What We’re Reading: May 2, 2013

Today’s What We’re Reading features another update on sequestration closings, defending historian as a real job, the new American dream, and more!

History in the News
Debate Rages over State History Textbooks
The Moscow Times: “As part of his effort to promote patriotism among younger generations of Russians, President Vladimir Putin has proposed creating a single set of history textbooks for schoolchildren, arguing that there should be more consistency in what students are taught and that textbooks should be free of internal contradictions and ambiguities.”

Smithsonian Will Close Parts of Hirshhorn, African Art Museum, and Castle Because of Sequestration
The Smithsonian recently announced it will be closing branches of its museum system in response to sequestration.

History as a Profession
Self-Sabotage in the Academic Career
Robert Sternberg for the Chronicle offers a list of 15 ways in which faculty could unknowingly be harming their careers.

Talking to Civilians
Katrina Gulliver on how to explain what historians do to people who may not understand that being a historian is a real job.

Why You Should Review—and Shouldn’t
John Stackhouse weighs the pros and cons of doing book reviews.

Interview Questions
A list of questions job seekers should be prepared to answer, at Inside Higher Ed.

Digital History
Oh the Places You’ll Go: 38,000 Historical Maps to Explore at New Online Library
The Digital Public Library of America announced the addition of thousands of digital historical maps.

Content Matters
The Signal interviews Deb Boyer from PhillyHistory.org about being one of the first public history organizations to map archival photographs way back in 2005.

Twitter as an Agent of Change
Joseph Adelman for the Junto blog answers the question, “What good is Twitter, anyway?” with an insightful look at how historians are using (and abusing) the social media tool.

MOOC Talk
Rediscovering the Material World
A professor of science, technology, and culture finds out what MOOCs might be missing.

Major Players in the MOOC Universe
The Chronicle provides a handy visualization of the steadily expanding MOOCiverse.

Fun and Off-beat
Dying in Space: An American Dream
Megan Garber, writing for the Atlantic, discusses the Mars One project (a one-way ticket to Mars), and why so many people are eager to end their lives on Mars.

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