Today’s What We’re Reading features a roundtable of links from historians on the recent NSA scandal, a “gripping” history of ice cream, more on MOOCs, real life inspirations for Game of Thrones, and much more!
Historical Perspectives on NSA Revelations
Two long views argue that this is nothing new. Walter Pincus recalls “a little history and a little law,” and concurs with a statement he attributes to Professor Harry R. Rudin: “the two peoples most willing to trade civil liberties for personal security were the Germans and the Americans.” And Foreign Policy has been grabbing attention with the headline: “America: Choosing Security Over Liberty Since 1798.”
Stephen Adams for Dispatches from Economic History offers a look at the history of Silicon Valley’s long running relationship with the federal government in “Silicon Valley’s Long History of Government Codependance.”
History in the News
Nursing Clio blogger Sean Cosgrove offers a “gripping, and topical, tale of historical nastiness, mixed with a touch of twenty-first-century intrigue” history of ice cream.
Heghnar Watenpaugh at the Society of Architectural Historians blog: “For an architectural historian, it is no accident that both the great plans to remake Taksim, as well as the way protestors’ speeches and actions often invoke history and architectural memory to buttress their arguments in the present.”
News in the Humanities
In the face of diminishing federal research funds, a growing number of academics are crowdsourcing their scholarly projects.
Ben Schmidt pokes at the data used to argue that humanities enrollments are dropping precipitously. “I suspect we’re probably better if we don’t buy into the narrative of collapse at all. More people are majoring in humanities fields. More books are being published in them. Whatever problems we have, they’re not really about quantity.”
Digital Media News
Historian Stephanie McCurry joins a growing stable of professors experimenting with the MOOC format. While more academics test the proverbial waters, Cary Nelson, former president of the AAUP, voices concern over faculty members’ intellectual property rights.
An interesting narrative about film archives on History News Network by author Thomas Doherty, with particular regard to the discussion of how digitization has and hasn’t changed the research process, and how serendipity can shape what ends up in the archives.
If “a Web-based work becomes technologically obsolete, does updated software simply restore it? Or is the piece fundamentally changed?”
A set of heartwarming data and an uplifting map from the IMLS showing that there are more public libraries than McDonald’s in the US..
Fun and Off-beat
Laura Miller at Salon sees shades of the Wars of the Roses in the battles over Westeros.
History in the form of street art.