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: CNN.com (8-26-10)
Warren, 61, has become something of a cause célèbre as the administration's top pick to run the new agency charged with protecting consumers from abusive mortgage and credit card practices....
"The administration is hesitating because they're faced with the traditional problem that Obama has faced," said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University.
If the White House passes Warren over, Zelizer says, they disappoint liberals whose support has been key throughout the administration. If Warren gets the nod, the White House must deal with "political difficulties on Capitol Hill where centrists have quite a lot of power and Republicans are becoming quite obstinate," Zelizer said.
Warren teaches contract and bankruptcy law as a Harvard University professor and she's also written a number of personal finance books. More publicly, she chairs a congressional oversight panel that has garnered attention for its critical reviews of government spending to bail out Wall Street banks under the Troubled Asset Relief Program....
SOURCE: NYT (8-27-10)
The cause was complications from multiple myeloma, said his wife, Carol.
When Mr. Weber began writing about the history of the borderlands between present-day Mexico and the United States, the subject was regarded as a backwater.
“United States historians saw the field as part of Latin American history and ignored it,” he wrote in a 2005 essay. “Latin American historians regarded it as belonging to the history of the United States, and likewise gave it short shrift.”
In “The Spanish Frontier in North America” (1992), his most important book, Mr. Weber presented a complex picture of cultural, political and military interaction among the Spanish, the indigenous Indian populations and Anglo settlers, and explored the roots of a Hispanic legacy that defines the American Southwest today. In the process he dismantled the so-called Black Legend, the entrenched myth of Spain as a uniquely rapacious power, bent solely on conquest and plunder....
SOURCE: NYT (8-26-10)
Mr. Schurmann, who was fluent in as many as 12 languages and read a variety of foreign papers daily, taught history and sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, for nearly four decades. But his life was far more adventurous than that sounds, and he referred to himself not as an academic but as an explorer-journalist.
The son of working-class immigrants, he developed early on the charisma and intellectual heft to attract famous and powerful company. He spent graduate school summers with the family of the German expatriate playwright Bertolt Brecht, whose son Stefan he had met in the Army. At Brecht’s Southern California dinner table he encountered Thomas Mann and other German intellectuals in exile.
An opponent of the Vietnam War and a founder of the Berkeley Faculty Peace Committee in 1964, he toured Hanoi with the writer Mary McCarthy in 1968. An inveterate traveler, especially in Asia but also in Russia and other parts of Europe, he became used to drawing conclusions more from firsthand observations than from secondhand accounts by scholars and journalists....
SOURCE: BBC News (8-24-10)
Dr Elaine Chalus has won a major research grant of more than £100,000 to investigate diaries kept by Elizabeth Wynne....
Dr Chalus will use her funding from the British Academy to bring to light more than 40 volumes of Elizabeth's diaries, most of which have never been published....
SOURCE: John B. Judis in The New Republic (8-25-10)
[John B. Judis is a senior editor of The New Republic and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.]
In the week since my story on “the unnecessary fall of Barack Obama” came out, I have been accused of being “hysterical” and “ahistorical,” of glorifying Ronald Reagan, of “moving away from” my “previously clear-eyed stance on the primary source of Obama's troubles,” and of relying on the same “white-working-class Theory of Everything” I have been “peddling … ever since summer 2008.” And that’s just in public. Privately, the criticism has been far more withering and has included words far too incendiary to print in a family magazine. But I’ve spent a lot of time considering some of the (quite thought-provoking and reasonable) counter-arguments to my piece, and I’d like to take the opportunity to respond to them here.
1. You shouldn’t be encouraging populism.Or you are wrong to make populism the answer or the main answer to Obama’s political difficulties.
I don’t consider myself a “populist.” I am much more of a Herbert Croly-progressive with a touch of elitism. I wasn’t arguing for populism as a political ideal, but as the means by which Obama could have more plausibly achieved objectives that he, and I, and many Americans share: a return to a buoyant prosperity, a narrowing of inequality, and the reinforcement of the social safety net. To achieve these during the present severe downturn requires strong political majorities. And to get those, Obama—or any president—has to frame his appeal in populist terms.
