Author Archives: Guest Blogger

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Election Cake: A Forgotten Democratic Tradition

By Maia Surdam

Most Americans today do not think about cake when considering this year’s election. But perhaps we should. Had we been colonists in New England or denizens of the new republic, cake would likely have been on our minds and in our bodies during election season. At our present moment, when political tensions run high and many Americans wait eagerly for the arrival of November 9, one might wonder why it’s worth thinking about cake and politics.

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The Liberal Dilemma: Can the New President Achieve Both Guns and Butter?

By Matthew Dallek

“Wake up every one of you to the two fronts on which our defense must be built!”

-Eleanor Roosevelt, 1940

As of this writing, according to the latest polls, Hillary Clinton is poised to become the next president of the United States. Amid the onslaught of news coverage given to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, however, too little attention has been paid to the demands sure to face “a progressive who likes to get things done” (Clinton’s words) once she steps through the doors of the Oval Office in January.

Attendees enjoy the 2016 annual meeting reception for two-year faculty.

Balancing Teaching and Scholarship: Why Two-Year Faculty Should Attend the AHA Annual Meeting

By Sarah Shurts

I am always surprised that so many of my colleagues at two-year colleges don’t go to the AHA annual meeting. They all have high regard for the AHA itself and for its publications such as the American Historical Review. Many are even AHA members. But for various reasons they don’t think about attending the meeting or submitting a proposal. Some say it is because of the cost associated with travel, particularly if they have other conferences to attend.

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“You Will Never Get Anything Useful or of Value Out of This”: How a Difficult Diary Became My Dissertation

By Michelle M. Martin

In a neat, ornate hand Katie Edwards wrote in her diary on April 4, 1870, about the new chapter in her life that awaited her in the Indian Territory. “After a good night rest in a clean bed I rose this morning much refreshed . . . started for the Mission . . . will start with 80 pupils,” she remarked. With this simple declaration Edwards left behind the security and comfort of Ohio and entered the intricate world of the Mvskoke and Seminole peoples in the Indian Territory.

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Time to Right the Record: American Conservatism in the Archives

By Michelle Nickerson

“We don’t have anything on conservative women, however . . .”

This is what archivists would tell me during the earliest days of my dissertation research. It was the turn of the 21st century, and I was enthusiastically joining a wave of new scholars taking up what Alan Brinkley had called, in his path-breaking 1994 American Historical Review essay, “The Problem of American Conservatism.”

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Peer Reviewing History Assignments at the #AHA17 Undergraduate Teaching Workshop

By Nancy Quam-Wickham

Imagine a crowded room where students—shoulder to shoulder—worked frantically to complete architectural drawings. As the moment to submit their projects approached, an aide pushed a little cart (the “charrette”) through the classroom; students were required to deposit their drawings as the cart passed. Those not yet done with their work leapt into the cart, adding finishing touches to their designs as the cart passed drafting tables. The exercise was a loud, raucous, frenzied, stressful, though profoundly creative experience.

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The Promise and Peril of the Civil Rights Act of 1866

By Ibram X. Kendi

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. I must ask: should we be celebrating or lamenting the sesquicentennial of this inaugural civil rights act?

Press

Announcing the Palmegiano Prize in the History of Journalism

By Erika J. Pribanic-Smith

The American Historical Association is pleased to announce a new book prize to honor excellence in historical scholarship. The Eugenia M. Palmegiano Prize in the History of Journalism, to be inaugurated in 2017, will be awarded annually to the author of the most outstanding book published in English on any aspect of the history of journalism, concerning any area of the world, and any period. This prize recognizes the vital contributions that journalism history has made to our understanding of the past.