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Sessions by special interest

State of the Field Sessions
Public History 
Professional Development
Community College
Gilded Age & Progressive Era
Foreign Relations
Digital Humanities
Western History
Native American
Urban History


Teaching Taboo Subjects in Your History Survey Courses
Sponsored by the OAH Committee on Community Colleges
Friday, April 17 - 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Cost: $25 - Limit 40 people
Grace Wade Moser, St. Charles Community College
• Megan McGregor, Houston Community College Northwest
American history survey courses are rife with complex and controversial topics. Intensification of the so-called culture wars in recent years has rendered some difficult topics more tricky than ever to discuss in a large college classroom. This workshop provides instructors with an opportunity to share their experiences and concerns while developing new perspectives, skills, and strategies to meet the ongoing challenge of talking about "taboo subjects" in their survey courses.

How to Make Your Classroom the Ultimate Participatory Experience
Friday, April 17 - 8:30 am – 12:15 pm
Cost: $25 - Limit 32 people
Chair: Debra Michlewitz, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
• Franco Scardino, Townsend Harris High School at Queens College
• Michael Holmes, High School of American Studies at Lehman College
• Alex Wood, Townsend Harris High School at Queens College
The session is structured as four mini-workshops with a reliance on hands-on activities for participants, with time to debrief, share assessment activities, and connect to the Common Core Standards.
We'll refuel midway with a working coffee break. Participants receive a flash drive with the session's plans, worksheets, and resources. Channel your inner precollege, introductory college course student. Call it Ultimate Teaching. The session showcases four varied creative classroom programs, suitable for precollege and introductory college course settings. The pedagogical strategies
showcased in this workshop prompt students to participate and engage in thoughtful hands-on learning experiences.
Come play the American Forum for Global Education's Road Game. The Road Game dramatizes the complex relationship between society, citizens, laws, and government. The Taft Institute's Election Simulation will bring out your inner politician and expose your students to the dynamic world of electoral politics. The Election Simulation connects a government or civics course to a real-time, real-world election, motivating students to closely follow current events and research policy during the months that lead up to election day. You will have a chance to engage in Election Simulation activities and learn how to set up your own simulation.
Experience a demonstration of the case-study method, advocated by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. Their website archives a peer-reviewed collection of case studies with interdisciplinary connections to geography, public health, sociology, environmental science, and statistics. The demonstration presents a new case study, An Unlikely Hero: The Rise of Henrietta Lacks, which investigates an intersection between cancer treatment, government's informal and formal role in access to treatment, and ethics in medical research. The National History Day (NHD) presentation models the methodology of leading students through the process of selecting a NHD theme-related topic, developing a research question, establishing a thesis, and, finally, selecting a category in which to compete.

Reliving History in the Classroom / Reacting to the Past Workshop: "Trial of Anne Hutchinson: Liberty, Law and Intolerance in Puritan New England"
Saturday, April 18 - 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Cost: $35 - Limit 20 people
Chair: Helen Gaudette, Queens College, CUNY
Presenter: Mark C. Carnes, Barnard College
Relive history by participating in a Reacting to the Past Workshop. Experience a mini-version of what can be a weekend-, week-, month-, or semester-long learning project for your students. Reacting to the Past (RTTP) is a role-playing teaching strategy with a good list of ready-to-go titles and topics available for pre-college and college classrooms. "Trial of Anne Hutchinson: Liberty, Law and Intolerance in Puritan New England" is one example with clear relevance to the conference theme of taboos. Larry Carver, director of the Liberal Arts Honors Programs at the University of Texas at Austin, observes on the RTTP website, "I have never seen students this engaged. They write more than the assignments require; everyone, shy or not, participates vigorously in the debates. They read important texts with real understanding, making complex arguments and ideas their own." The website also notes that "RTTP has been implemented at over 300 colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. The initiative is sustained by the Reacting Consortium, an alliance of colleges and universities that promotes imagination, inquiry, and engagement as foundational features of teaching and learning in higher education. The Consortium provides programs for faculty development and curricular change, including a regular series of conferences and workshops, online instructor resources, and consulting services." Reacting to the Past games are used in a wide range of courses in undergraduate and some graduate programs (although some AP faculty have made use of Reacting games in high schools, the Reacting Consortium of colleges and universities, which governs the Reacting initiative, does not presently support pre-college applications). Mark C.
Carnes, whose original concept has been greatly expanded upon by an infusion of hundreds of faculty during the past decade, has completed a book on the pedagogy, called Minds on Fire: How Role-Immersion Games Transform College. Our three-hour participatory session will demonstrate the various creative, lively activities that motivate students to closely read, analyze, and cite texts and primary sources. Participants in this session will receive roles, a handbook, and reading materials after registration so they can arrive ready to play the game. The session will close with a discussion of the value of the game as a history teaching strategy and an opportunity to ask questions about the incorporation of RTTP into your course of study or student life.


