This page includes, in addition to news about historians, news about political scientists, economists, law professors, and others who write about history. For a comprehensive list of historians' obituaries, go here.
SOURCE: NY Daily News (6-30-10)
A runner-up for Queens borough historian has ripped into the eventual pick, Jack Eichenbaum, as "sadly misinformed" with a "profound ignorance" of efforts to save significant sites.
Author Jeffrey Kroessler posted the critical comments online in response to a recent Daily News article in which Eichenbaum said he'd rather be an educator than fight to landmark buildings.
"Sadly, Mr. Eichenbaum is poised to continue the ineffective pattern set by his predecessors," Kroessler wrote on the blog of the Historic Districts Council....
SOURCE: Latin American Herald Tribune (6-30-10)
Born in Augusta, Georgia in 1948, Palmer graduated from Emory University (B.A., 1970) and completed his graduate training at Texas Southern University (M.Ed., African History, 1973) and Indiana University Bloomington (Ed. D., Higher Education Administration and African Studies, 1978).
Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Palmer served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia, West Africa (1971-1973); as assistant director of financial aid at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (1973-1974); as a professor of history at Cuttington College in Suakoko, Liberia (1974-1976); and at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, North Carolina (1978-1981).
SOURCE: CHE (6-30-10)
The arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr., a professor at Harvard University, triggered a national controversy about race relations because Mr. Gates, is African-American and the arresting officer is white. The review panel, convened by the police department of Cambridge, Mass., and made up of experts in criminal justice, law, community relations, and conflict resolution, goes on to suggest dialogue to be used in such situations to keep them from spinning out of control.
The review, released on Wednesday, covers the arrest of Mr. Gates by a police sergeant, James Crowley, at Mr. Gates's home while the officer was investigating a report of a break-in there. The arresting charge of disorderly conduct against Mr. Gates was quickly dropped. Yet the controversy over the arrest intensified when President Obama, a friend of the professor's, publicly rebuked the police officer....
SOURCE: Penn State Live (6-30-10)
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, caused by the April explosion of British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that killed 11 crew members, has poured about 100 million gallons of oil into the water and caused significant damage to ecology and industry. It is already considered the largest offshore spill in U.S. history and may be among the largest spills in the world. It may also be among the worst industrial disasters in modern history.
"At this point we're just going to be estimating because it is at a scale and dimension that we just haven't seen before," says environmental historian Brian Black, a professor of history and environmental studies at Penn State Altoona.
Black notes that while the current crisis cannot be minimized, it also is important to consider the historical context of the spill and how it could impact our fuel consumption and policies in the future.
How does this compare with other environmental catastrophes, such as the chemical gas leak from a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India or the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska?
Black: When we begin to try to imagine the possible implications of this spill, we focus on the surface oil, where you have some comparative possibilities with Valdez. The problem with this spill is the undersea pockets, the plumes. The oil is coming from the bottom of the body of water and has many more opportunities to impact the ecosystem. Frankly, that's off the radar screen. This is a lab experiment to see what kind of implications such a spill will have over the long term. We haven't even gotten to the point yet where we know what the size of the spill will be as the oil continues to flow.
In other industrial accidents, such as the spill in Bhopal, you have oversight or industrial ethics that have lapsed. These become part of the issue as well. Very often that becomes the catalyst for change and regulation or change in the way business is conducted. In incidents such as Bhopal, you have the added dimension of conflict between a developed world and a less-developed world. What is different about the situation with the Gulf Spill is that it is an international situation, with a global, British-based company that has caused this disaster on American soil. The U.S. has to deal with that in a profoundly new way. It's the United States having to deal with one of its great international friends in a situation that is a tragic one for its people and ecology. There are all sorts of complications here....
SOURCE: Lee White at the National Coalition for history (6-28-10)
From the Washington, DC, headquarters, Toothman will establish and oversee policies that affect the management of historic and cultural properties in all 392 national parks, including 27,000 historic structures, nearly 70,000 archeological sites, the largest system of museums in the world holding more than 100 million objects, artifacts and archives, and the historical research required to share the stories preserved in national parks.