I am not making the ridiculous assertion that populism is “hardwired” into the American brain. But in the course of American history, certain conceptions—or worldviews—have been passed from generation to generation, and insofar as they have not been repeatedly contradicted by events, have endured. One of these, for instance, is what historian Ernest Tuveson called the idea of America as the “redeemer nation.” When Americans have had to make hard foreign policy choices, the politicians have invariably appealed to America’s role as world savior. Another is Thomas Paine’s idea of government as a “necessary evil,” which invariably pops up as an explanation for our economic ills. Populism—as a defense of the embattled middle class—is a similarly enduring worldview. Populist arguments don’t always carry the day, but during domestic crises, they will be heard, and politicians ignore them at their peril.
Mike Kazin, who wrote the definitive book on populist rhetoric, suggests that I am exaggerating the role of populism in Franklin Roosevelt’s success in his first two years. I disagree with Mike on this point. One can compare what Roosevelt said and did in his first months with what Obama said and did....
SOURCE: Center for Labor Renewal (8-25-10)
In an epoch of imperial hubris and corporate class warfare on steroids, the release of these books could hardly have come at a better time. Soldier, coal miner, Sixties veteran, recent graduate – there's much to be gained by one and all from a study of Lynd's life and work. In so doing, it's remarkable to discover how frequently he was in the right place at the right time and, more importantly, on the right side.
Forty-six years ago, during the tumultuous summer of 1964, Lynd was invited to coordinate the Freedom Schools established in Mississippi by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. The schools were an integral part of the Herculean effort to end apartheid in the United States and became models for alternative schools everywhere....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-24-10)
But the 57-year-old insists that a mistake by a map maker half a century ago wrongly showed the right of way through the property - ironically called "Garden of Eden".
Mr McNerney and his wife Cate, a nurse, bought the property set in wooded grounds in the village of Banham, near Attlebrough, Norfolk, three years ago.
He said:"I am not being a Nimby but if the council had originally said there was a public footpath through our garden I would have accepted it.
"But the plotted path is incorrect because it shows the route running through a 300-year-old hedgerow and a steep escarpment.
"We have pored over ancient maps and talked to many locals and it is clear that the public right of way never ran through our garden."...
SOURCE: SF Chronicle (8-23-10)
Mr. Schurmann taught at UC Berkeley for 38 years and headed its Center for Chinese Studies. He spoke a dozen languages and wrote more than a half dozen books on China and U.S. foreign policy. His writings early in the Cold War accurately predicted the political rift between China and the Soviet Union....
SOURCE: NYT (8-21-10)
David A. Moss, an economic and policy historian at the Harvard Business School, has spent years studying income inequality. While he has long believed that the growing disparity between the rich and poor was harmful to the people on the bottom, he says he hadn’t seen the risks to the world of finance, where many of the richest earn their great fortunes.
Now, as he studies the financial crisis of 2008, Mr. Moss says that even Wall Street may have something serious to fear from inequality — namely, another crisis.
The possible connection between economic inequality and financial crises came to Mr. Moss about a year ago, when he was at his research center in Cambridge, Mass. A colleague suggested that he overlay two different graphs — one plotting financial regulation and bank failures, and the other charting trends in income inequality.
Mr. Moss says he was surprised by what he saw. The timelines danced in sync with each other. Income disparities between rich and poor widened as government regulations eased and bank failures rose.
“I could hardly believe how tight the fit was — it was a stunning correlation,” he said. “And it began to raise the question of whether there are causal links between financial deregulation, economic inequality and instability in the financial sector. Are all of these things connected?”
Professor Moss is among a small group of economists, sociologists and legal scholars who are now trying to discover if income inequality contributes to financial crises. They have a new data point, of course, in the recent banking crisis, but there is only one parallel in the United States — the 1929 market crash....
