February 25, 2010
Though the 124th Annual Meeting concluded over a month ago, C-SPAN has only just aired footage of the “Reflections on Proposition 8” session, now available for viewing online. In other news, the LA Times has released the names of finalists for their book prize. This list includes three AHA members. Also check out links to a new task force report on graduate and professional education, the obituary of Jack Pole, the ICA statement on Haiti, and controversy around a new JFK series from the History Channel. For teachers we mention two articles: one on the positives of teaching at a community college and another on a lesson plan on the Olympics. Finally, peruse photo tampering through history, check out a newly discovered ancient temple in Turkey, visit the Black History Trail in Tuskegee, Alabama (without leaving your house), and see a history of International Women’s Day.
- C-SPAN: Reflections on Proposition 8
At the 124th AHA annual meeting in January C-SPAN recorded a session on Reflections on Proposition 8. C-SPAN aired this video on February 13, but you can now stream it online.
- LA Times Book Prize for 2009
The LA Times has released the finalists for their 30th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. In the category of history and biography this includes three AHA members: Martha A. Sandweiss, Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line (The Penguin Press); Gordon S. Wood, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic 1789–1815 (Oxford University Press); and Linda Gordon, Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits (W.W. Norton & Co.). Hat tip.
- Task Force on Graduate and Professional Education: Selective Excellence (PDF)
A new report (PDF) from the University of Iowa rates their history graduate program as merely “Good” (which falls below categories of “Exemplary” and “High Quality”). Former AHA vice president for research, Stan Katz, expresses some concern about the methods used and by the committee, and the large number of low-ranked humanities programs.
- Professor Jack Pole: historian of the US
Historian Jack Pole, member of the AHA and Rhodes Professor of American History in the U.K. passed away January 30, 2010. He was 87 years old.
- ICA Statement – Haiti needs
The International Council on Archives is publicizing the efforts of their Haitian colleagues, listing “heritage” sites that are in danger, and what the archives and library communities can do to help. See the full statement here (PDF).
- History channel draws flak for planned JFK miniseries
There is currently a debate going on between notable critics and the prospective miniseries entitled “The Kennedys” set to air on the History Channel. According to critics, the series’ script contains countless errors and fabrications and “offer[s] a portrait of the president and his family that is, at best, inaccurate, and at worst, a hatchet job.”
- Giving Thanks for the Community College
Gender historian Hugo Schwyzer writes about his experiences teaching at the community college level. Schwyzer started teaching at a community college in the mid-1990s, against the advice of his dissertation adviser, who told him to wait for a tenure-track job at a four-year institution. But Schwyzer found that his love of teaching more than research made the community college a good fit, and he rejects the "certain elitism that stigmatize[s] the two-year college experience." For historians who feel a strong calling to teach, Schwyzer makes a good argument for the community college as a viable career path.
- The Olympic Spirit, Celebrating Sportsmanship and Virtue
Have you been enjoying the Olympics? Learn about its beginnings with a new lesson plan from EDSITEment.
- Photo Tampering Throughout History
Photoshop as a verb may be a recent addition to the language, but, the practice of altering photographs has been around as long as the camera. Dartmouth forensic expert Hany Faris put together this online exhibit of famous photographic fakes starting the head of Abraham Lincoln superimposed on the body of John Calhoun.
- History in the Remaking
A temple unearthed in Turkey predates the pyramids.
- Tuskegee still rich in black history
The Black History Trail in Tuskegee, Alabama, takes visitors through the town’s civil rights’ stories; however, this article tries to capture these stories through the written word for those unable to physically visit the Trail. Also make sure to check out a similar article detailing the stories from World War II veterans, Jack Bryant, Harvey Sanford, and Willis Saunders, who “still proudly identify themselves as Tuskegee Airmen, pioneers who helped break down the military’s long-standing color barrier.”
- A History of International Women’s Day
Megan Cornish recaps the history behind International Women’s Day, beginning with a New York City protest in 1857 through today.
Contributors: David Darlington, Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, Arnita Jones, Jessica Pritchard, and Robert B. Townsend.