What We’re Reading: February 14, 2013

In today’s What We’re Reading we feature an article on the culture of the (B)romance, tips on teaching Black History Month, a look at some of the very first reviews of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, and much more…

For Valentine’s Day
A Valentine’s (B)romance: Masculinity, Emotion, and Friendship
Sean Cosgrove for the Nursing Clio blog offers an off-beat approach to Valentine’s Day by discussing the culture of the “bromance.”

For our readers who cringe at the consumerism attached to Valentine’s Day, Salon offers a Valentine’s Day Slideshow of this year’s 10 Worst Attempts to Capitalize on Cupid’s Holiday. In the same vein, Derek Thompson for the Atlantic investigates Why Are Greeting Cards So Expensive?

Teaching Black History Month
This month, a number of education organizations have created mini-sites or portals for teaching African American history in K–12 classrooms. Here are just a few:

  • The National Endowment for the Humanities’ EDSITEment has a Guide to Black History Month Teaching Resources with lesson plans and web-based resources for all levels by subject and time period.
  • Last week, the Smithsonian held an online conference entitled “Oh Freedom! Teaching African American Civil Rights Through the American Art at the Smithsonian.” A partnership between the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the conference webcasts from “Oh Freedom!” will be posted shortly for those who missed the live broadcast, but the lesson plans, images, student projects, and other resources are available now.
  • The National Archives has published an ebook on the Emancipation Proclamation, The Meaning and Making of Emancipation, which “presents the Emancipation Proclamation in its social and political context with documents in the National Archives’ holdings….” The free ebook is available in several formats.
  • Lastly, we wanted to point readers to the lesson plans and teaching resources attached to Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database. The database consists of records from nearly 35,000 slaving expeditions and is an important resource for researchers as well as an excellent tool for introducing advanced students to historical methodologies that use statistics and databases.

History in the News
The Three Most Important U.S. Intellectual Historians
In a post likely to garner debate, Andrew Hartman asks readers of the U.S. Intellectual History blog to discuss who would make the list of the three most important U.S. intellectual historians.

The Skeptical Early Reviews of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique
Ashley Fetters for the Atlantic dug up some early reviews of The Feminine Mystique as it first arrived on the scene in 1963, and reveals a culture skeptical of the book’s claims.

There are two interesting discussions on the National Council on Public History’s blog, the Public History Commons. Both are linked to sessions at their upcoming annual meeting in Ottawa (April 17-20) and are intended to start a conversation in advance of sessions on the program. One focuses on best practices for establishing new public history programs and the other on what employers are looking for in public history graduates.

Academia in the Spotlight
A Warning to College Profs from a High School Teacher
“Now you are seeing the results in the students arriving at your institutions. They may be very bright. But we have not been able to prepare them for the kind of intellectual work that you have every right to expect of them.”

Protecting Women on Campus
Colleen Flaherty for Inside Higher Ed discusses a new report from the American Association of University Professors on the topic of sexual assaults on college campuses. The AAUP calls for clearer policies on what constitutes an assault, better procedures for handling a reported sexual assault, and more prevention programs on campus.

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