SOURCE: Boston Globe (8-15-10)
Without the tomato, pizza would be bread and cheese, spaghetti would seem naked. The North End without red sauce? Impossible. But the tomato’s role in Italian food is fairly recent, according to David Gentilcore, a professor of early modern history at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.
In his new book, “Pomodoro! A History of the Tomato in Italy,” Gentilcore traces the tomato from its origins in the New World, where it was domesticated by the Maya, then cultivated by the Aztecs. It likely entered Europe via Spain, after conquistador Hernan Cortes’s conquest of Mexico. When it arrived on the scene in Italy, it was strictly a curiosity for those who studied plants — not something anyone faint of heart would consider eating. In 1628, Paduan physician Giovanni Domenico Sala called tomatoes “strange and horrible things” in a discussion that included the consumption of locusts, crickets, and worms. When people ate tomatoes, it was as a novelty. “People were curious about new foods, the way gourmets are today with new combinations and new uses of high technology in preparation,” Gentilcore said. Yesterday’s tomato is today’s molecular gastronomy....
IDEAS: When did the tomato become an integral part of Italy’s cuisine?
GENTILCORE: You can’t imagine Italian food without it. And yet most of these dishes, such as pasta al pomodoro, are fairly recent — from the 1870s or ’80s. Italian immigrants arriving in New York City or Boston were the first generation to eat these dishes as daily things. Making a rich meat sauce with maybe the addition of tomato paste, that Sunday gravy style, is something that happens only in the 20th century....
SOURCE: City Journal (8-19-10)
[Daniel J. Flynn, author of A Conservative History of the American Left, blogs at www.flynnfiles.com.]
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, as Joseph Stalin entered the final years of his reign of terror in the Soviet Union, twentysomething Howard Zinn served as a foot soldier in the Communist Party of the United States of America—this according to recently declassified FBI files. Zinn, the Marxist historian and progressive hero who died in January, may also have lied to the FBI about his Communist Party membership. Is it at all surprising that someone who got history so wrong stood on the wrong side of history?
Zinn’s partisans will no doubt jeer at much of what the FBI files reveal. Who cares if Zinn marched in a May Day parade or if his wife subscribed to The Daily Worker? Other allegations are more serious but vague. One declassified report notes: “Information received on 6/12/53, indicated that the subject was possibly in contact with persons operating in the Communist Party underground.” What information, derived from whom? Was Zinn “possibly” involved with spies or really involved with spies? What kind of “contact”? Who in “the Communist Party underground”? And for some, the identity of the accusers vindicates the accused. J. Edgar Hoover’s personally ordering an investigation of Zinn on March 30, 1949; FBI associate director Clyde Tolson’s ominously asking, “What do our files show on Zinn?”; and FBI spooks’ surveillance of Zinn’s home—these stand as badges of honor in some circles, most notably the ones in which Zinn operated.
But amid charges innocuous and amorphous are specific allegations by numerous eyewitnesses that Howard Zinn was indeed a Communist Party member. After interviewing Zinn on November 6, 1953 and again on February 9, 1954, FBI agents described him as “courteous” and “friendly,” yet willing to part with information only after a repetition of pointed questions. Zinn admitted membership in numerous Communist fronts, including the Americans Veterans Committee and the American Labor Party, which employed Zinn at its headquarters in Brooklyn at a time when Communists controlled it. But he steadfastly denied membership in the Communist Party itself....
SOURCE: Debbie Ann Doyle at the AHA Blog (8-23-10)
David J. Weber, historian of the Borderlands, the American West, and Latin America and vice-president of the American Historical Association’s Professional Division, died on Friday, August 20, after a long struggle with multiple myeloma.
Weber was Robert and Nancy Dedman professor of history and founding director of the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He received his BS from the State University of New York at Fredonia and his MA and PhD from the University of New Mexico. In recognition of his work, he received the Real Orden de Isabel la Católica–the Spanish equivalent of a knighthood–from Juan Carlos, the King of Spain, and the Orden Mexicana del Águila Azteca, (the Order of the Aztec Eagle), the highest award the Mexican government bestows on foreign nationals. His book Bárbaros: Spaniards and Their Savages in the Age of Enlightenment (Yale University Press) received the AHA’s John Edwin Fagg prize in 2006. He was the recipient of numerous other recognitions for his scholarship and teaching.
