Dianne Pinderhughes delivered her inaugural address as president of the American Political Science Association on the same evening that Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for the Presidency of the United States. Pinderhughes recalled the coincidence during the 126th annual meeting session on “Historians and the Obama Narrative,” sharpening the sense among her audience of just how fresh and ongoing the history of this president remains.
As panelist and Tufts University professor Peniel Joseph quipped, if journalism is the rough draft of history, then what is history itself when it’s being written not in hindsight but in mid-stream?
In an effort to highlight the diverse range of scholarship at the upcoming 126th annual meeting, we’re highlighting different sessions here on the blog each week. Today we point to session 101-A: Historians and the Obama Narrative, which will be chaired by AHA Executive Director James Grossman.
In the news this week, new restrictions and fees for researchers entering the U.S. raises concerns, Marilyn B. Young’s Decolonization lecture is now online, historian Robert N. Proctor continues to deal with Big Tobacco, ICHS gears up for Amsterdam 2010, and Newsweek takes a look at the last decade. On the topic of African American history we bring you two articles: one on Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and the other on BlackPast.org. Then we turn to the archives, looking to forgotten treasures and a turn to the digital.
Crossposted from the National Coalition for History’s web site.
The National Coalition for History has learned from several sources that President Obama intends later today to nominate David S. Ferriero to the position of Archivist of the United States. Since 2004, Mr. Ferriero has served as the Andrew W. Mellon Director and Chief Executive of The Research Libraries at The New York Public Library (NYPL). Mr. Ferriero succeeds Professor Allen Weinstein who resigned last December.
Mr. Ferriero was formerly the Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs at Duke University.
This week’s What We’re Reading explores President Obama’s recent meetings with historians, conservation training on the road, a look at a 200 year old murder mystery, and lesson plans on EDSITEments calendar. Also, check out a collection of Soviet posters and cartoons and on demand classic movies.
Obama’s Secret Meeting With Historians
In an effort to learn from the mistakes of presidents past, President Obama recently held a dinner with nine historians, including, to list a few, Michael Beschloss, H. W. Brands, Douglas Brinkley, Robert Dallek, and Doris Kearns Goodwin.
We start off this week with links to two reviews. The first looks at the play “Arcadia,” while the second analyzes the book The Tragedy of American Diplomacy. Then, we point to a series of articles on FDR in a recent issue of TIME magazine. A number of links this week address history online: take a new look at e-mail lists, read an update on Zotero, learn about iTunes U, get advice on creating digital content, and see photos of Africa from 1860-1960.
The federal government is currently seeking information on its declassification policies, and is doing so through a blog—offering a high-level test of the value of Web 2.0. The Declassification Policy Forum was launched as part of the White House’s Open Government blog yesterday. The initiative is being run by the federal Public Interest Declassification Board, as part of an ongoing review of declassification policies by the new administration.
The Declassification Policy Forum will be used to solicit recommendations for revisions to the current policy in four topical areas: Declassification Policy (June 29 – July 1), a National Declassification Center (July 2 – July 4), Classification Policy (July 5 – July 7), and Technology Challenges and Opportunities (July 8 – July 10).
The cover of the April 2009 issue of Perspectives on History features President Obama as he is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, and it asks the question: “How ‘Historic’ Is the 2008 Election?” This same question was raised at a special forum at the 123rd AHA Annual Meeting held this past January, and a panel of historians weighed in. In the April issue of Perspectives on History, read how four of the seven panelists explored this question:
Forum on the 2008 Presidential Election
Introductory Remarks Eric Foner gives the introductory remarks, noting the need for “long historical perspective,” and introduces each panelist.