or higher, a record the area hasn’t seen in 140 years.
  • A Muslim American Slave

  • Autobiography of a Muslim American Slave
    Charles Dameron at the Wall Street Journal profiles the new English translation of A Muslim American Slave: The Life of Omar Ibn Said, written in Arabic in the 1830s by Omar Ibn Said, a slave in North Carolina. The new translation pays more attention than past translations to Ibn Said’s possible motivations behind including verses of the Quran in the autobiography. One such of these past translations was published in 1925, the forward written by J. Franklin Jameson, AHA president in 1907.

Digital Humanities

  • Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
    The Office of Digital Humanities at the NEH recently announced the recipients of 32 new recipients of Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants. Congrats to all the winners, and good luck to them on their software, research tools, and mobile apps projects.
  • Historical Thinking
    The Benchmarks of Historical Thinking Project has now "re-branded" itself and opened up a new website as the Historical Thinking Project.
  • Crime’s digital past
    This article from Science News profiles the work of digital historians, who are digging into records of trials from 1674-1913 in London’s Old Bailey courthouse. Hat tip.

Insights

Resources

    10 Historically Significant Recordings
  • 10 Historically Significant Recordings
    A group on SoundCloud has put together a collection of 10 historically significant recordings, including Nixon’s resignation adders, Tennyson reading “Onward the Light Brigade,” the CBS D-Day broadcast, and more.
  • Teaching Carnival 4.11
    Profhacker, the teaching, technology, and productivity blog at The Chronicle, has rounded up a number of articles that relate to a theme of “bridging the gap.” They link to thoughts on bridging gaps in communication, workflows and mindsets, and technology.
  • Resource of Outdoor Advertising Descriptions
    This week we learned of the new Resource of Outdoor Advertising Descriptions (ROAD), created by the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History at Duke University.
  • The History of History Tree
    This intriguing volunteer-run website aims to construct and “academic genealogy” of the discipline. It is still a bit sparse, but shows considerable promise for anyone interested in their intellectual family tree.

Contributors: Debbie Ann Doyle, Elisabeth Grant, and Robert B. Townsend

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