In the November issue of Perspectives on History, President William Cronon discusses what our libraries say about ourselves, and Executive Director James Grossman reflects on Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. Readers will also find a diverse forum on teaching women’s history and innovative approaches to instruction using Skype, student-created websites, student-written biographies, and the AHA’s Archives Wiki. Don’t miss updates and information about the 127th Annual Meeting, an advocacy update from the National History Coalition, and a call for proposals for the 128th Annual Meeting.
From the President
Recollecting My Library . . . and My Self
By William Cronon
“These new capabilities are in many ways miraculous, and we have all benefited from what Google and other search engines now make possible. But like all innovations, they come at a price. Information so gained is ripped from its original contexts. The very speed with which we find it tempts us not to recognize the work required truly to understand those contexts with all their meanings and ramifications.” Read more….
From the Executive Director
Lincoln, Hollywood, and an Opportunity for Historians
By James Grossman
“Perhaps Spielberg’s Lincoln intrigues me because he asks questions and tells stories. He is curious about human aspirations, and comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity—comfortable but not satisfied. He might have made a good historian and a good teacher.” Read more…
The 127th Annual Meeting
News and information featured in this month’s Perspectives includes William Cronon on the Presidential Sessions, the John Sales film festival, visiting New Orleans with children, and an invitation to join your colleagues in the 106th Annual Jackson Day Race.
News from the AHA and Affiliated Organizations
Read about fundraising for the newly-established Jerry Bentley Prize in World History, the AHA Roundtables on the presidential debates, and commemorations of the Emancipation Proclamation. The National History Center has reflections on the formation of decolonization history as a subdiscipline, and the National Coalition for History has an update on the fight to preserve the Georgia Archives. The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations is seeking an editor for Diplomatic History, and you can read the call for proposals here.