Civics and History: Celebrating Wrong Italian? (Columbus vs. Cabot)

James C. Bennett: The interesting thing to me was the complete absence of anything representing the United States. This was not a coincidence. Columbus, and the holiday celebrating his landing in the New World, are seen throughout the Spanish-speaking world as having to do primarily with the extension of Spanish-speaking, Catholic civilization to the New … Continue reading Civics and History: Celebrating Wrong Italian? (Columbus vs. Cabot)

Who Prepares our History Teachers? Who should prepare our history teachers?

Diane Ravitch via Will Fitzhugh: This is an exciting time for history education. States across the nation are strengthening their history curricula and expecting youngsters to learn more American and world history. Even the vitriolic controversy over the national history standards serves to remind us that people care passionately about history. Not only is there … Continue reading Who Prepares our History Teachers? Who should prepare our history teachers?

“We know best”, Disastrous Reading Results and a bit of history with Jared Diamond

Jared Diamond: these stories of isolated societies illustrate two general principles about relations between human group size and innovation or creativity. First, in any society except a totally isolated society, most innovations come in from the outside, rather than being conceived within that society. And secondly, any society undergoes local fads. By fads I mean … Continue reading “We know best”, Disastrous Reading Results and a bit of history with Jared Diamond

Incarceration as Incapacitation: An Intellectual History

Timothy Crimmins: Explaining the dramatic rise of incarceration in the United States has been surprisingly difficult. Theories abound, but they are continually defeated by the vastness and complexity of the American criminal justice system. For a time, the prime suspect was the War on Drugs, which President Obama described as “the real reason our prison … Continue reading Incarceration as Incapacitation: An Intellectual History

New on Parents’ To-Do List: Checking Children’s Credit History

Yuka Hayashi: Parents have a new item to add to their financial to-do list: check their child’s credit history. A new federal law going into effect in September will make it easier for families to combat the growing problem of identity fraud of minors, allowing them to make inquiries about credit files in their child’s … Continue reading New on Parents’ To-Do List: Checking Children’s Credit History

Francis Fukuyama Postpones the End of History: The political scientist argues that the desire of identity groups for recognition is a key threat to liberalism.

Louis Menand: In February, 1989, Francis Fukuyama gave a talk on international relations at the University of Chicago. Fukuyama was thirty-six years old, and on his way from a job at the RAND Corporation, in Santa Monica, where he had worked as an expert on Soviet foreign policy, to a post as the deputy director … Continue reading Francis Fukuyama Postpones the End of History: The political scientist argues that the desire of identity groups for recognition is a key threat to liberalism.

Man sues over Google’s “Location History” fiasco, case could affect millions

Cyrus Farivar: As a result of the previously unknown practice, which was first exposed by the Associated Press last week, Google has now been sued by a man in San Diego. Simultaneously, activists in Washington, DC are urging the Federal Trade Commission to examine whether the company is in breach of its 2011 consent decree … Continue reading Man sues over Google’s “Location History” fiasco, case could affect millions

Civics: James Comey Has A Long History Of Questionable Obstruction Cases

Mollie Heningway: Following countdown clocks on cable outlets and dramatic claims in the media about what devastating testimony to expect, James Comey sat down before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week. The hearing ended up being a bit of a let-down for critics of President Trump who hoped to get him impeached (or removed via … Continue reading Civics: James Comey Has A Long History Of Questionable Obstruction Cases

Civics: A Brief History of the CIA’s Unpunished Spying on the Senate

Conor Friedersdorf: Late last week, that internal “accountability board” announced the results of its review. If you’ve followed the impunity with which the CIA has broken U.S. laws throughout its history, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that no one is going to be “dealt with very harshly” after all. “A panel investigating the Central Intelligence … Continue reading Civics: A Brief History of the CIA’s Unpunished Spying on the Senate

The Chinese Typewriter: A History by Thomas S. Mullaney

Jamie Fisher: Nominally a book that covers the rough century between the invention of the telegraph in the 1840s and that of computing in the 1950s, The Chinese Typewriter is secretly a history of translation and empire, written language and modernity, misguided struggle and brutal intellectual defeat. The Chinese typewriter is ‘one of the most … Continue reading The Chinese Typewriter: A History by Thomas S. Mullaney