Outside of parks, Toothman’s responsibilities include support for community-based efforts to preserve and share local history including grants programs that award millions of dollars annually, a tax credit program that incentives $5 billion a year in private investment, and programs that document and recognize history like National Historic Landmarks, National Register of Historic Places, and the Historic American Buildings Survey, Historic American Engineering Record, Historic American Landscapes Survey, and the Cultural Resources GIS survey. Toothman will also manage the national Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and National Heritage Areas program, and an extensive national system of standards, guidance, and technical assistance that is the foundation of historic preservation work across the country. In addition, Toothman will manage award-winning outreach programs like Teaching with Historic Places, an online series of more than 100 classroom-ready lesson plans, and the Discover Our Shared Heritage online travel itineraries.
Toothman comes to her new position from the NPS Pacific West Region where she is chief of cultural resource park and partnership programs. During her 32-year career with the NPS, she has also served as a preservation planner in Washington, DC, and as regional historian, acting superintendent at Crater Lake National Park and the National Mall and Memorial Parks during the 2009 inauguration, and as acting director of the Interior Department’s Office of Youth.
Prior to joining the NPS, Toothman worked as a curatorial assistant at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She graduated magna cum laude from Smith College and went on to receive her Master of Arts and Doctoral degrees in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania. Toothman received the DOI Meritorious Service Award in 2008 and the Washington State Historical Society’s “Robert Gray Medal” in 1999.
SOURCE: Lee White at the National Coalition for History (6-28-10)
As the director of education, Brown will be responsible for defining the Smithsonian’s education program and will report directly to Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough. She will develop an Institution-wide plan for educational initiatives, assessment strategies and funding for students in the K-12 range. Brown will oversee two of the Smithsonian’s educational organizations—the National Science Resources Center and the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies—and coordinate the efforts of 32 education-based offices in museums and science centers.
Brown is not new to the Smithsonian. In 1990, she joined the Smithsonian to serve as director of the National African-American Museum Project. In this position, she coordinated the efforts of advisory committees that considered the role of the Smithsonian in the development of a national museum devoted to exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture. She developed the Institution’s final study on the project and a program plan for the proposed museum. In 1991, she also became the deputy assistant secretary for the arts and humanities and developed policy for many Smithsonian museums.
As director of the arts and culture program at the Nathan Cummings Foundation since 1995, Brown has positioned the organization as a leading arts grantmaker that supports institutions that are committed to excellence, diversity and community involvement.
Brown earned her bachelor’s degree from Pratt Institute in New York City and master’s degree in museum education from Bank Street College of Education. She earned her law degree from Brooklyn Law School.
SOURCE: Lee White at the National Coalition for History (6-28-10)
Historian William Roger Louis will survey the differences and similarities in European colonial empires from the 19th century to the post-World-War-II era, in a lecture July 12 at the Library of Congress.
Louis will present “The European Colonial Empires in Asia and Africa” at 4 p.m. on Monday, July 12, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The lecture is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.
By 1914, Europe controlled some 85 percent of the world’s surface. The British Empire alone extended over one quarter of the globe. There were profound contrasts, however, among the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, French, German, Italian and British colonial systems, with regard to political and religious cultures and social and economic organizations. The legacy of empire in different regions endures to the present.
At the Library’s John W. Kluge Center, Louis holds the Chair in the Countries and Cultures of the North. He is the Kerr Professor of English History and Culture at the University of Texas, where he recently was chosen professor of the year. He is also an honorary fellow of St. Antony’s College at the University of Oxford and a past president of the American Historical Association (AHA). Louis is director of the association’s National History Center. He served on the Historical Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of State from 2001 to 2008.
The lecture is sponsored by the Kluge Center, in conjunction with the National History Center’s Decolonization Seminar. The four-week seminar, held at the Library, brings together international scholars to examine various dimensions of decolonization, primarily 20th-century transitions from colonies to nations in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. The seminar, supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is cosponsored by the AHA and the Kluge Center.