A dedicated volunteer and good citizen of the profession, Weber served as vice-president of the AHA’s Professional Division (beginning in 2008), and represented the division on the Task Force on Disability and the LGBTQ Historians Task Force. He was active in several other associations and had been an ex officio member of the board of the National History Center, president of the Western History Association, a member of the executive board of the Organization of American Historians, and a member of the general committee of the Conference on Latin American History. He served on numerous editorial boards and prize committees.
A session dedicated to the impact of his work has been scheduled for the AHA annual meeting in Boston. Organized by the Conference on Latin American History’s Borderlands and Frontiers Studies Committee, the session is entitled “David J. Weber and the Borderlands: Past, Present, and Future.” A tribute will also be held at the Western Historical Association’s annual meeting in Lake Tahoe in October.
Though it sounds like a cliché, David can only be described as a truly nice man. His depth of knowledge, and dedication to scholarship, teaching, and the future of the profession will be sorely missed. Plans for a memorial are pending; per the family’s request, memorial contributions can be sent to the Clements Center for Southwest Studies or the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Obituaries have been posted on H-Texas and H-West.
SOURCE: NYT (8-23-10)
Now some humanities scholars have begun to challenge the monopoly that peer review has on admission to career-making journals and, as a consequence, to the charmed circle of tenured academe. They argue that in an era of digital media there is a better way to assess the quality of work. Instead of relying on a few experts selected by leading publications, they advocate using the Internet to expose scholarly thinking to the swift collective judgment of a much broader interested audience.
“What we’re experiencing now is the most important transformation in our reading and writing tools since the invention of movable type,” said Katherine Rowe, a Renaissance specialist and media historian at Bryn Mawr College. “The way scholarly exchange is moving is radical, and we need to think about what it means for our fields.”...
Just a few years ago these sorts of developments would have been unthinkable, said Dan Cohen, director of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. “Serious scholars are asking whether the institutions of the academy — as they have existed for decades, even centuries — aren’t becoming obsolete,” he said....
Advocates of more open reviewing, like Mr. Cohen at George Mason argue that other important scholarly values besides quality control — for example, generating discussion, improving works in progress and sharing information rapidly — are given short shrift under the current system.
“There is an ethical imperative to share information,” said Mr. Cohen, who regularly posts his work online, where he said thousands read it. Engaging people in different disciplines and from outside academia has made his scholarship better, he said.
To Mr. Cohen, the most pressing intellectual issue in the next decade is this tension between the insular, specialized world of expert scholarship and the open and free-wheeling exchange of information on the Web. “And academia,” he said, “is caught in the middle.”
SOURCE: The Root (8-19-10)
In his latest book, The Substance of Hope, Cobb turns his attention to the 2008 election, the political climate preceding the election and his own involvement as a delegate for the state of Georgia. (He blogged for The Root from the Democratic National Convention in 2008.) His training as a historian comes to bear as he asks, What does this all mean? And where do we go from here?
The interview was conducted via Google Chat.
The Root: In The Substance of Hope, you play both historian and participant as a delegate in the 2008 election. How did these distinct roles help shape your book?
William Jelani Cobb: Initially they made it more difficult because I'm accustomed to writing about things that are more static. This was an attempt to place the election into a context in terms of history, and in some ways in terms of irony. But this was also a rapidly changing subject. The result was that I wrote about three-quarters of the book and then threw it all out and started again from scratch. It was much more difficult to decide what story I wanted to tell.
SOURCE: FrontPageMag (8-23-10)
FP: Victor Davis Hanson, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
I would like to talk to you today about the proposed mega-mosque next to Ground Zero and how Obama is handling it.
First, what do you make of the controversy surrounding the mosque in general?
Hanson: Thanks Jamie.