How History Classes Helped Create a ‘Post-Truth’ America

Alia Wong: In 1995, the University of Vermont sociologist and historian James W. Loewen published a book that sought to debunk the myriad myths children were often taught about the United States’ past. Framed largely as a critique of the history education delivered in America’s classrooms but also serving as a history text itself, Lies … Continue reading How History Classes Helped Create a ‘Post-Truth’ America

China’s ‘red education’ history tours and the rise of communist cosplay

Josephine Ma: If anyone can best tell the scale and intensity of China’s “red education” drive to promote loyalty to the ruling Communist Party, it’s businessman Yu Meng. The 36-year-old runs the largest Red Army uniform rental business in Jinggangshan, a city dubbed the “cradle of the communist revolution” deep in the mountains of Jiangxi. … Continue reading China’s ‘red education’ history tours and the rise of communist cosplay

Madison’s Spring Harbor Team Wins National African American History Academic Challenge

100 Black Men of Madison, via a kind reader: For the second consecutive year, a team representing the Madison Chapter of the 100 Black Men of Madison was crowned National Champion of the African American History Academic Challenge at the recently conducted 32nd Annual Conference of the 100 Black Men of America. The Spring Harbor … Continue reading Madison’s Spring Harbor Team Wins National African American History Academic Challenge

Mathematician-M.D. solves one of the greatest open problems in the history of mathematics

Daniel Druhora: Athanassios Fokas, a mathematician from the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics of the University of Cambridge and visiting professor in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering has announced the solution of one of the long-standing problems in the history of mathematics, the Lindelöf … Continue reading Mathematician-M.D. solves one of the greatest open problems in the history of mathematics

Hong Kong history: the fortunes built on opium – including those of many of its richest families

Jason Wordie:: Opium – for numerous economic and political reasons – has loomed large in Asia for more than three centuries. Importation from India to China and the wider balance-of-trade dynamics, regional power struggles and eventual international conflicts that surrounded the trade have generated entire libraries of historical research. Young American’s first-hand account of second … Continue reading Hong Kong history: the fortunes built on opium – including those of many of its richest families

Despite the far-reaching consequences of Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press, much about the man remains a mystery, buried deep beneath layers of Mainz history.

Madhvi Ramani: he German city of Mainz lies on the banks of the River Rhine. It is most notable for its wine, its cathedral and for being the home of Johannes Gutenberg, who introduced the printing press to Europe. Although these things may seem unconnected at first, here they overlap, merging and influencing one another. … Continue reading Despite the far-reaching consequences of Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press, much about the man remains a mystery, buried deep beneath layers of Mainz history.

What the History of Math Can Teach Us about the Future of AI

Nathan Myhrvold: Whenever an impressive new technology comes along, people rush to imagine the havoc it could wreak on society, and they overreact. Today we see this happening with artificial intelligence (AI). I was at South by Southwest last month, where crowds were buzzing about Elon Musk’s latest hyperbolic claim that AI poses a far … Continue reading What the History of Math Can Teach Us about the Future of AI

Looking for Bigotry? Try Public Schooling History

Neal McCluskey: Polling reveals that parents, especially African Americans, want school choice. Studies show choice students pulling even with public school kids even in laggard programs, and often surpassing them. And states keep expanding choice initiatives as families flock to them. Perhaps because of all this good news, opponents of expanding the options available to … Continue reading Looking for Bigotry? Try Public Schooling History

Charter Schools Are Not A “Republican” Thing History shows Democrats have supported charters from the very beginning

Peter Cook: As I noted earlier this week, a group of anti-reform activists in Colorado recently passed an amendment to the state Democratic Party platform opposing the Colorado chapter of Democrats for Education Reform and calling on the organization drop “Democrats” from its name.1 Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time DFER has been attacked by … Continue reading Charter Schools Are Not A “Republican” Thing History shows Democrats have supported charters from the very beginning

Solid ship ballast from the age of sail tells surprising stories about history.