The National History Center promotes research, teaching and learning in all fields of history. Created by the American Historical Association in 2002, the center is a public trust dedicated to the study and teaching of history, as well as to the advancement of historical knowledge in government, business and the public at large. Click here for more information on the National History Center.
SOURCE: Cambridge News (UK) (6-28-10)
Carola Hicks died at her home in the city last Wednesday after contracting cancer.
She was the author of several historical biographies, and is probably best known for her most recent book, The King’s Glass: a Story of Tudor Power and Secret Art. It detailed the history of the stained glass of King’s College chapel....
SOURCE: Leagle.com (6-28-10)
JUSTICE BREYER, with whom JUSTICE GINSBURG and JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR join, dissenting....
Since Heller, historians, scholars, and judges have continued to express the view that the Court's historical account was flawed. See, e.g., Konig, Why the Second Amendment Has a Preamble: Original Public Meaning and the Political Culture of Written Constitutions in Revolutionary America, 56 UCLA L. Rev. 1295 (2009); Finkelman, It Really Was About a Well Regulated Militia, 59 Syracuse L. Rev. 267 (2008); P. Charles, The Second Amendment: The Intent and Its Interpretation by the States and the Supreme Court (2009); Merkel, The District of Columbia v. Heller and Antonin Scalia's Perverse Sense of Originalism, 13 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 349 (2009); Kozuskanich, Originalism in a Digital Age: An Inquiry into the Right to Bear Arms, 29 J. Early Republic 585 (2009); Cornell, St. George Tucker's Lecture Notes, the Second Amendment, and Originalist Methodology, 103 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1541 (2009); Posner, In Defense of Looseness: The Supreme Court and Gun Control, New Republic, Aug. 27, 2008, pp. 32-35; see also Epstein, A Structural Interpretation of the Second Amendment: Why Heller is (Probably) Wrong on Originalist Grounds, 59 Syracuse L. Rev. 171 (2008).
Consider as an example of these critiques an amici brief filed in this case by historians who specialize in the study of the English Civil Wars. They tell us that Heller misunderstood a key historical point. See Brief for English/Early American Historians as Amici Curiae (hereinafter English Historians' Brief) (filed by 21 professors at leading universities in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia). Heller's conclusion that "individual self-defense" was "the central component" of the Second Amendment's right "to keep and bear Arms" rested upon its view that the Amendment "codified a pre-existing right" that had "nothing whatever to do with service in a militia." 554 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 26, 19-20). That view in turn rested in significant part upon Blackstone having described the right as "`the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence,'" which reflected the provision in the English Declaration of Right of 1689 that gave the King's Protestant "`subjects'" the right to "`have Arms for their defence suitable to their Conditions, and as allowed by law.'" Id., at ___ (slip op., at 19-20) (quoting 1 W. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 140 (1765) (hereinafter Blackstone) and 1 W. & M., c. 2, §7, in 3 Eng. Stat. at Large 441 (1689)). The Framers, said the majority, understood that right "as permitting a citizen to `repe[l] force by force' when `the intervention of society in his behalf, may be too late to prevent an injury.'" 554 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 21) (quoting St. George Tucker, 1 Blackstone's Commentaries 145-146, n. 42 (1803)).
The historians now tell us, however, that the right to which Blackstone referred had, not nothing, but everything, to do with the militia. As properly understood at the time of the English Civil Wars, the historians claim, the right to bear arms "ensured that Parliament had the power" to arm the citizenry: "to defend the realm" in the case of a foreign enemy, and to "secure the right of `selfpreservation,'" or "self-defense," should "the sovereign usurp the English Constitution." English Historians' Brief 3, 8-13, 23-24 (emphasis added). Thus, the Declaration of Right says that private persons can possess guns only "as allowed by law." See id., at 20-24. Moreover, when Blackstone referred to "`the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence,'" he was referring to the right of the people "to take part in the militia to defend their political liberties," and to the right of Parliament (which represented the people) to raise a militia even when the King sought to deny it that power. Id., at 4, 24-27 (emphasis added) (quoting 1 Blackstone 140). Nor can the historians find any convincing reason to believe that the Framers had something different in mind than what Blackstone himself meant. Compare Heller, supra, at ___ (slip op., at 21-22) with English Historians' Brief 28-40. The historians concede that at least one historian takes a different position, see id., at 7, but the Court, they imply, would lose a poll taken among professional historians of this period, say, by a vote of 8 to 1.