Almost everything about the controversy is disingenuous. Mr Rauf, the Kuwaiti born, Western educated physicist, and self-described Sufi cleric, heretofore has had a successful career contextualizing everything from gender apartheid in the Middle East to Sharia law and jihad, in the sense that the onus is always on Westerners not to take radical Islamists at their word or to believe what they see and hearin the Middle East.
The problem is that Mr. Rauf is more apt to fault Western perceptions of Islam when he resides in the U.S., but not so eager to discuss Islamic extremism when he visits his familiar turf in the gulf. He knows well that candid criticism ofAmerica earns accolades among the cultural elite here while candid criticism of radical Islam in the Middle East can earn something not so nice. By the way, that is called a sort of heroic “bridge-building.”...
SOURCE: NYT (8-22-10)
SOURCE: NYRBlog (8-17-10)
Robert Darnton: Brazil’s emergence as a major world player provokes questions about its national identity, some of them hostile, such as the one you said you encountered on your last trip to the US: How can you live in a country overrun with favelas and violence? How do you answer them?
Lilia Moritz Schwarcz: It is strange how nowadays Brazil has a new image coming from abroad. We used to be seen as “exotics”; a country of Capoeira (a Brazilian form of martial art), Candomblé (a syncretic African religion), Carnaval, and the “Mulatas.” Now we continue to be viewed as exotic, but the exoticism has a new ingredient: violence, even a new aesthetics of violence, mainly in the way Brazil is portrayed in contemporary films, like City of God. The fascination with favelas among many people outside Brazil is ambiguous. On the one hand, favelas are seen as violent communities, subject to violent leaders outside the authority of the state. On the other, they are just “different”—scenes of a culture outside the dominant culture, with its own special way of partying, dancing, playing soccer. We do not have favelas everywhere, but foreigners like to think so. We have developed a new kind of tourism, which features a “favela tour.” Everything is fake, but the tourists enjoy the illusion that they are experiencing another world. And what about you Bob? Are you afraid of walking in some parts of New York City? Is Harlem a kind of favela?...
SOURCE: Stuff (NZ) (8-18-10)
He died from cancer yesterday in Te Araroa.
Mr Dewes was a pioneering educationalist in the 1960s and 70s.
He started in adult education at Auckland University and then laid the foundations for Victoria University's Maori studies department, before returning home to the East Coast and helping form Te Runanga o Ngati Porou.
Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples paid tribute to his "outstanding scholarship, the formidable intellect and extraordinary oratory"....
SOURCE: The Scotsman (8-18-10)
Throughout his life, Hitler was portrayed as a courageous soldier who fought in some of the fiercest battles of the First World War and was decorated twice with the Iron Cross for his bravery.
But in a new book, Dr Thomas Weber has used material uncovered for the first time in German archives that reveals a dramatically different picture.
Dr Weber claims that his groundbreaking research shows that Hitler, backed by the Nazi propaganda machine, exaggerated his role as a soldier in the defeated German army in the Great War and, in his role as dispatch runner taking messages to officers, was despised by frontline troops from his regiment as a "rear area pig"....
SOURCE: Lee White at the National Coalition for History (8-6-10)
In July, the National Coalition for History (NCH), and ten other NCH members joined forces with over 20 educational organizations representing other K-12 academic disciplines in issuing a statement to Congress and the Administration calling for the continued robust funding of core academic subjects including history. This includes maintenance of discrete budget lines—such as the Teaching American History grants—for each discipline.
One of the major issues facing the new 112th Congress when it convenes in January will be consideration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). The law was last reauthorized in 2001 during the Bush administration under the rubric of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Since the law’s enactment a major flaw has been the over-emphasis placed on reading and math at the expense of other subjects, such as history.
In fiscal year 2002, due to the leadership of Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), Congress authorized the “Teaching American History” (TAH) grants program in the Department of Education. Thanks to Senator Byrd, nearly $1 billion of federal dollars have been allocated over the past decade to improve K-12 history education. A child who was in the first grade when the program started in 2001 would now be a junior in high school. So it is no exaggeration to say Senator Byrd’s love of American history has been passed on to an entire generation of America’s school children. Among his many accomplishments, that is one of his greatest legacies. But with his recent passing the program that he nurtured for so long is now in danger.