Mats Burström: Just when we thought we knew everything important about the age of sail and its impact on the world, along comes research that exposes our collective myopia when gazing at the past. Ships carried all sorts of things across the oceans, including commodities, disease, and ideas. But as archaeologist and author Mats Burström … Continue reading Solid ship ballast from the age of sail tells surprising stories about history.

Will Fitzhugh: Common Core, Close Reading, and the Death of History in the Schools

Diane Ravitch: He writes: A few years ago, at a conference in Boston, David Steiner, then Commissioner of Education for New York State, said, about History: “It is so politically toxic that no one wants to touch it.” Since then, David Coleman, of the Common Core and the College Board, have decided that any historical … Continue reading Will Fitzhugh: Common Core, Close Reading, and the Death of History in the Schools

Will Fitzhugh: Common Core, Close Reading, and the Death of History in the Schools

Will Fitzhugh is founder and editor of The Concord Review, which publishes outstanding historical essays by high school students. I have long been an admirer of the publication and of Will for sustaining it without support from any major foundations, which are too engaged in reinventing the schools rather than supporting the work of excellent … Continue reading Will Fitzhugh: Common Core, Close Reading, and the Death of History in the Schools

History is taught as texts without context

Joanne Jacobs: Who’s that man? Why is the crowd gathered? Teachers aren’t supposed to say. Studying texts, without context, is no way to learn history, writes Will Fitzhugh on Diane Ravitch’s blog. But it’s the Common Core way. A notorious lesson called for teaching the Gettysburg Address without discussing the Civil War. Teachers were told: … Continue reading History is taught as texts without context

Commentary on history, maturity and “Snowflakes”

Victory Girls: But we’re supposed to listen to Generation Snowflake, because they somehow have the moral authority to speak on domestic policies about which they know exactly jack and shit? We’re supposed to refrain from criticism about their obviously uninformed opinions, because they’ve been through what had to be a traumatic experience? We’re supposed to … Continue reading Commentary on history, maturity and “Snowflakes”

What’s Behind One of the Biggest Financial Scams in History

Knowledge@Wharton: David Enrich: That’s right. The mastermind of the LIBOR scandal was a guy named Tom Hayes, a mildly autistic mathematician who was a star trader at some of the world’s biggest banks. He was accused, at the end of 2012, of being the central figure in this scandal by both American prosecutors and British … Continue reading What’s Behind One of the Biggest Financial Scams in History

A Brief History of NAEP Cohort Math Gains-The Low Hanging Fruit Already Picked

Matthew Ladner: My guess is that reformers picked the low-hanging fruit of education reform in the early aughts. The introduction of standards and testing in the early days seems to have produced a bump in achievement. Over time however this effect may be fading. Political Science 101 teaches that organized interests defeat diffuse interests 99 … Continue reading A Brief History of NAEP Cohort Math Gains-The Low Hanging Fruit Already Picked

A guide to greater Madison’s black history for teachers, students and parents

Michael Johnson : Here are some indicators on how the black community has influenced the Greater Madison region and Wisconsin for more than 175 years. Attached is a timeline created by the Cap Times, Madison 365, myself and leaders from the African-American community. One additional note: this is not a list of every black Madisonian … Continue reading A guide to greater Madison’s black history for teachers, students and parents

How wars were once fought over spices – cookbook looks at history and modern uses of all things aromatic

Susan Jung: “They have played an important role in health, adding healing properties to medicines, and they have been used to give scent to perfumes. A study of Ayurvedic practices in India gives an understanding of how spices can work for the well-being of the body. Such beliefs and practices are becom­ing widely accepted in … Continue reading How wars were once fought over spices – cookbook looks at history and modern uses of all things aromatic

History isn’t a ‘useless’ major. It teaches critical thinking, something America needs plenty more of

James Grossman: Since the beginning of the Great Recession in 2007, the history major has lost significant market share in academia, declining from 2.2% of all undergraduate degrees to 1.7%. The graduating class of 2014, the most recent for which there are national data, included 9% fewer history majors than the previous year’s cohort, compounding … Continue reading History isn’t a ‘useless’ major. It teaches critical thinking, something America needs plenty more of

Hong Kong pupils ‘have poor knowledge’ of modern Chinese history … and some think Mao is a woman

