October 02, 2012
By Allen Mikaelian
The October issue of Perspectives on History is in the mail to members, and some of its featured articles are available online to all. AHA members, of course, can enjoy all of this month’s essays , news, and updates, right now, by logging onto Perspectives Online.
From the AHA Leadership
This month, William Cronon ponders, in his presidential column, how much longer people will read history books, while AHA Vice President J. R. McNeill wonders how much more time we have to capture the stories of our rapidly disappearing World War II veterans. Executive Director James Grossman reflects after a visit to a poignant memorial in Budapest, on the relationship between history and memory, and Deputy Director Robert B. Townsend unveils statistics showing that the number of history majors continues to rise, despite job market misgivings. (Note: The articles by McNeill and Townsend are available only to members until November 1.)
In Our Columns
In a compelling state of the field article, Sam White looks at “Historians and Climate Change,” and Gregory A. Barton shares his views on why we need a global history of Britain. In a new column, Perspectives on Books, Donna Murch examines the controversy surrounding a new book on Bay Area radicalism. (Note: Available only to members until November 1.)
Anyone who has had to navigate the world of digital images while doing historical research will want to spend some time with our forum, “History and the Digital Image.” Here, Carl Abbott explains why the scanner is democratizing history while Trevor Owens and Jefferson Bailey show how the online tool Viewshare can change how we think about the archive. Peter K. Bol provides a useful introduction to historical geographical information systems, and three historians, Elena Razlogova, Nancy Brown, and Rachel Leow describe how they manage the thousands of digital images that accumulate throughout their research projects. (Note: Available only to members until November 1.)
The 127th Annual Meeting
Registration for the annual meeting in New Orleans is now open, and Perspectives offers articles on the long recovery from the effects of Hurricane Katrina by Craig Colten, and a historian’s take on tourism in the Big Easy by Mark Souther. AHA staff members Sharon K. Tune and Debbie Ann Doyle provide useful reminders and practical tips, and attendees will not want to miss the hotel information and details on tours in the pages of Perspectives and online. Lastly readers can start planning their days with a note by Marian J. Barber on sessions sponsored by the National History Center. (Note: All these annual meeting articles and features are open to all.)
The Coalition Column
In the National Coalition for History (NCH) column, Lee White, the coalition’s executive director, explains why the NCH, and 11 other history and archival organizations, signed a letter asking a federal appeals court to reverse its controversial decision to prohibit the release of CIA records pertaining to the Bay of Pigs invasion. (Note: Open to all.)
In the AHA Activities section, the October issue of Perspectives covers the Council’s statement regarding best practices on transparency in placement records, a statement that has already garnered press attention. The AHA’s Tuning Project released its History Discipline Core last month, and it is reprinted here. Nominations are invited for AHA offices, as detailed by Sharon K. Tune, and we are reprinting the Council’s Statement on Diversity in AHA Nominations and Appointments. We’d also like to remind readers of the theme of the 128th annual meeting—“Disagreement, Debate, Discussion”—along with our call for proposals. (Note: Open to all.)
The AHA mourns the passing of Thomas J. Pressly, whose life and work are detailed in an essay by Richard S. Kirkendall.