Author Archives: Guest Blogger

Bill of Sale

Facing Slavery’s Legacy at Georgetown: What Can Historians Contribute?

By Adam Rothman

Many universities in the United States are reckoning with their own involvement in the history of American slavery. What can historians contribute? It may seem counterintuitive to ask what historians can bring to the discussion of what seems to be an essentially historical problem, but the answer is not obvious because it depends on the tricky relationship between the past and the present.

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Quantitative Literacy for Historians: Who’s Afraid of Numbers?

By Nicholas Mulder and Madeline Woker

This post marks the fourth in a series on what we’ve come to call the Career Diversity Five Skills—five things graduate students need to succeed as professors and in careers beyond the academy:

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Slavery on Film: Why Now?

By Justene G. Hill

Over the past few years, several movies and television shows have delved into the history of slavery in the United States. From the dramatic (12 Years a Slave and Django Unchained) to the comedic (Key & Peele), slavery has been re-introduced as a theme in American popular culture. In January 2015, NBC announced that it would air an eight-hour miniseries called Freedom Run, based on Betty DeRamus’ 2005 book Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories from the Underground Railroad.

A portrait of Mary Church Terrell by Betsy Graves Reyneau. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Mary Church Terrell: The Great-Great Grandmother of Black Lives Matter

By Joan Quigley

Black Lives Matter, the protest movement launched by three African American women, has ignited a search for new role models. One Black Lives Matter co-founder, Patrisse Cullors, has cited the influence of Harriet Tubman; another co-founder, Alicia Garza, has invoked Sojourner Truth. And, as Jelani Cobb wrote recently in the New Yorker, Black Lives Matter has reclaimed a grassroots activist, Ella Baker, whose career included stints with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

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How About Some Optimism? Changing the Conversation around Career Prospects for Future Historians

By Jason Steinhauer

In February I had the privilege of visiting a public university in the Midwest and meeting with students from its graduate history program, both masters and PhD candidates. I left very impressed: the department chair was dedicated and forward-thinking, the faculty were excellent, and the students were remarkably bright. One was researching the intersection of African American history with health and medicine. Another was working on a topic connected to LGBT history. A third was doing work connected to public policy.