In the October issue of Perspectives on History, AHA executive director James Grossman writes about revisionism and history education in the US. Philippa Levine, AHA’s vice president, Professional Division, discusses the value of a professional organization for building community among historians, and for keeping history relevant in society. And Jan Goldstein focuses on a more personal issue: about American historians’ ambivalence and anxieties around retirement.
Three articles in this issue discuss how historians work with different types of data. “Linking the Past: History and the Semantic Web” by Seth Denbo explores an alternative to keyword-based searches. Robert K. Nelson’s “More than ‘Map Porn’? The Pleasures and Pitfalls of the Historical Gaze” talks about the digital edition of the 1932 Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, its reception and uses. And Jacob Soll reviews a book on the history of organizing data in his “Trees in a Forest of Knowledge: From Page to Pixel in Manuel Lima’s The Book of Trees.”
Our forum this month is Historians in Collaboration. How can historians foster collaboration in the classroom, with other historians, and with the public? Angela Firkus reflects on her experience designing a collaborative assignment for her students in “The Find a Grave Assignment.” Bridget María Chesterton shares her thoughts about working with historians with language skills and expertise that enrich her work and understanding of topics she writes about. Shawn Graham, Ian Milligan, and Scott Weingart write about engaging the public in the process of writing the book The Historian’s Macroscope on big data.
Robert Oxnam, who left his tenured position at Trinity College to become director of the Asia Society’s China Council, examines his career choices, and his reason for authoring Ming: A Novel of Seventeenth-Century China.
For those who plan to find collaborators at the AHA annual meeting this year, or plan to explore the connections between history and fiction, Andrew W. Robertson shares his “Welcome to New York 2015,” and talks about the changes the city is currently undergoing.
Read these articles and more here.