Su Xinqi: The findings were part of a report on DSE performance released on Tuesday by the Examinations and Assessment Authority. Last week, officials announced the decision to make Chinese history an independent and compulsory subject for pupils from Form One to Form Three in 2018. For pupils from Form Four to Form Six, Chinese … Continue reading Hong Kong pupils ‘have poor knowledge’ of modern Chinese history … and some think Mao is a woman

How an Amateur Astronomer Became One of History’s Greatest Solar Observers

Sarah Laskow: One night in Tokyo, in the years before World War II, Hisako Koyama looked up, out into space, and saw a shooting star. It could have been passing moment, one that others would miss or quickly forget. For Koyama, the impression left by the streaking meteoroid was an inspiration. Without formal training, she … Continue reading How an Amateur Astronomer Became One of History’s Greatest Solar Observers

Irfan Shahîd’s history of the Arab’s interactions with Rome and Byzantium before the rise of Islam is available for download

Dumbarton Oaks: We are happy to announce that all seven volumes of Irfan Shahîd’s monumental Byzantium and the Arabs, published by Dumbarton Oaks Publications, are available for free download from our website. Irfan Shahîd knew even as an undergraduate at Oxford that the role of the Arabs in Roman history would be his life’s work. … Continue reading Irfan Shahîd’s history of the Arab’s interactions with Rome and Byzantium before the rise of Islam is available for download

Honoring the English Curriculum and the Study of U.S. History—Sandra Stotsky

Sandra Stotsky, via Will Fitzhugh: “Advocates of a writing process tended to stress autobiographical narrative writing, not informational or expository writing.” It sounds excessively dramatic to say that Common Core’s English language arts (ELA) standards threaten the study of history. In this essay we show why, in the words of a high school teacher, “if … Continue reading Honoring the English Curriculum and the Study of U.S. History—Sandra Stotsky

Timeline: The marches that made history

Journal-Sentinel: DEC. 9, 1965 Gov. Warren Knowles signs an open housing law that prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental or financing of housing. The law, a watered-down version of a measure proposed by Rep. Lloyd Barbee and other lawmakers, exempts owner-occupied properties with four or fewer units – leaving out the overwhelming majority of the … Continue reading Timeline: The marches that made history

The short history of global living conditions and why it matters that we know it

Max Roser: A recent survey asked “All things considered, do you think the world is getting better or worse, or neither getting better nor worse?”. In Sweden 10% thought things are getting better, in the US they were only 6%, and in Germany only 4%. Very few people think that the world is getting better. … Continue reading The short history of global living conditions and why it matters that we know it

In prison for more than 20 years, was chosen for Harvard’s elite graduate history program — until the university decided her redemption was not enough.

Marshall Project In a breathtaking feat of rehabilitation, Jones, now 45, became a published scholar of American history while behind bars, and presented her work by videoconference to historians’ conclaves and the Indiana General Assembly. With no internet access and a prison library that skewed toward romance novels, she led a team of inmates that … Continue reading In prison for more than 20 years, was chosen for Harvard’s elite graduate history program — until the university decided her redemption was not enough.

The Blind Traveler: How James Holman Felt His Way Around the World to Become History’s Most Prolific Explorer

Lucas Reilly: Nobody aboard could see what had happened. It was midnight, and the HMS Saunders-Hill—a merchant vessel anchored along a sleepy bend of the River Thames—shuddered violently. Crewmen clambered from their beds and grasped at tilting walls. Cries filled the briny air. In the darkness, it was difficult to make sense of what had … Continue reading The Blind Traveler: How James Holman Felt His Way Around the World to Become History’s Most Prolific Explorer

A History of Consumer Surveillance and Financial Identity in America

Josh Lauer The first consumer credit bureaus appeared in the 1870s and quickly amassed huge archives of deeply personal information. Today, the three leading credit bureaus are among the most powerful institutions in modern life—yet we know almost nothing about them. Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion are multi-billion-dollar corporations that track our movements, spending behavior, and … Continue reading A History of Consumer Surveillance and Financial Identity in America

‘You Have to Know History to Actually Teach It’