Thursday, April 16

1:45 pm - 3:15 pm 

The Uses of the Past: What the History of Education Can Teach the Future University
James Fraser, New York University
Martha J. Kanter, New York University
- What the History of Normal Schools Can Teach 21st-Century Universities and Their Education Schools
Christine Ogren, University of Iowa
- Using Regional Higher Educational History to Rethink Regional Higher Education Policy
Lester Goodchild, University of Massachusetts, Boston
- Legacies of the Latino Demographic Surge of the 20th/21st Centuries and U.S. University Policies: Directions for Reform
Victoria-Maria MacDonald, University of Maryland College Park
- Policy Implications from the History of Urban Universities
Steven Diner, Rutgers University-Newark

Friday, April 17

9:00 am - 10:30 am 

The Civil War Era and the American West: Unifying Concepts for Scholars, Students, and Museum Goers
Andrew Graybill, Southern Methodist University
• Adam Arenson, Manhattan College
• Diane Mutti Burke, University of Missouri–Kansas City
• Daniel Lynch, University of California, Los Angeles
• Virginia Scharff, University of New Mexico and Autry National Center
Panelists discuss the process and findings of three new, simultaneous efforts to disorient Civil War history by addressing the significance of the West and wider conflicts over freedom, property, and
citizenship: an edited volume emphasizing new research and frameworks; "Empire and Liberty," an exhibit at the Autry National Center on display concurrently with the OAH Annual Meeting; and
a companion volume focused on expanding this history, through artifacts, for students, scholars, and the public.

Crafting the United States History Survey Course
Sponsored by the Committee on Community Colleges and Community College Humanities Association
Chair: Mark Roehrs, Lincoln Land Community College
• Debra Reid, Eastern Illinois University
• Maureen Nutting, North Seattle Community College
• Robert Sampson, Millikin University
• Lawrence Charap, College Board
• David Berry, Community College Humanities Association
As increased pressure is placed on higher education to streamline course, program, and degree offerings, many students are allowed to forgo the American history survey. In addition, the primary and secondary-level students are encouraged to focus less on the humanities and social sciences, instead concentrating on reading, writing, math, leaving students less historically minded than ever before. This roundtable brings together teaching historians from a variety of colleges and universities, as well as representatives from the College Board and the Community College Humanities Association to examine the reasonable and achievable expectations and parameters of the U.S. history survey course.

10:50 am - 12:20 pm 

Digital Humanities and Teaching
• Marjorie Hunter, West Memphis High School
• Andrew J. Torget, University of North Texas
• David J. Trowbridge, Marshall University
• Patrick Damien Jones, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
This session brings together historians who work with students as both creators and consumers of digital resources. The panelists will discuss working with peers, graduate and undergraduate
and high school students, and community members to create and share digital humanities projects. Two panelists will also talk about teaching digital humanities courses at the graduate and
undergraduate levels.

Saturday, April 18

9:00 am - 10:30 am 

What Will the Impact of the Common Core Be on History Education?
Sponsored by the OAH Committee on Teaching
Thomas D. Fallace, William Paterson University of New Jersey
• Johann Neem, Western Washington University
• John Lee, North Carolina State University
• Fritz Fischer, Northern Colorado University

"What?! You Teach at a Community College?" Confronting a Career Taboo
Sponsored by the OAH Committee on Community Colleges
• Betsy Anderson, East Central Community College
• Shaughn Doyel, St. Charles Community College
• Robin Hanson, St. Louis Community College and St. Louis University
• David Lucander, Rockland Community College
• Scott McDermott, Tusculum College

From Scholar to History Textbooks OAH Committee on Teaching Coffee Break
Sponsored by the OAH Committee on Teaching, MacMillan Higher Education, and Cengage
Speaker: Darren Dochuk, Washington University in St. Louis
Leading historian of twentieth-century religion and politics Darren Dochuk will discuss the state of his scholarly fields while representatives from one or two of the leading textbook publishers
demonstrate how historically taboo topics such as evolution are presented as unbiased as possible in their textbooks and supplemental online materials. Audience participation is strongly
encouraged during this panel session.

Twitter and the U.S. History Classroom: A Roundtable Discussion
Endorsed by the OAH Teaching Committee
Chair: Laura Fowler, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
• Ian J. Aebel, Texas A&M University–Kingsville
• Matt Hinckley, Eastfield College
• Kristen Burton, University of Texas at Arlington
Technology has played a large role in the transformation of history education, as instructors have incorporated presentation software to display media and enhance the learning process. Despite these innovations, student usage of technology in the history classroom remains an area of consternation among many instructors; indeed, a majority of professors place a taboo on phone usage during class. This roundtable panel will discuss the use of Twitter as a tool to transform cellular phones into learning tools in the history undergraduate classroom. With its ease of communication and 140 character post limits, Twitter can be useful in both communicating with students and eliciting responses during history lectures and discussions.