SOURCE: CBC.ca (6-21-10)
Atkinson, a journalist who earned Pulitzer Prizes both for his reporting as well as his historical tomes, was named on Monday the 2010 recipient of the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing.
James N. Pritzker, the prize's founder and president of the Pritzker Military Library and Tawani Foundation, praised Atkinson in a statement.
"Throughout his multifaceted career, Rick has given readers accurate and frank analysis of military history from World War II to the present conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan," Pritzker said.
SOURCE: University of Manchester (6-28-10)
Plato was the Einstein of Greece’s Golden Age and his work founded Western culture and science. Dr Jay Kennedy’s findings are set to revolutionise the history of the origins of Western thought.
Dr Kennedy, whose findings are published in the leading US journal Apeiron, reveals that Plato used a regular pattern of symbols, inherited from the ancient followers of Pythagoras, to give his books a musical structure. A century earlier, Pythagoras had declared that the planets and stars made an inaudible music, a ‘harmony of the spheres’. Plato imitated this hidden music in his books.
The hidden codes show that Plato anticipated the Scientific Revolution 2,000 years before Isaac Newton, discovering its most important idea – the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics. The decoded messages also open up a surprising way to unite science and religion. The awe and beauty we feel in nature, Plato says, shows that it is divine; discovering the scientific order of nature is getting closer to God. This could transform today’s culture wars between science and religion....
SOURCE: Lee White at the National Coalition for History (6-25-10)
On July 1, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census and the National Archives will be holding a business meeting to mark up legislation (H.R. 1556) to reauthorize the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) at a $20 million level through fiscal year 2014. Since FY 1991, the NHPRC’s authorization level has never exceeded $10 million.
It is vital in advance of the vote to contact the subcommittee Members and urge them to attend and vote for the bill. Letters, emails and phone calls from within each Member’s district are most effective, but so are contacts by individual members of national, state, regional, and local organizations.
The National Coalition for History urges you to contact the Members of the Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census and the National Archives (listed below) TODAY and urge their support for the NHPRC reauthorization bill! All Members of Congress can be reached by via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
Information Policy Subcommittee Members (click on each name to be directed to their webpage)
- Wm. Lacy Clay, MO, Chairman
- Carolyn Maloney, NY
- Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC
- Danny Davis, IL
- Steve Driehaus, OH
- Henry Cuellar, TX
- Judy Chu, CA
- Patrick McHenry, NC, Ranking Member
- Lynn Westmoreland, GA, Vice Ranking Member
- John Mica, FL
- Jason Chaffetz, UT
On June 21, the Senate Governmental Affairs and Homeland Security Committee issued a committee report (S. Rept. 111-213) on its version of the NHPRC reauthorization bill (S. 2872) , and the bill has been placed on the Senate floor calendar. Unfortunately, the Senate bill keeps the NHPRC’s authorization level at $10 million. Thus, it is vitally important that H.R. 1556, with the reauthorization level of $20 million, pass the House.
SOURCE: Organization of American Historians (6-28-10)
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is offering grants of up to $25,000 for faculty to develop a new undergraduate course that fosters intellectual community through the study of an enduring question. The application deadline is September 15, 2010. For more information, please visit www.neh.gov/grants/guidelines/EnduringQuestions.html.
SOURCE: George Miles at H-NET Western History (6-29-10)
Archibald Hanna, Jr., the first curator of the Yale Collection of Western Americana, died last Thursday after a short illness. Archie was 93 years old.
