October 30, 2008
A number of news items start us off in this edition of What We’re Reading. First up, the National History Center and the Teagle Foundation have released a new report on “The Role of the History Major in Liberal Education.” Then the Office for Human Research Protections appoints a new head, the Park Service opens the Tuskegee Airman National Historic Site, and OHA launches a new web site. We also link to articles on “How Muslims Made Europe,” a profile of an assistant professor, wikipedia and “truth,” and a new mapping project. Rounding out this post we note articles related to two (unrelated) themes: presidential campaigns and Halloween.
- A Broader History Major (and Professor)
Inside Higher Ed reports on the recent National History Center and Teagle Foundation report, “The Role of the History Major in Liberal Education.” We also mentioned this on AHA Today last week.
- Menikoff to Head OHRP
Zachary Schrag reports on the appointment of a new head of the Office for Human Research Protections, which makes the rules governing research. Also related, and noteworthy, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) recently introduced legislation to tighten up those rules, though perhaps in ways that will further tighten the restrictions on oral history research.
- Park Service Opens Tuskegee Airmen Historical Site
The National History Coalition notes the newly opened Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site at Moton Field in Tuskegee, Alabama.
- OHA Launches New Web Site
The Oral History Association has revamped their web site and it is now online complete with social networking tools and a wiki. Hat tip.
- How Muslims Made Europe
Reviewing AHA member David Levering Lewis’s new book, God’s Crucible: Islam and the Making of Modern Europe, 570–1215, in the November 6, 2008, issue of the New York Review of Books, Kwame Anthony Appiah elucidates at length the signal contributions made to European societies by Islamic culture as it radiated from its Spanish bastions in Cordoba and elsewhere, and alludes appreciatively to what he calls Lewis’s "startling proposal": That in the making of the modern European world, the cultural legacies of Islam were as important as the legacy of Charlemagne.
- The Professionalization of a Young Historian
This article describes the work of Jason Parker, an assistant professor at Texas A&M University as part of the National History Center’s recent "Decolonization Seminar."
- The Epistemology of Wikipedia
Computer science professor Simson L. Garfinkel looks at what Wikipedia means for definitions of "truth."
- Mapping world history
Suzanne Fischer at the Public Historian blog points to a sneak demo video peek of a new world history mapping project.
- Voices, Votes, Victory: Presidential Campaign Songs
The Library of Congress presents an exhibit of past presidential campaign songs that will run through March 7, 2009.
- Timeline of U.S. Presidential Elections
Looking for electoral maps from every presidential election in U.S. history? Found.
- Quiz: Bizarre U.S. Presidential Elections
Do you know your presidential election history? Find out for sure, with this quiz on “Bizarre U.S. Presidential Elections.” Hat tip.
- Library Ghosts: Northeastern U.S.
This extensive list from the Britannica Blog (see the site for the four other installments) compiles libraries that are said to be haunted. Seemed a fitting addition to What We’re Reading the day before Halloween.
- Vintage Pics Capture ‘Halloween in the Time of Cholera’
Wired magazine showcases a collector’s set of pre-1940 Halloween pictures. Is it just us or was Halloween creepier back in the day?
- Revisiting the Haunted History of Gettysburg
Writer Stephen Budiansky delves into the history and undeniable eeriness of the Gettysburg battlefields.
Contributors: David Darlington, Elisabeth Grant, Jessica Pritchard, Pillarisetti Sudhir, and Robert B. Townsend