What We’re Reading: April 5, 2012

This week we link to articles on the 1940 Census release, a new Civil War casualty number, the future of the AHA and other professional societies, and more.

News

Civil War

History Profession

Insights

  • The ChronicleScholarly Groups’ Choices Yield Diverging Fortunes
    In an assessment of the state of scholarly societies, looking behind-the-scenes at past decisions and current financials, the Chronicle of Higher Education notes the challenges the AHA and similar associations face in the years to come. See the graph and article.
  • The American Historical Association Tuning project
    Sherman Dorn captures some of the challenges of the AHA’s Tuning project, recently undertaken with support from Lumina Foundation, and worries that the “result of the AHA’s Tuning effort will be a far-too-vague list of skills that address neither the craft temperament of a working historian nor the grounding of that temperament in the study of specific times, places, and combinations thereof.”
  • History hinders creation of East Asian community
    Historian Chung Jae-jeong talks to the Korea Times about how conflicting interpretations of the past are preventing constructive dialog among East Asian nations about the present. He suggests a “history summit” to find “mutual understanding over controversial historical issues” but is skeptical that such a meeting can take place.
  • A tale of two libraries and a revolution
    AHA Past President Anthony Grafton talks about some of the hard choices for libraries and their users, as the New York Public Library and Princeton’s Firestone Library renovate and reallocate their collections of print books.

The Public

  • The Public’s Role in Active History
    For a view of the profession from north of the border, Jeffers Lennox at ActiveHistory.ca notes recent critiques of academics in Canada, ponders the role of the public in history, and wonders why historians in the U.S. seem better engaged.
  • Humanities and Public Life
    Teresa Mangum, director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and associate professor of English at the University of Iowa, discusses the University of Iowa Press’s new book series on "Humanities and Public Life."

Contributors: Elisabeth Grant, James Grossman, Vernon Horn, Allen Mikaelian, Pillarisetti Sudhir, and Robert B. Townsend.

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