Archie joined the staff of the Yale University Library in 1949, when he was hired to help catalog the books and manuscripts given to Yale by William Robertson Coe. In 1952, he was named the inaugural William Robertson Coe Curator of Western Americana. He served in that capacity until his retirement in 1981. Famous for his ability to cultivate collectors, donors, and antiquarian booksellers, Archie made New Haven an essential stopping place for anyone interested in the history of the American West. A founding member of the Western History Association, Archie was renowned not only at Yale, but throughout the country for his ability and willingness to help young scholars. The Western History Association honored him with its Award of Merit....
SOURCE: Press Release (6-28-10)
OutHistory.org, the award-winning website on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer U.S. history, announced the winners of its “Since Stonewall Local Histories Contest” on Monday, June 28, exactly 41 years after the start of the rebellion that marks the beginning of the modern movement for LGBTQ rights and liberation.
The contest—the first of its kind—invited people from across the country to create exhibits on OutHistory.org about the history of LGBTQ life in their village, town, city, county, or state since the Stonewall riots, 40 years ago. The contest also offered five cash prizes, from $5,000 to $1,000, to the creators of the top five exhibits. The awards were provided by the Arcus Foundation, which funded OutHistory.org for four years.
OutHistory.org received over thirty exciting exhibits about LGBTQ history. One of the contest’s major goals was to draw attention to LGBTQ history in places that scholars have overlooked. Exhibits include entries about states such as Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, and Virginia, among others.
The “Since Stonewall” exhibits are all geographically-based, but range dramatically in subject, from one New Yorker’s memoirs, to a history of the Gay Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C., an account of a long-lived gay bar in Michigan called The Flame, and a timeline of The Lesbian Mothers National Defense Fund in Seattle. All the entries are listed on the site.
Professors and historians of homosexuality John D’Emilio and Leisa Meyer served as judges of the contest.
The First Place Winner
The first place prize was awarded to “Man-i-fest: FTM Mentorship in San Francisco from 1976 – 2009,” created by Meghan Rohrer, the first openly transgender pastor ordained in the Lutheran Church, in partnership with San Francisco’s GLBT Historical Society.
The exhibit documents Lou Sullivan’s transition from female to male over the course of thirty years, with evidence drawn from Sullivan’s photos and letters, as well as video footage of interviews he did with the mainstream and community press, and medical professionals. D’Emilio and Meyer praised “the exhibit’s attention to the less studied FTM transition,” and noted “the critical role of mentors in these transitions is remarkable.”
The second place winner, “Rainbow Richmond: LGBTQ History of Richmond, VA,” compiled by Cindy Bray, Program Director for the Gay Community Center of Richmond, provides a deeply textured story of the multiple challenges and triumphs that have constituted the queer history of this former capital of the Confederacy.
“Moving from a straightforward timeline of the significant moments and turning points of Richmond’s LGBTQ history,” D’Emilio and Meyer said, “this exhibit offers detailed and evocative coverage of the violence, legal battles, and activism that characterized the four decades since Stonewall and offers browsers the rare opportunity to substantively engage this vital southern LGBTQ community.”
In third place, historian Lindsay Branson’s “Gay Liberation in New York City” provides a remarkable array of sources, from an initial picture of “gay” graffiti to vivid oral history interviews and video footage of historical moments. This entry makes visitors to the site feel like they are part of the vibrant gay liberation movement in New York City during its brief heyday, while working to clarify the complex legacies of Stonewall.
“Las Vegas, Nevada” the fourth place winner documents the creation of LGBTQ communities in Las Vegas over the course of 30 years. It was created by Dennis McBride and Crystal Van Dee of the Nevada State Museum with Paul Ershler of the Lambda Business and Professional Association. “This exhibit makes clear that, while Stonewall is part of a ‘shared’ queer history, we might be better served by looking to institutions like the Reno Gay Rodeo, Le Café in Las Vegas, and the fierce local struggles to maintain these and other institutions to understand the emergence of queer Nevada” D’Emilio and Meyer declared.
In fifth place is the “Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, San Francisco, California 1971-2004,” created by historian Nathan Purkiss, which documents the first registered LGBT democratic club in the nation. The exhibit draws from theAlice Reports newsletter, interviews with longtime Alice members, and the Gay Vote Newsletters of the Harvey Milk Democratic Club to provide, what D’Emilio and Meyer call, “a fascinating textual and visual journey.”
