January 20, 2011
Start off today’s What We’re Reading post with the schedule for new National History Center talks, a proposed Virginia textbook bill, an iPhone and Android app from the National Archives, and a detailed look at the redesigned homepage of the Library of Congress. Then, we turn to university presses and digital books. Also read a number of articles under the broad theme of politics: political violence, presidential addresses, filibusters, and the Constitution. And finish up with articles on an assortment of topics as well as a second roundup of annual meeting related posts.
- Spring 2011 Schedule for the Washington History Seminar
The National History Center has released its Washington History Seminar spring schedule. These talks “help facilitate the understanding of contemporary affairs in light of historical knowledge of all times and places.” The first talk will take place this Monday, January 24th at 4 p.m. and is titled: “Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves.”
- Proposed bill would overhaul Va. textbook adoption process
In the aftermath of the error-ridden Virginia history textbook a new bill is being introduced to regulate textbooks.
- Today’s Document Mobile App
The National Archives has released a new “Today’s Document” app for iPhone, iPad, and Android phones. “This new mobile app is an interactive gallery that allows you to explore the holdings of the U.S. National Archives through a collection of 365 fascinating documents and photographs from throughout history.”
- There’s No Place Like (a New) Homepage
The Library of Congress blog presents a detailed look at the new Library of Congress homepage, which went live January 10th.
JSTOR and Oxford University Press are making an important move into the dissemination and discovery of digital books, which could have important implications for historians as the economics of printed monographs become a growing challenge. See the following articles from Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle for more:
- For Love of Longform
Learn about how JSTOR is collaborating with university presses.
- University Presses Face Watershed Moment in Explosion of E-Book Options
The Chronicle also takes a look at university presses and e-books.
- Assassins and American History
The New York Times asks, “Does political speech lead to acts of political violence?” and presents a debate between seven historians: Robert Dallek, Jill Lepore, Steven F. Hayward, Steven Mintz, Kevin Baker, Julian E. Zelizer, and Catherine McNicol Stock.
- The Writing of John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address
The National Archives notes the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy by posting a short video that features footage from the inauguration along with Curator Stacey Bredhoff presenting documents from the JFK Presidential Library and Museum.
- The Tyranny of Defense Inc.
Andrew J. Bacevich, AHA member and professor at Boston Univ., has written an essay for The Atlantic on the 50th anniversary of President Eisenhower’s farewell address.
- The Commandments
Jill Lepore writes about “The Constitution and its worshippers” in this New Yorker article.
- The Senate filibuster: Time for a change
Former AHA President Joyce Appleby weighs in on the uses and abuses of the Senate filibuster and calls for scholars and citizens to join a petition drive for reform.
- White Teacher, Black Power
Historian William S. McFeely reflects on his experiences teaching African American history.
- “History Under Attack:” Tony Grafton is spoiling for a fight.
Historiann comments on AHA President Tony Grafton’s first Perspectives on History column for the AHA.
- History Meets High-Tech: Digital Humanities
Dan Cohen talks to Kojo Nnamdiabout History Meets High-Tech: Digital Humanities, in this episode of the talk radio program.
- Beyond Numbers: A History of the U.S. Census
BackStory with the American History Guys interviews a political scientist, U.S. Census officials, and others in an effort to understand the history of the Census.
- DNA testing could settle Lincoln assassin mystery
Who is buried in John Wilkes Booth’s grave? Relatives of Booth turn to a DNA test.
125th Annual Meeting Coverage Continued
Last Thursday we presented a roundup of articles, blog posts, tweets, and videos on the 125th Annual Meeting. Here are a few more, including a number of reviews of The Conspirator, that we either missed or came out after our post went up:
- The Public Work of the Historian
Watch C-SPAN’s video coverage of the plenary session, “History and the Public: A Session in Honor of Arnita Jones’ Commitment to the Public Work of Historians,” from the Opening of the 125th Annual Meeting.
- Nor’easter strands thousands at Logan
The Boston Herald interviews a historian who came to Boston for the annual meeting, and almost became stranded afterward due to the recent snow when he stayed a few extra days to do research.
- Serving Clio
Christopher Thompson at the Early Modern History blog details conversations about the job market at the 125th Annual Meeting.
- AHA Report Part 2: Women’s History edition
Heather Munro Prescott takes a look at women’s history at the 125th Annual Meeting.
- My Notes from the 2011 AHA and ASCH meetings
Michael J. Altman presents his reflections on the AHA’s 125th Annual Meeting and sessions and events of the American Society of Church History.
- Reflections on the American Historical Association Annual Meeting, 2
We noted part one of Erika Franz’s thoughts on the meeting in our roundup last week, now read her part two, in which she describes a session she attended on the Cold War and sports.
- Performing History for an audience
Katrina Gulliver presents a comparison between The Conspirator and A Free Man of Color.
- The Conspirator’s Problem
Tanya Roth examines The Conspirator and questions the decision to tell Mary Surratt’s story through the eyes of her lawyer, rather than from her point of view.
- Movie Review: The Conspirator
The blog Change Happens reviews The Conspirator, a movie from The American Film Company that was screened at the annual meeting. Follow and contribute to the discussion about the film in the discussion section of the AHA’s Facebook page.
Contributors: David Darlington, Elisabeth Grant, James Grossman, Vernon Horn, and Robert B. Townsend