David Cutler: It’s tough for a historian to earn the adoration of both academia and popular culture, but Eric Foner has managed to do it. His books on American history are assigned reading at universities and colleges across the country. Reviewers have praised his work as “monumental in scope” and declared that it “approaches brilliance.” … Continue reading ‘You Have to Know History to Actually Teach It’

The Most Shortsighted Attack on Free Speech in Modern U.S. History

Conor Friedersdorf: When free-speech advocates point out that the First Amendment protects even hate speech, as the attorney Ken White recently observed, they are often met with extreme hypotheticals. For example: “So, the day that Nazis march in the streets, armed, carrying the swastika flag, Sieg-Heiling, calling out abuse of Jews and blacks, some of … Continue reading The Most Shortsighted Attack on Free Speech in Modern U.S. History

3,700-year-old Babylonian tablet rewrites the history of maths – and shows the Greeks did not develop trigonometry

Sarah Knapton: A 3,700-year-old clay tablet has proven that the Babylonians developed trigonometry 1,500 years before the Greeks and were using a sophisticated method of mathematics which could change how we calculate today. The tablet, known as Plimpton 332, was discovered in the early 1900s in Southern Iraq by the American archaeologist and diplomat Edgar … Continue reading 3,700-year-old Babylonian tablet rewrites the history of maths – and shows the Greeks did not develop trigonometry

THE INCREDIBLE LOST HISTORY OF HOW “CIVIL RIGHTS PLUS FULL EMPLOYMENT EQUALS FREEDOM”

Jon Schwarz The combination of these two things is truly bizarre, because the Fed has more power than any institution over everything about work in America. Here’s how the Fed does it: The Fed largely sets short term interest rates. If it lowers interest rates it heats up the economy, because cheap money makes it … Continue reading THE INCREDIBLE LOST HISTORY OF HOW “CIVIL RIGHTS PLUS FULL EMPLOYMENT EQUALS FREEDOM”

Secretary of Defense James Mattis interview (note the History Emphasis)

Teddy Fischer (Mercer Island High School): TEDDY: How can the US defeat an ideology? Ideologies can be countered by showing people a better education and hope for the future. MATTIS: I think the most important thing on that is probably education. An economic opportunity has to be there as well. On the education, I sometimes … Continue reading Secretary of Defense James Mattis interview (note the History Emphasis)

From Ptolemy to GPS, the Brief History of Maps We now have the whole world in our hands, but how did we get here?

Clive Thompson: Last spring, a 23-year-old woman was driving her car through the Ontario town of Tobermory. It was unfamiliar territory for her, so she was dutifully following her GPS. Indeed, she was so intent on following the device that she didn’t notice that her car was headed straight for Georgian Bay—so she drove down … Continue reading From Ptolemy to GPS, the Brief History of Maps We now have the whole world in our hands, but how did we get here?

Madison Middle school students explore complex themes in black history bowl

Amber Walker: For the last 23 years, the Madison chapter of 100 Black Men of America has hosted the African-American History Challenge Bowl. Middle school students from across Madison participate in the quiz show-style, single-elimination tournament. Each team receives copies of the core text, “Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African-American History” by Henry Louis … Continue reading Madison Middle school students explore complex themes in black history bowl

Education publisher Pearson reports biggest loss in its history

Mark Sweney: Pearson has reported a pre-tax loss of £2.6bn for 2016, the biggest in its history, after a slump at its US education operation. The world’s largest education publisher, which in January saw almost £2bn wiped from its stock market value after issuing its fifth profit warning in two years, reported the record loss … Continue reading Education publisher Pearson reports biggest loss in its history

History Of Asphalt

National Asphalt Pavement Association Today, this dark, resilient material covers more than 94 percent of the paved roads in the United States; it’s the popular choice for driveways, parking lots, airport runways, racetracks, tennis courts, and other applications where a smooth, durable driving surface is required. Called at various times asphalt pavement, blacktop, tarmac, macadam, … Continue reading History Of Asphalt

#MyBlackHistory: My Parents Decided To Go Back To College 30 Years Later. Here’s How My Story Inspired Them.