Honorable mention was given to “The Midwest’s ‘Queer Mecca’: 40 Years of GLBTQ History in Bloomington, Indiana (1969-2009),” and “LGBT Life in Iowa City, Iowa: 1967-2010.”
OutHistory.org’s founder, the pioneering gay historian Jonathan Ned Katz, hopes that the Since Stonewall Contest exhibits will be used by teachers to incorporate local LGBTQ history into high school and college courses. He also hopes that the contest will inspire others to write their local histories on the site, which, like Wikipedia, permits users to create content. As contest contributors can continue to edit their entries on OutHistory.org, and new histories are added by the public, the site’s local LGBTQ history content will continue to grow.
According to D’Emilio and Meyer, “The OutHistory.org website and the ‘Since Stonewall’ contest are critically important in bringing attention to local LGBTQ history, and LGBTQ history more generally. Without recognition of LGBTQ history on local, state, national, and transnational levels our historical narratives will remain forever incomplete.”
OutHistory.org was the co-recipient of the first Allan Bérubé Award from The Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History of the American Historical Association.
SOURCE: University of New Mexico (6-21-10)
A celebration of life service will take place at the Alumni Memorial Chapel on Friday, Aug. 27 at 2 p.m.
Szasz joined the UNM Department of History in 1968 and earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Rochester the following year.
Charlie Steen, chair of the history department, said, “Frank’s death leaves a vacuum that won’t be filled. He was both a point of reference and a soul of kindness.”...
SOURCE: Robert B. Townsend at the AHA Blog (6-21-10)
The economic hard times rocking the discipline took their toll on the AHA this past year, as membership in the Association fell 7.4 percent from the year before. This erased gains made over the previous five years and dropped membership down to 13,946 active members.
We are pleased to note, however, that eight history departments now have 100 percent membership rates among their full-time faculty—Alma College, American International College, Bethel College, Illinois College, Misericordia University, North Hennepin Community College, University of Portland, and Willamette University. We extend our special thanks and appreciation to them!
Almost three-fourths of the Association’s members are affiliated with two- and four-year colleges and universities—now comprising 72.5 percent of the membership. Notably, students now comprise more than a quarter of the total membership (26.3 percent)—up sharply from just 20 percent a decade ago.
A plurality (38 percent) of the membership specializes in European history, making it slightly larger than U.S. history (which accounts for another 35.5 percent of the membership). But when compared to full-time faculty listed in the Directory of History Departments,specialists in Latin American history were the most likely to be members of the AHA.
Currently 41 percent of listed Latin Americanists are members of the AHA, as compared to 38 percent of the historians working on European history and 31 percent of the faculty in the field of U.S. history. Among specialists in other regions, 27 percent of the full-time history faculty working on Africa and Asia, and just 23 percent of the specialists in the history of the Middle East are members.
Institutional subscriptions also declined this past year, though by smaller amounts than among the individual members. Perspectives on History lost one institutional subscriber and our Department and Organization Services Programs lost 13, while staff at the University of Chicago Press reported a 5.2 percent decline in the number of paid subscribers to the American Historical Review.
SOURCE: Robert Townsend at the AHA Blog (6-21-10)
A sense of optimism pervaded the annual meeting of Association of American University Presses (AAUP) this past weekend, even as the staff at those presses grappled with budget cuts and rapid changes in the way scholarship is disseminated.
As in years past, history was described as a vital part of the work and catalogs of most university presses. A number of the editors and staff members there observed that they seemed to be publishing an unprecedented number of history titles, and expressed confidence that very few historians will lack for a publisher in the near future.
But it appeared that there are no guarantees that the resulting monographs will appear in print. A strong theme in the discussions at the meeting was the waning market for traditional print publications and ongoing experiments with digital forms. Sessions on library acquisitions made the point clearly—as library directors and specialists offered substantial evidence that books published in print receive scarce and diminishing use, while online publications generate significantly more attention. In a context where university libraries are suffering from sharp cuts to their book-buying budgets, they described a strong imperative to shift their buying to e-books—especially for books by first-time authors and on narrow or obscure topics. As a core market for monographs, this would place significant pressure on the presses....