TAH improves the quality of instruction in American history. Grant awards assist elementary and secondary schools in implementing research-based methods for improving the quality of instruction, professional development, and teacher education in American history. Funds are used for competitive grants that are allocated to local education agencies (LEAs) though funding proposals must include a partnership component with an educational non-profit and/or history-based organization. Advocacy by my predecessor Bruce Craig was instrumental in getting the partnership requirement included into law.
While Congress will not tackle the ESEA reauthorization until 2011, activity has already begun in earnest as numerous hearings have been held throughout 2010 in both houses. Draft bills are currently being developed in the House and Senate in anticipation of early action on the issue next year.
In the case of the Teaching American History grants program, the Obama administration’s fiscal 2011 budget message to Congress called into question the degree to which the program has reached districts and teachers most in need of federally funded professional development and also stressed the need for better evaluation of the program’s effectiveness. One of the issues that has plagued the TAH program since its inception has been the inability to rigorously assess and evaluate whether teachers, and ultimately students, are benefitting from the program.
On March 15, the White House released “A Blueprint for Reform,” which details the administration’s plans for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Like NCLB, the reform proposal continues to prioritize reading and math over other subjects.
President Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget request to Congress for the Department of Education proposed consolidating 38 existing K–12 education programs into 11 new programs. Under the administration’s budget request, grants for history education would now be part of a new program called “Effective Teaching and Learning for a Well-Rounded Education.” Teaching American History Grants would be consolidated into this new program and would no longer exist as a free-standing budget line item.
The administration proposed $265 million in funding in fiscal 2011 for the new initiative. Although the fiscal 2011 budget request includes a $38.9 million increase in funding to support teaching and learning in arts, history, civics, foreign languages, geography, and economics, the administration proposes to combine eight subject-specific grant programs into a single competitive grant program.
Unfortunately, under the proposed competitive grant program the various subjects would be pitted against each other for scarce resources. Such an approach could threaten the ability of schools and districts to provide each student with a well-rounded education, a result that seems to be the exact opposite of the administration’s intent.
In years past, the late Senator Byrd always ensured that the program received a stable level of funding, usually around $119 million per fiscal year. In the fiscal 2011 Labor, HHS and Education funding bill (S. 3686) passed in July by the Senate Appropriations Committee, the last one in which Senator Byrd was able to exert his influence, the TAH received level funding of $119 million. The administration had requested zero funding for the program in FY 11, removing it as a separate budget line item.
Given the budget deficit problem, it is expected funding levels for all federal discretionary programs will face major cuts when the administration’s proposed FY 2012 budget is released early next year. In June, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag issued a directive ordering non-security federal agencies to submit a FY2012 budget proposal five percent below the agency’s FY 11 budget as proposed by the administration. In another directive, agencies were directed to identify for termination or significant reduction of “low priority” programs and subprograms that constitute at least five percent of the agency’s discretionary budget.
In June, a meeting was convened by the ASCD (formerly the Association for the Study of Curriculum and Development), an education membership organization focused largely on K–12 issues. The meeting included representatives from several organizations whose communities would be affected by the Obama administration’s Blueprint for Reform for the reauthorization of the ESEA.
On July 29, the National Coalition for History and 20 major history and education organizations, representing a wide array of subject areas, released consensus recommendations for how the federal government can better support core subjects beyond the No Child Left Behind Act’s singular focus on student performance in reading and math.
The various organizations agreed that discrete funding streams, such as TAH, should be created for each of the disciplines to ensure that each retains federal support individually and that all receive a minimum level of resources reflecting collective support for a well-rounded education. Equally important, they decided, grant competitions should occur within disciplines, not between them.