Charles Cole III:: I attended more than 10 schools before the fifth grade and I had an attitude problem in each and every classroom. I was born in Chicago to young, drug-addicted parents that had a penchant for moving and staying in and out of jail. I moved from Chicago to Paducah, Kentucky to stay … Continue reading #MyBlackHistory: My Parents Decided To Go Back To College 30 Years Later. Here’s How My Story Inspired Them.

Do teachers need to incorporate the history of mathematics in their teaching?

Po-Hung Liu: This study aimed to reveal the effects of teaching with concrete learning objects taken from the history of mathematics on student achievement. Being a quasi-experimental study, it was conducted with two grade 8 classes in a secondary school located in Trabzon. The experimental group consisted of 27 students and the control group consisted … Continue reading Do teachers need to incorporate the history of mathematics in their teaching?

History majors no longer have to take foreign language classes or classes on European, North American and U.S. history and can choose to specialize in a topic or region

Lily Werlinich: Katrin Schultheiss, the chair of the history department, said faculty made the changes to the requirements largely due to enrollment pressures. She said by becoming more flexible and more responsive to students’ interests, the department hopes to recruit students who might not have decided to major in history otherwise. “I think the main … Continue reading History majors no longer have to take foreign language classes or classes on European, North American and U.S. history and can choose to specialize in a topic or region

Educators Grapple with ‘History Deficit’ in N.H. Elementary Students

Jason Moon In the large, stately lobby of the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord, a group of fourth graders is ushered up a set of marble stairs. Peggy Halacy, a museum teacher with the Historical Society, captures their attention and begins motioning toward the artifacts that adorn the walls. “Now I’d like you to … Continue reading Educators Grapple with ‘History Deficit’ in N.H. Elementary Students

iPhones Secretly Send Call History to Apple, Security Firm Says

Kim Zetter APPLE EMERGED AS a guardian of user privacy this year after fighting FBI demands to help crack into San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone. The company has gone to great lengths to secure customer data in recent years, by implementing better encryption for all phones and refusing to undermine that encryption. But … Continue reading iPhones Secretly Send Call History to Apple, Security Firm Says

Last art history A-level axed after Michael Gove cull of ‘soft’ subjects

Maev Kennedy The Association of Art Historians called the decision a significant loss of access to a range of cultures, artefacts and ideas for young people. It added: “Being able to signpost educational opportunities such as an A-level in art history to students who may never have considered this an opportunity, forms a significant part … Continue reading Last art history A-level axed after Michael Gove cull of ‘soft’ subjects

Proposed Mexican-American Heritage Textbook Is A Continuation Of The Problem With U.S. History Classes

Doyin Oyeniyi: Since the public outcry began, Momentum Instruction has reviewed the book again, but Dunbar stated that the publishers only found one factual error: a passage that suggests that the national language of the United States is English. Dunbar defended the textbook, saying that the company had no “agenda” when they published it, but … Continue reading Proposed Mexican-American Heritage Textbook Is A Continuation Of The Problem With U.S. History Classes

Some rather strange history of maths

The Renaissance Mathematicus: Scientific American has a guest blog post with the title: Mathematicians Are Overselling the Idea That “Math Is Everywhere, which argues in its subtitle: The mathematics that is most important to society is the province of the exceptional few—and that’s always been true. Now I’m not really interested in the substantial argument … Continue reading Some rather strange history of maths

A Brief History of the College Textbook Pricing Racket

Ernie Smith A version of this post originally appeared on Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long tail. When I recently wrote about airport stores, one of the most interesting (albeit minor) facets of the piece was the fact that airport travelers are generally considered a captive audience, making it … Continue reading A Brief History of the College Textbook Pricing Racket

An Appalachian people offers a timely parable of the nuanced history of race in America

The Economist: The story of the Melungeons is at once a footnote to the history of race in America and a timely parable of it. They bear witness to the horrors and legacy of segregation, but also to the overlooked complexity of the early colonial era. They suggest a once-and-future alternative to the country’s brutally … Continue reading An Appalachian people offers a timely parable of the nuanced history of race in America