SOURCE: University of Chicago (6-9-10)
Funeral services were held Monday at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Hyde Park before an assembly of over two-hundred and fifty, including many students and faculty members from departments across the University.
Gugliotta served as Lecturer in the College and Research Associate in the Humanities Division since 2002. Her teaching was primarily in Environmental Studies and the Humanities Core.
"Angela was a gifted scholar, a fine teacher, and a dedicated mentor to our students," said Mark Lycett, director of the Program on the Global Environment that administers the Environmental Studies major in the College. "She was an incisive and creative voice in our program and her contributions are irreplaceable."...
SOURCE: Salon.com (6-23-10)
Should Gen. McChrystal have been fired?
I believe this matter has already been settled. My view is that he should not have been fired.
Can you discuss what may have been frustrating McChrystal?
It’s completely speculative, but I would think there’s ample reason for the guy to be frustrated in the sense that he’s been engaged in wars for about the last six years. He’s constantly deployed. He never gets to see his family. I think he behaved stupidly. But I certainly understand these are people who are under tremendous stress. And that sometimes causes people to do stupid things.
Have you seen anything like this before?
Of course. In the Korean War, President Truman fired Douglas MacArthur for professional misbehavior that was far more egregious than what McChrystal was guilty of.
McChrystal was well known for his commitment to a specific counterinsurgency strategy (COIN). Can you describe this strategy?
I think it’s a practical matter. What they’re trying to do is bring security to the Afghan population and once security has been established, they’re trying to deliver good governance with the expectation that security plus governance will win the people over to support the government of President Karzai. It’s what they’re trying to do. I think it’s a defective concept and I don’t think it’s working.
SOURCE: Jonathan Gelbart at Campus Watch (6-23-10)
Stanford University history professor Joel Beinin joined colleague Steven Zipperstein, a professor of Jewish culture and history, for an event on June 2, 2010 titled "Israel and Palestine: How To Talk About It and What To Talk About." It was co-sponsored by the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies and the Taube Center for Jewish Studies—the first such joint sponsorship in the history of the two programs. Beinin lived up to his reputation for holding views whoseoutlandishness is matched only by the ferocity with which he clings to them.
Beinin began his opening remarks by lamenting the "unhealthy" state of the Arab-Israeli conflict debate—something he chalked up to the allegedly disproportionate influence of pro-Israel groups. Invoking the typical "Israel Lobby" paranoia, he claimed that organizations such as the American Jewish Committee and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) discreetly control the debate with publications such as Commentary Magazine and think tanks such as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. According to Beinin, these organizations routinely "attempt to ban [anti-Israel academics] from speaking [on college campuses] and attack them politically when they come up for tenure." Using alarmist rhetoric, he claimed this behavior is tantamount to "a McCarthyite campaign of exclusion."
As an example, he labeled "ridiculous" the characterization of Columbia University Edward Said professor of Arab studies Rashid Khalidi as anti-Semitic, adding that, "advocating for the rights of the Palestinian people is not anti-Semitism." Anti-Semitism aside, Khalidi—a former spokesman for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and a well-known anti-Israel ideologue—is hardly a dispassionate "advocate." Moreover, neither Khalidi's academic career, nor that of his likeminded colleagues, has suffered as a result of politicized scholarship; that is, unless one considers mere criticism permanently damaging.
Beinin went on to describe the rhetoric used to discuss the conflict as "demagoguery" in which "Jews whose opinions are similar to the bi-nationalist positions historically held by Albert Einstein [and others]…are effectively excommunicated and labeled self-haters." Invoking the first of what would be several references to Jewish scripture and morals, he then asked, "Does all of this [name-calling]…help us be a light unto the nations?"...
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (6-22-10)
Public historians conduct history research and promote history in museums, parks, schools, nonprofit groups and elsewhere -- designing exhibits, overseeing archives and developing educational programs, all based on scholarship, but for a broader audience than scholars. As more history departments have created public history programs (in part because it is considered a growth area in which historians may find jobs), they have hired more public historians -- often creating tension over how to evaluate them.