The organizations endorsing the Well-Rounded Education statement represent hundreds of thousands of educators in the disciplines of history, languages, arts, government and other subjects. The National Coalition for History endorsed the recommendation in addition to ten individual member organizations in the Coalition. These include the American Association for State and Local History, American Historical Association, Association for Documentary Editing, Civil War Preservation Trust, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, History Channel, National Council for the Social Studies, National Council on Public History, Organization of American Historians and the Society for Military History. Several other NCH membership organizations have endorsements pending before their leadership and are expected to sign on in the near future.
Over the coming months, the National Coalition for History will be carrying the message to lawmakers and the administration to preserve the Teaching American History grants program.
The text of the recommendation is below:
Consensus Recommendations for a Well-Rounded Education
The Obama administration’s fiscal 2011 budget request and Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) blueprint propose to consolidate eight grant programs that support teaching and learning in the areas of the arts, foreign languages, civics, history, geography, and economics into a single competitive grant—the Effective Teaching and Learning for a Well-Rounded Education program. This program would be available to high-need school districts, a high-need district in partnership with a state education agency, or a high-need district in partnership with other entities. However, the proposal puts content areas in competition with one another for funding and recognition and, thereby, further reduces the likelihood that students in high-need schools receive a truly comprehensive, well-rounded education.
We believe each student must receive equal access to a credible, comprehensive, and well-rounded education that includes instruction in all core academic subjects delivered at appropriate times throughout the school experience. “Core academic subjects” are defined as those listed in ESEA—English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography. We believe, moreover, that credible and comprehensive instruction should also apply to physical education and health education.
Each of these subjects is crucial to a student’s learning in its own right, and no single subject should be considered more important than another. Indeed, the combination of the subjects and the interrelationship among disciplines enhances learning and understanding for each student. Moreover, a well-rounded education provides students with the academic preparation and knowledge to succeed in the increasingly global marketplace and in our own complex and ever changing society.
A well-rounded education is an absolute necessity for any graduate to be considered college, career, and citizenship ready. Delivery of a well-rounded education must be reflected in standards, assessments, accountability systems, and public reporting of achievement and must take into account the needs of students and the expectations of educators, employers and public officials in the global environment of the 21st century. In addition, flexibility for schools, local districts, and communities to customize education to meet their unique circumstances is essential.
To achieve these goals, the undersigned organizations call upon the Obama administration and Congress to:
1. Include all elements of a well-rounded education in any definition of college-,
career-, and citizenship-ready standards.
2. Maintain discrete funding streams for each of these worthy subject areas to ensure that each retains federal support individually and that all receive a minimum level of resources reflecting collective support for a well-rounded education.
3. Promote grant competitions within disciplines, not among them, which prioritizes underserved or high-need schools and students and emphasizes best practices, scalability, and cross-subject collaboration and integration.
4. Develop a rigorous evaluation process, including significant input from professional educators, to measure the effectiveness of the funded activities and to propose improvements in the respective grant programs.
5. Establish meaningful public reporting and accountability requirements regarding student achievement in each of these disciplines at the school, district, and state level.
SOURCE: OAH (8-12-10)
In conjunction with the recently adopted strategic plan, the Executive Board of the Organization of American Historians has enacted a simplified dues structure for individual members. After studying the dues structures of other learned societies, the Board concluded that the organization needed fewer membership categories. The new structure is not only simpler, but creates a lower-priced membership category for professional historians who are in the first three years of their careers. In addition, the revised structure will reduce paperwork in the OAH office, and it will allow staff to concentrate on improving member service, develop new member benefits, and better promote the organization.
The new dues structure is as follows:
|Associate (not employed as a historian)||$60|
|Early Career (first three years in the profession)||$60|
|Dual (with a spouse/partner)||$60|
|Individual (professional historian)|
|$100,000 and above||$200|
With this new dues structure, OAH members will continue to enjoy the same benefits they receive now. That is, those who are full-time historians will receive the Journal of American History, the OAH Annual Meeting Program, access to Recent Scholarship Online, discounted registration at the OAH Annual Meeting, and other benefits and services. These members also can subscribe to the OAH Magazine of History at a discounted rate. Students, retired members, and associate members can choose between a subscription to the Journal of American History and the OAH Magazine of History, as well as the other benefits described above. History Educator members will continue to receive the OAH Magazine of History as their primary publication.