Civics: History tells us what may happen next with Brexit & Trump

Tobias Stone: seems we’re entering another of those stupid seasons humans impose on themselves at fairly regular intervals. I am sketching out here opinions based on information, they may prove right, or may prove wrong, and they’re intended just to challenge and be part of a wider dialogue. My background is archaeology, so also history … Continue reading Civics: History tells us what may happen next with Brexit & Trump

Broken window theory: Corey Menafee and the history of university service labor

Zach Schwartz-Weinstein: In November, 1969, a 30-year old black dining hall waitress at Yale University named Colia Williams threw a glass of water at a white student dining hall manager who’d harassed her continuously over the few short weeks that she’d worked in the university’s dining halls. Williams was promptly fired for her insubordination. As … Continue reading Broken window theory: Corey Menafee and the history of university service labor

History of Cartography: Volumes One, Two, and Three

uchicago: The first volume of the History of Cartography was published in 1987 and the three books that constitute Volume Two appeared over the following eleven years. In 1987 the worldwide web did not exist, and since 1998 book publishing has gone through a revolution in the production and dissemination of work. Although the large … Continue reading History of Cartography: Volumes One, Two, and Three

History degrees at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, others don’t require US history course

Nick Anderson: University does not require history majors to take a course in U.S. history. Nor do Georgetown University, the University of Maryland and many other highly regarded schools. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni says that’s a problem. The council, based in Washington, recently surveyed the requirements for history majors at top colleges … Continue reading History degrees at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, others don’t require US history course

History isn’t a ‘useless’ major. It teaches critical thinking, something America needs plenty more of

James Grossman: A historian, however, would know that it is essential to look beyond such simplistic logic. Yes, in the first few years after graduation, STEM and business majors have more obvious job prospects — especially in engineering and computer science. And in our recession-scarred economic context, of course students are concerned with landing that … Continue reading History isn’t a ‘useless’ major. It teaches critical thinking, something America needs plenty more of

The ‘Taiwan’s Light’ Performance and Questions of the Representation of Taiwanese History

Brian Hloe ONE DAY AFTER Tsai Ing-Wen’s inauguration, we may perhaps look back in further detail upon one of the events which prompted controversy during the inauguration ceremony—the musical performance which preceded Tsai’s inauguration speech. The performance, entitled “Taiwan’s Light” (台灣之光), was a depiction of Taiwan’s history meant to represent Tsai’s incoming presidency as the … Continue reading The ‘Taiwan’s Light’ Performance and Questions of the Representation of Taiwanese History

The Program Era: A cultural history looks at how word processing changed the way we write

Eric Banks: I can’t remember the last time I used an electric typewriter. It most likely would have been in the course of typing out an address on an envelope—but then again, I can’t readily call to mind the last time I did that with anything other than that old-fashioned technology, the ballpoint pen, which … Continue reading The Program Era: A cultural history looks at how word processing changed the way we write

In the history of truth, a new chapter begins.

Jill LePore: ed Cruz’s campaign autobiography is called “A Time for Truth.” “This guy’s a liar,” Donald Trump said at a recent G.O.P. debate, pointing at Cruz. Trump thinks a lot of people are liars, especially politicians (Jeb Bush: “Lying on campaign trail!”) and reporters (“Too bad dopey @megynkelly lies!”). Not for nothing has he … Continue reading In the history of truth, a new chapter begins.

The Long, Tangled History of Alfred E. Neuman

Sam Sweet: In a 1975 interview with the New York Times, MAD Magazine founder Harvey Kurtzman recalled an illustration of a grinning boy he’d spotted on a postcard in the early fifties: a “bumpkin portrait,” “part leering wiseacre, part happy-go-lucky kid.” It was captioned “What, Me Worry?”  That bumpkin became Alfred E. Neuman, MAD’s mascot, who … Continue reading The Long, Tangled History of Alfred E. Neuman

Union-busting at Duke: a brief history

Bennett Carpenter: This week, contingent faculty at Duke took the historic step of filing for a union election. The decision comes in response to the administration’s ongoing attempts to replace stable, full-time, tenure track jobs with part-time, precarious, low-wage positions. Predictably, the burden of these policies is distributed unevenly across race and gender lines; while … Continue reading Union-busting at Duke: a brief history