10:50 am - 12:20 pm 

Teaching World War I during the Centennial: New Sources and New Interpretations
Sponsored by the OAH Committee on Teaching
Amy Forss, Metropolitan Community College
- Assessing Understandings of World War I on the Redesigned AP U.S. History Exam
Lawrence Charap, College Board
- Using Historical Thinking Skills to Introduce World War I to AP U.S. History Students
John P. Irish, College Board
- Teaching World War I during the Centennial: New Sources and New Interpretations
Christopher Capozzola, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Classroom Taboo: Teaching the [Un]American Way of War Using the Smithsonian's "The Price of Freedom" Exhibit
Endorsed by the OAH Committee on Public History
Chair: Meredith Lair, George Mason University
• Kristin Hass, University of Michigan
• David Kieran, Skidmore College

Methodological Taboos: Using Visual Culture  as Historical Evidence
Chair: Ignacio Sanchez Prado, Washington University in St. Louis
• Deborah Cohen, University of Missouri–St. Louis
• Lessie Jo Frazier, Indiana University
• Victoria Phillips, Columbia University
• Martin Berger, University of California, Santa Cruz
• Laura Wexler, Yale University
Historians are frequently accused of using visual culture evidence as illustrations for historical narratives. Though recent scholarship softens this charge, are there specific ways—including taboo
illustrative ones—of using these sources that historians might rigorously defend? Does historians' use of this evidence offer something to scholars of other disciplines? How have we and can
we continue to benefit from the critiques and revisit the uses of taboos? Panelists immersed in the use of visual culture will reflect on the critiques leveled at historians by those outside the discipline,
exploring new methodological possibilities for such sources. A senior literary and film studies scholar (disciplines that raise the critiques) will serve as interlocutor.

Sex, Religion, and Outlaw Teachers: Taboo Topics in the History of American Education
Sponsored by the History of Education Society
Chair and Commentator: Zoe Burkholder, Montclair State University
- Wrongs, Not Rights: American Sex Education in a Global Perspective
Jonathan Zimmerman, New York University
- Scopes at Ninety: The Long History of Battles over the Teaching of Evolution in American Biology Classrooms
James Fraser, New York University
- Irrational Prejudice: Gay Teachers and the Supreme Court, 1974–1985
Karen Graves, Denison University

1:50 pm - 3:20 pm 

Secondary Sources in the Survey Course: Breaking the Taboo of Historiography for Non-Majors
Endorsed by the OAH Teaching Committee
Jeffrey Manuel, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Jason Stacy, Southern Illinois Univiversity Edwardsville
• Michelle Stacy, Mascoutah (IL) High School
• Jason Stahl, University of Minnesota
• James Zucker, Loyola (CA) High School
• James Sabathne, Hononegah High School, Rockton, Illinois
In recent years, primary source analysis has become increasingly central to high school and undergraduate U.S. history survey courses. Scholars of teaching and learning have effectively challenged the coverage model and encourage teachers to emphasize analysis of primary sources in their classrooms. Yet many history teachers remain unsure about whether or how to introduce secondary sources—such as journal articles or cuttingedge research—and historiographic debates to their students. This roundtable, which includes college and high school faculty, will consider how teachers of the U.S. survey course can best incorporate secondary (nontextbook) sources and historiography into their courses, inviting audience discussion.

Comparing Notes: Pre-College and College Teachers Talk about the Teaching of History

Chair: Laura Westhoff, University of Missouri–St. Louis
• Rene Luis Alvarez, Northeastern Illinois University
• Flannery Burke, St. Louis University
• Franco Scardino, Townsend Harris High School at Queens College
• Ashley Lock, Lindbergh High School
This roundtable discussion will bring together pre-collegiate and college history instructors to discuss shared academic goals and common challenges concerning students' limited ability to read primary and secondary sources, to apply the concepts and habits of mind specific to the historical discipline, to compose written arguments, and to conduct research. Working with documents, secondary texts, and assignments as a starting point, panelists and audience members will discuss and identify historical and critical thinking skills that are expected in pre-collegiate and college-level courses. Our purpose is to encourage supportive and ongoing conversation and collaboration between historians and pre-collegiate teachers who share a desire to improve teaching and learning history at all levels.

Sunday, April 19

9:00 am - 10:30 am 

Working across Spaces of History Pedagogy: Classroom, Exhibit, Community
Sponsored by the OAH Committee on Teaching
Michael H. Frisch, Randforce Associates
• Malgorzata Rymsza-Pawlowska, Eastern Illinois University
• Christine Berkowitz, University of Toronto, Scarborough
• Erin Curtis, Skirball Cultural Center
• Robert Nelson, University of Richmond

10:45 am - 12:15 pm 

Enriching the Content of the U.S. History Survey Course: Four Possibilities
Chair and Commentator:
Gloria Sesso, Patchogue-Medford School District
- In Search of Good Earth: Enslaved Cosmologies, Dirt Eating, and the African Diaspora
Jerome Dotson, University of Wisconsin–Madison
- Reconsidering the End of America's War in Vietnam: New Insights on the War, 1969–1973
David Prentice, Independent Scholar
- Early Americanists' Neglect of Age as a Category of Analysis
Jason Eden, St. Cloud State University
- Darkology: The History of Amateur Blackface Minstrelsy and the Making of Modern America
RhaeLynn Barnes, Harvard University