In addition to simplifying the dues structure, starting in October, membership dues will be billed on an annual basis. Prorated adjustments will be made for those whose dues were billed during other months of the year. Please watch your mail and e-mail for dues notices. Again, the new dues structure is being instituted to increase the efficiency of the organization, allow the organization to expand its membership benefits and services, and most importantly, to enable staff to continue concentrating on providing excellent service to its members.
SOURCE: abc.net.au (8-17-10)
National Museum of Australia spokesman Dr Darrell Lewis has been tracking Leichhardt's trail through Queensland and central Australia.
Leichhardt and his expedition party disappeared in 1848 and Dr Lewis has been looking for trees marked with an "L" to trace the journey.
SOURCE: New Yorker (8-16-10)
ALEX ROSS: I was fascinated by your decision to begin your book with a chapter on Aaron Copland. What led you to start there?
SEAN WILENTZ: I wanted to explore Dylan’s roots in the musical world of the Popular Front, but didn’t want to retell the stories about Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. I’d written an essay on Copland for a wholly different occasion, and started coming to grips with Copland’s Popular Front affiliations, which had helped spur his elevation of American folk music. I had a hunch that, somewhere, there must be links between Copland and Dylan.
For a while after 9/11, I recalled, Dylan opened many of his shows by playing recorded bits of Copland’s music. Then I ran across an enthusiastic review in the Daily Worker of Copland’s early work, written by Charles Seeger, Pete’s father. The chapter just grew from there.
Readers expecting a standard biography, which this book is not, may anticipate learning about how Copland had some direct and profound influence on Dylan’s early work. They will be disappointed, and the book’s introduction tries to ward off such expectations.
In the Copland chapter, I’m interested in making other kinds of connections, not just between Dylan’s work and an individual or several individuals, but between his work and a larger cultural congeries of the nineteen-thirties and nineteen-forties. The succeeding chapters take different approaches.
SOURCE: NYT (8-17-10)
The cause was a heart attack, said his son, MacGregor.
An American born and raised in Britain, Bernard Knox led a life as richly textured as the classics he interpreted for modern readers. After studying classics at Cambridge, he fought with the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War. While serving in the United States Army during World War II, he parachuted into France to work with the resistance and went on to join the partisans in Italy.
Returning to the United States with a Bronze Star and the Croix de Guerre, he resumed his study of the classics at Yale, where he earned a doctorate in 1948 and taught, becoming a full professor in 1959. In 1961, he was asked to lead the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, a Harvard affiliate, whose directorship he held until 1985....
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (7-9-10)
For many years he was at the centre of the campaigns for Africa's liberation from colonialism and apartheid, endlessly addressing meetings and working on committees. Extremely tall and with a shock of white hair, and possessing the old-fashioned courtesy of the ex-army officer that he was – or even of the country gentleman that he eventually became after his move to the West Country – he was an unlikely figure at many of these often incoherent and sometimes sectarian events, usually run by student activists and exiles.
Among his friends were the historians Thomas Hodgkin, EP Thompson and Eric Hobsbawm. The Palestinian scholar Edward Said placed him in a select band of western artists and intellectuals with a sympathy and comprehension of foreign cultures that meant that they had "in effect, crossed to the other side"...
SOURCE: Washington Times (8-16-10)
Or were they murdered?
Two skulls unearthed at a probable mass grave near Philadelphia this month showed signs of violence, including a possible bullet hole. Another pair of skulls found earlier at the woodsy site also displayed traumas, seeming to confirm the suspicions of two historians leading the archaeological dig.
"This was much more than a cholera epidemic," William Watson said.
Mr. Watson, chairman of the history department at nearby Immaculata University, and his twin brother, Frank, have been working for nearly a decade to unravel the 178-year-old mystery.