The Troubled Academic Job Market for History

Robert B. Townsend and Julia Brookins The academic job market in history remains quite challenging for recent PhDs, and evidence from the AHA’s Directory of History Departments, Historical Organizations, and Historians (the Directory) indicates that these challenges are likely to persist. Among the signs of difficulty for academic-job candidates today and into the near future: … Continue reading The Troubled Academic Job Market for History

Colonial History in the Age of Digital Humanities

Robert Englebert: Well before digital humanities was a hot commodity and seemingly a must for every grant application, I was cutting my teeth as a grad student and inadvertently became involved in digital history. Working for my PhD supervisor, Nicole St-Onge, at the University of Ottawa, I helped manage a team that digitized over 35,000 … Continue reading Colonial History in the Age of Digital Humanities

Why Students Should Read a Work of History in High School

Will Fitzhugh, via a kind email: (was a literature major in college, and only came to read history seriously afterwards. No one emphasized the benefits of history when I was in school. And I realize that the appreciation of history is a bit cumulative. That is, when a student first reads history she doesn’t know … Continue reading Why Students Should Read a Work of History in High School

Madison Schools’ three-year history of kindergarten attendance and chronic absenteeism

The tables below show a three-year history of kindergarten attendance and chronic absenteeism (attendance less than 90%) across the seven HERE! Schools together (Allis, Falk, Lapham, Leopold, Mendota, Midvale, and Orchard Ridge). PDF Version. Background links. NPR (November 12, 2015), Getting kids to show up. Molly Beck on MMSD Attendance Report for 2013-14 (WSJ) (August, … Continue reading Madison Schools’ three-year history of kindergarten attendance and chronic absenteeism

Eric Lundgren on Part of Our Lives : A People’s History of the American Public Library

Human Google FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS. On the first page of Wayne A. Wiegand’s Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library, a stunning statistic from the Pew Research Center’s 2013 Internet and American Life Project: 91 percent of respondents over the age of 16 said that public libraries were “very” … Continue reading Eric Lundgren on Part of Our Lives : A People’s History of the American Public Library

What’s a ‘safe space’? A look at the phrase’s 50-year history

Malcolm Harris: But what is a “safe space” and why shouldn’t a university be one? This tweet from Dawkins would have been a psychotic response to a school shooting or campus rape, but that’s not the kind of safety he’s talking about. The safe spaces that Dawkins doesn’t like are encroachments onto his turf by … Continue reading What’s a ‘safe space’? A look at the phrase’s 50-year history

Academic Journals: The Most Profitable Obsolete Technology in History

sas confidential: The music business was killed by Napster; movie theaters were derailed by digital streaming; traditional magazines are in crisis mode–yet in this digital information wild west: academic journals and the publishers who own them are posting higher profits than nearly any sector of commerce. Academic publisher Elsevier, which owns a majority of the … Continue reading Academic Journals: The Most Profitable Obsolete Technology in History

Civics: is For Everyone—and American History Proves It

Seth Schoen & Amy Williams: Over the last year, law enforcement officials around the world have been pressing hard on the notion that without a magical “backdoor” to access the content of any and all encrypted communications by ordinary people, they’ll be totally incapable of fulfilling their duties to investigate crime and protect the public. … Continue reading Civics: is For Everyone—and American History Proves It

South Korea set to rewrite history books

Simon Mundy: The system was introduced in 2010 to replace a state monopoly on history textbooks that was introduced by the authoritarian leader Park Chung-hee in 1974, two years after he revised the constitution to suspend democratic elections. Park’s daughter, Park Geun-hye, is the sitting president and some of her political opponents have claimed that … Continue reading South Korea set to rewrite history books

The History of Cartography, the “Most Ambitious Overview of Map Making Ever,” Now Free Online

Open Culture: Worth a quick mention: The University of Chicago Press has made available online — at no cost — the first three volumes of The History of Cartography. Or what Edward Rothstein, of The New York Times, called “the most ambitious overview of map making ever undertaken.” He continues: People come to know the … Continue reading The History of Cartography, the “Most Ambitious Overview of Map Making Ever,” Now Free Online