Mixtapes contained tiny archives. In the heyday of the portable cassette—which overlapped with King Vinyl before the great extinction-by-compact-disc of the 1980s—they allowed DJs and freestyle rappers to circulate their work to a micropublic. Unlike Grateful Dead concert bootlegs (which also united a public), mixtapes put individual virtuosity at the center of their aesthetic. As cassettes saturated suburban bedrooms and tape decks became fixtures in cars, young music fans created mixtapes for their own pleasure and to exchange with peers. Today, hip-hop artists still drop mixtapes (making new tracks or remixes available for download), and cassettes are fixtures in many prisons.
Joseph Locke and Ben Wright wrote the article “A Free and Open Alternative to Traditional History Textbooks” for the March issue of Perspectives on History. AHA staff Shatha Almutawa and Stephanie Kingsley talked to Joe and Ben about their open textbook project, The American Yawp. Joe is a historian of modern America, and Ben is a historian of America and the Atlantic world.
How did you decide which topics would be covered in the American Yawp?
The American Historical Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Allison Miller as editor of Perspectives on History.
“A spectre is haunting our time: the spectre of the short term.” This sentence, echoing one of the most influential texts of the modern world, is how historians Jo Guldi and David Armitage begin their own manifesto calling for historians to return to the longue durée. Only this approach, the authors argue, will enable us to engage in current debates and counter the short-term horizons that characterize so much discourse in the public sphere.
Since its publication last year, The History Manifesto has elicited numerous responses and provoked impassioned debate.
Every year in the February and March issues of Perspectives on History AHA staff reflect on our annual meeting, which is held in the beginning of January.
In the final chapter of Discipline and Punish Michel Foucault places the moment of the ultimate creation of the modern penal system in France in 1840 with the opening of the Mettray colony for delinquent boys.
Dr. Shannon Bontrager is a soon to be associate professor of history at Georgia Highlands College in Cartersville, Georgia. His research focuses on the cultural and political history of how Americans remember their war dead from the Civil War to the Great Depression. Once suspicious of PechaKucha, he has come to enjoy it as much as he enjoys pizza.
Conducted via e-mail from June 25, 2014, to December 19, 2014, and at the Council Meeting on January 2 and 5, 2015.
Through e-mail conversation from June 25, 2014, to December 19, 2014, the Council of the American Historical Association made the following decisions or actions:
- Approved the nomination of John Martin (Duke Univ.) to serve on the Board of Editors of the American Historical Review.
- Issued a statement endorsing a bill proposed by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) to expand student loan forgiveness to adjunct faculty.