History departments' public historians have their work in the field ignored while they are evaluated through a "tenure process that emphasizes single-authored monographs and articles at the expense of other types of scholarly productions," according to a report prepared by a committee created by the three history associations. "Often the lone public historian in a department, the public historian on the faculty frequently must serve two masters, publishing a monograph to ensure favorable evaluation of the tenure application while remaining active in the field, or find some other way to reconcile traditional tenure expectations within public history work."...
SOURCE: AP (6-21-10)
"Wars don't end simply, where someone declares victory," said Brian Linn, a professor at Texas A&M University, one of 14 academics, authors and other military history experts who took part in Monday's "War Termination Conference" at the United States Military Academy.
Peter Maslowski of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's history department said, "The endings of wars are messy, messy."
The daylong conference examined the ways American wars have ended and how those endings have influenced subsequent military actions and history....
Organizers of the West Point conference brought in some of the nation's top military historians to discuss war endings before an audience that included about 20 other academics and about a dozen officers from the academy's history department. Because cadets are on summer break, West Point instructors will use essays written by conference participants and videotape of the gathering for their classroom lectures, said Col. Mat Moten, deputy head of the academy's history department....
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (6-21-10)
Jenkins's piece questions the pious truths of "euregionalism". He has a point. Did anyone, even in the dewy-eyed days of Freddy Heineken's 2002 "Eurotopia", really think rich regions would extricate themselves from states only to get re-embroiled in the EU? If Flemings stop bailing out Walloons, why would they rush to assist Greeks?.
Jenkins's Euroscepticism leads him to define all of this as a bold step forward. It is, of course, anything but. As the great Tony Judt argued more than a decade ago in his essay "Is There A Belgium?", the slow implosion of the Belgian state is indeed indicative of what happens on the wider European stage. But Judt did not define this as a good thing. The division of Belgium happened against the backdrop of the larger crisis of the state, and that was nothing to wax gleeful about: "In progressively dismantling and disabling the unitary state in order to buy off its internal critics, Belgians may have made a Faustian bargain," he wrote, warning that citizenries cast aside "a sense of cohesion and common purpose" at their own peril....
Meanwhile, few Flemish autonomists want to get rid of Brussels altogether. Likewise, splitting the Belgian state down the middle is no option. So – whither? One could think of strengthening the regions while defining a new role for Belgium, a polity that predated Flanders and Wallonia, after all (Jenkins's brief account of Belgian history since 1830 is deplorably inaccurate.) One could stop taking the division of public culture as a given – see the opinions voiced on the discussion forum "Rethinking Belgium", by among others, De Wever's elder brother, Bruno, a professor of history, or if you know Dutch, the most recent comment on Flanders and Belgium by the brilliant Flemish writer Tom Lanoye.
SOURCE: AHA Blog (6-21-10)
The AHA Council adopted “Tenure, Promotion, and the Publicly Engaged Academic Historian,” a report offering best practices for evaluating public history scholarship in history departments, at its June 5 meeting. The report provides clear advice on evaluating public history work for college and university administrators, department chairs, and faculty. The National Council on Public History and the Organization of American Historians also adopted the joint report.
The report argues that public history work is generally overlooked in a “tenure process that emphasizes single-authored monographs and articles at the expense of other types of scholarly productions.” Despite increasing interest in public history, public scholarship, and other forms of civic engagement in colleges and universities, current standards for evaluating historical scholarship “do not reflect the great variety of historical practice undertaken by faculty members.” Even departments that hire faculty specifically to teach public history often neglect to reward those historians for carrying out the range of public history activities required in their jobs.
SOURCE: APA.az (6-18-10)
Speaking at a conference entitled "So Called Armenian genocide and Displacement" [in Baku], former director of Turkish Historical Society, Yusuf Halacoglu refuted Armenian claims regarding to 1915 incidents. Informing the audience over the conditions and situation of the period, Halacoglu said that Armenians were displaced because of the rebellions they launched....