The September 2012 issue of Perspectives Online is now available to AHA members and non-members alike. We welcome readers who may have missed these articles when they were first posted on September 1. These newly-available articles include:
Strangelove for the Classroom: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Retirement
By Robert Brent Toplin
“As a historian with years of teaching activity, I felt a longing for the classroom experience after packing my books and turning in the office keys. Lacking a better term, I’ll call this phenomenon Empty Classroom Syndrome (ECS).” Read more…
Viewpoints: Does Size Matter?
As a community of historians the AHA believes that public discourse on any topic benefits from historical context and historical thinking. In that vein we have asked a group of historians to comment on last night’s presidential debate as historians. We leave the punditry to the pundits; the partisanship to the politicians. Our role is to offer the benefit of historical thinking and historical context.
After listening to the first half hour of the debate, I began to wonder whether this forum might be more effective on the web site of the American Mathematical Society. But the end, however, it did indeed become clear that from the principles of nation’s founding documents to the use of evidence, and the ways in which we construct historical narratives of the recent past, the debate was indeed rooted in context. As Gwen Ifill observed afterwards, “They spent an awful lot of time talking about the past.”
—James Grossman, Executive Director, American Historical Association
“Both candidates should feel ashamed. If they ever read the Lincoln-Douglas debates they’ll be mortified at the contrast. On the other hand, both doubtless realize that these 2012 debates are exercises in pure wishful thinking. They are premised on the idea that a new president can decide what to do on entering the White House.
The AHA announces a series of online forums featuring prominent historians commenting on the upcoming presidential and vice-presidential debates. This conversation is part of an ongoing AHA Roundtable, arising from the Association’s commitment to injecting historical thinking into public culture. For each debate we have assembled approximately four to five historians working in fields likely to be covered, and asked them to provide us with their responses by the following morning.
The AHA Roundtable series brings together professional historians to offer historically informed commentary on current events.
Perspectives on History has emerged from its summer hiatus with a banner issue of provocative and informative articles and features. The print issue is in the mail and should be reaching members in the next couple of weeks. Can’t wait to read it? Perspectives Online is here, with most of the printed text.
In addition to essays from AHA President William Cronon and Executive Director James Grossman (writing with Associate Editor Allen Mikaelian), we have Patty Limerick with the first in a fall series of columns from our vice presidents.
Perspectives Online is featuring an important article on a recent landmark copyright case by Michael Les Benedict, emeritus professor of history at The Ohio State University, and a member of the AHA Task Force on Intellectual Property.
This case, Cambridge University Press v. Becker, is one that directly affects how teaching historians go about their work, and should be read by anyone who has ever assigned or plans to assign, a course reading through their library’s e-reserve system.
Benedict helpfully places Becker, decided in May 2012, within the context of past decisions on copyright rulings and the even larger debate over the meaning of copyright in the U.S.
If you haven’t thanked a teacher this week, there’s still time. As Teacher Appreciation Week winds down and students and teachers alike turn to appreciation of summer, we offer just the slimmest sample of links to articles in Perspectives on History by committed, engaged, and innovative history teachers over the past few years.
The articles below are just a taste of what’s appeared in Perspectives on History. We welcome other links and resources in the comments section. We also recommend our Resources for Teachers page.
We are inviting members of the AHA and subscribers to Perspectives on History to provide feedback on the newsmagazine through a short survey. The last survey, conducted in 2008, resulted in changes like full color printing and more feature articles. We now invite you to help us shape your newsmagazine as it moves into its 51st year. Please click here to take survey. It should take less than 15 minutes to complete.
If you prefer, you can also fill out the questionnaire on pages 53-54 of the print version of the May 2012 issue of Perspectives on History and fax the two pages to Perspectives Survey at 202-544-8307 or mail them to Perspectives Survey, AHA, 400 A St., SE, Washington, DC 20003-3889.
The online version of the May 2012 issue of Perspectives on History is now available, and features a forum on the “Possibilities of Pedagogy,” which explores the current state of history education and thought-provoking ideas for the classroom. The issue also includes articles on the importance of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), a recent report on history salaries, Brazilian film as a cultural lens, and more.
As always, thank you for reading, and be sure to take the Perspectives on History Reader Survey to help shape the newsmagazine’s future.