By Max Kemman
Politicians’ emails provide historians an exciting window into the fast-paced, formal and informal, and sometimes chaotic world of politics. The sheer number of emails, however, can prove challenging for historians, as archives routinely contain tens of thousands of messages with different recipients. Researchers need months or even years to study such a large number of records, but I give my students only 14 weeks to study over 30,000 emails. They are able to accomplish this feat by employing Voyant Tools.
By Andrew Demshuk
In a rambling speech to colleagues on Hitler’s birthday in 1963, district party secretary Paul Fröhlich insisted upon the proposed demolition of Leipzig’s fully intact Gothic University Church: “I recommend that, when deciding this question, we proceed on the basis of the Politburo resolution. The people can certainly express their opinion about it, but we must be sovereign to decide for ourselves.” Massive public opposition had arisen to block the unthinkable outcome—how could the regime tear down the historic campus that had been the center of intellectual exchange since the University of Leipzig (in communist times Karl Marx University) had grown out of a Dominican cloister in the 15th century to become the oldest university in East Germany?
By Jeffrey A. Engel
Trust matters in international affairs. Unquantifiable and invisible, its presence can nonetheless bridge seemingly insurmountable divides.
Every week, AHA Today showcases a new grant, fellowship, or scholarship of interest to historians which has been posted to our free Calendar. This week we are featuring the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Fellowships.
By John Lawrence
A tense atmosphere is building in Washington, DC: an unpopular president in office, an election marked by criminal tampering, and a special prosecutor probing the clandestine hijinks of White House and campaign officials. Demonstrators are filling the nation’s streets, there’s a long and controversial war sapping America’s treasure in lives and dollars, and whispers are circulating about impeachment. Early special elections appear to signal that a wave of voter anger might be building toward a dramatic climax in the November off-year election.
Every week, AHA Today showcases a new grant, fellowship, or scholarship of interest to historians which has been posted to our free Calendar. This week we are featuring congressional research grants from the Dirksen Congressional Center.
By Gregg A. Brazinsky
As Sino-American relations have emerged as a critical foreign policy issue in the Trump administration, public discourse has been awash with many all too familiar and ill-informed narratives about China and its global objectives. Often, these narratives are derived from overly simplistic views of how China’s past affects the present. Policymakers and journalists have been obsessed with the idea that the People’s Republic of China is trying to reconstruct the “tributary system” or “Sinocentric order” that governed its relations with its neighbors before the 19th century.
Oh, what a difference a year makes. During a session at the 2016 annual meeting—mulling over the role historians should play in public life—Atlantic editor Yoni Appelbaum declared: “I hate op-eds.” Appelbaum argued that the format of conventional opinion journalism encouraged writers to make “very generalized claims” without demanding that they “marry their evidence to their argument.” The op-ed is a blunt tool for a delicate task.