July 10, 2008
We start off this week’s “What We’re Reading” with a couple of articles discussing Anthony Grafton and Robert B. Townsend’s "Historians’ Rocky Job Market" article, recently published in the Chronicle. Then peruse vacation destinations from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, learn about a request for proposals from the National Assessment Governing Board, and discover George Washington’s childhood home for yourself in an article from the Washington Post. Also included this week is news of renovations at the Gettysburg Cyclorama, the history of campaigning for president, a blog on strange maps, and evaluations of the AHA.
Historians’ Rocky Job Market
The Chronicle recently published an article by Anthony Grafton and Robert B. Townsend (the AHA’s former AHA vice president for professional issues and current assistant director for research, respectively), titled "Historians’ Rocky Job Market." It has generated some response in the blogosphere, and we note such posts here:
- The Small Paycheck and History Teaching
Stan Katz offers an interesting take on the broader implications of the article and suggests that it offers a possible lesson for the humanities in general.
- A Must Read Article
Sterling Fluharty at the PhDinHistory blog points to the article "Historians’ Rocky Job Market" and then offers a number of questions to further the conversation about job market topics.
What Else We’re Reading
- Dozen Distinctive Destinations 2008
If you’re tired of the same old summer vacation, why not plan a trip with historic preservation in mind? For some suggestions see the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2008 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. This annual list recommends areas “that offer an authentic visitor experience by combining dynamic downtowns, cultural diversity, attractive architecture, cultural landscapes and a strong commitment to historic preservation and revitalization.” Check out all 108 past suggestions. Hat tip.
- NAEP World History Framework RFP
On June 24, the National Assessment Governing Board issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Development of a Recommended Framework and Specification in World history for the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). The NAEP is commonly known as "The Nation’s Report Card." The deadline for proposals is August 12, 2009. The deadline is to ensure that the contract is signed by the end of the government’s fiscal year. The RFP can be downloaded from: http://www.nagb.org/. The contact is Stephen R. Swearingen, 202-357-0392.
- Dig Unearths George Washington’s Childhood Home
After seven years of searching, archaeologists have finally found (and are now digging up) George Washington’s childhood home.
- Big Touch-Up for the Blue and the Gray
The Gettysburg Cyclorama, an enormous painting in the round, is to reopen on September 26, 2008, after a five-year restoration. For the first time in more than a century, viewers standing in the middle of the wraparound canvas will see it as its artist originally intended.
- Egad! He Moved His Feet When He Ran
Politicians and pundits who don’t like the madness that is the modern political campaign have James Weaver, 1892 Populist presidential candidate, to thank, says Robert B. Mitchell in the Washington Post.
- Strange Maps
The blog Strange Maps is devoted to just that, strange maps. Some standouts include Toscanelli’s 1474 map, a 2004 map of federal lands in the US, and a 1942 “Outline of (the) Post-War New World Map.”
- Evaluating the AHA
Two interesting articles take a closer (if somewhat ambivalent) look at the AHA: Radiografía de la American Historical Association and Survey Results: Part 2
Contributors: David Darlington, Noralee Frankel, Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, and Robert B. Townsend