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News in American History

News of the Profession

“News of the Profession” includes announcements of special interest to American historians and practitioners at all levels. Please submit your announcement using this form.

Urge the House to Fund K-12 History and Civics Education

In December, President Obama signed into law a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The "Every Student Succeeds Act" restored funding for K-12 history and civics education that was eliminated five years ago. Unfortunately, when the President's budget request was released on February 9 it did not include appropriations for the major new program source of funding for history and civics.

Left unfunded was a competitive grant program for non-profit organizations to develop and disseminate innovative approaches to provide high quality instruction in American history and civics for under-served students.

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Posted: February 18, 2016
Tagged: News of the Profession, Advocacy


MAC 2016 Archie Motley Memorial Scholarship for Minority Students

Midwest Archives Conference (MAC) is soliciting applications for the 2016 Archie Motley Memorial Scholarship for Minority Students. The scholarship is designed to provide financial assistance to minority students pursuing graduate education in archival administration and to encourage ethnic diversification of the MAC membership and of the archival profession as a whole. Two $750 scholarships, accompanied by one-year memberships to MAC, will be awarded.

In order to be eligible for a scholarship, the applicant must be of African, American Indian, Asian or Pacific Islander, or Latino decent; must be a student currently enrolled in or accepted in a graduate, multicourse program in archival administration; and must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in his or her academic program. If the program is not listed in the SAA Directory of Archival Education, http://www2.archivists.org/dae, the applicant must provide proof of the multicourse standard by submitting copies of course descriptions from the institution's current departmental catalog. Applicants are not required to be residents of or attend school in the MAC region.

Applications are available from the Archie Motley Memorial Scholarship for Minority Students Committee Chair.

Alison Stankrauff
Archivist and Associate Librarian
Indiana University South Bend
574 – 520 - 4392
astankra@iusb.edu

And from the MAC Web site, http://www.midwestarchives.org.

Applying for the Archie Motley Scholarship has gotten easier with our new online application form.

Applications must be postmarked by March 1, 2016.
Awards will be announced no later than June 1, 2016.

Posted: January 29, 2016
Tagged: News of the Profession


AEF Visiting Professor Program 2016

The VPP is a two-week fellowship for professors of advertising, marketing, communications and the liberal arts. In 2015, 13 professors were hosted by advertising agencies in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and New York City. Application deadline is Friday, February 12, 2016. Read More>>

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Posted: January 27, 2016
Tagged: News of the Profession


Churchill For Schools: Teaching Modern World History Using Churchill Archives

The Churchill Archive for Schools provides an expanding range of classroom-ready resources, specially written and developed by leading history educators to engage and excite as well as inform and challenge. Based around four broad topics in modern world history, the Churchill Archive for Schools also offers teachers and students an accessible entry-point to the complete Churchill Archive.

The Organization of American Historians is pleased to offer the opportunity to explore this rich archival collection through the guided practice of master teachers and scholars in one of a series of webinar events. Participants will explore teacher-produced classroom investigations that are mined from over 800,000 documents associated with Sir Churchill. More than a view into the life and thoughts of the statesman, these documents bring Churchill to life as a person - as well as the many other major actors in personal correspondance. Use the archives of a great man to learn about lives of ordinary people!

This 60-minute webinar is free of charge and available to any educators at the K-12 or post-secondary level.

Each participant will receive full access to the complete Churchill Archives at no charge.

Each virtual session will:
• apply historical thinking and inquiry-based investigations to modern history topics
• identify and share sets of primary source documents that support that investigation
• connect history teachers from across the globe around practice and curation
• provide free site license access to the Churchill Archives
• work to create best practice models for how technology can bring historical archives alive!

This webinar will take place on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 7:00pm EST

Regisister now!

Posted: December 10, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization, News of the Profession


Urge the Senate to Pass the "Every Student Succeeds Act"

On December 2, the House of Representatives by a vote of 359-64 approved the conference report to S.1177, the "Every Student Succeeds Act." The bill reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for the next four years and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act. Most importantly the legislation includes multiple sources of funding to support improved instruction in K-12 history, civics, geography and economics.

The Organization of American Historians, along with the National Coalition for History (NCH), urgently needs you to contact your U.S. Senators and urge them to support the conference report. Click here for a link that allows you to send an email directly to your Senators and urge him or her to support the conference report that includes key provisions that benefit history and civics education.

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Posted: December 3, 2015
Tagged: News of the Profession, Advocacy


Urge Congress to Support K-12 History Education Today

On December 2, the House of Representatives is scheduled to consider the conference report to S. 1177, the "Every Student Succeeds Act." The bill reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for the next four years and replaces the much maligned No Child Left Behind Act. Most importantly the legislation includes multiple sources of funding to support improved instruction in K-12 history, civics, geography and economics.

The Organization of American Historians (OAH) urgently needs you to contact your Member of the House of Representatives and urge him or her to support the conference report that includes key provisions that benefit history and civics education. Click here for a link that allows you to send an email directly to your Member of the House of Representatives and urge him or her to support the conference report that includes key provisions that benefit history and civics education.

The House is voting first on S. 1177, the "Every Student Succeeds Act." While the Senate is likely to pass the bill, as you know in recent months the House has gone through a chaotic fight over its leadership. Even though the bill cleared the House-Senate conference committee by an overwhelming bi-partisan majority of 38-1, its passage by the House is by no means a foregone conclusion. Politics unrelated to the underlying merits of the bill may still derail it. So it is vital that all representatives, Republicans and Democrats, receive the message from their constituents that the education of our nation's K-12 students is vitally important and a non-partisan issue.

OAH limits our legislative "action alerts" to situations and issues that are vital to the interests of our constituents. We cannot overstress the importance of this effort! Congress has not reauthorized the ESEA in 15 years so this legislation is our only opportunity to get funding restored for K-12 history and civics education.

The bill is expected to go to the House floor on December 2. Time is of the essence so call or email today!

How to Contact Your Representative

Please call or email your House member's office and urge them to support restoring federal funding for history and civics education. To contact your representative, you can use one of these two options. No matter which means of communication you choose, please personalize your message as to your background or interest in history. If you are employed in the field, especially as a K-12 teacher, mention the institution where you work in your congressional district.

  1. Make a phone call. All Members of Congress can be reached through the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202)224-3121. If you feel comfortable doing so, a personal phone call is preferable to an email.If you are not sure who your Representative is you can follow this link to the House's website and enter your zip code which will provide a link to your House member's website: http://www.house.gov/
  2. Send an email. The National Coalition of History (of which the OAH is a member) is working with the National Humanities Alliance which has prepared a one-step link to your House member (click here). You simply enter your address and the system identifies your representative. We've provided an email template that can be edited to personalize your message. The message not only goes to your House member's email, but their Twitter account and Facebook page as well.

Posted: November 30, 2015
Tagged: Advocacy, News of the Profession


Constitutional Scholar Maeva Marcus to Edit Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise Supreme Court History Series

The Library of Congress and the Permanent Committee of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise announce the appointment of OAH member Maeva Marcus as the general editor of the "Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise History of the Supreme Court of the United States." Marcus, a constitutional scholar with special expertise in the history of the United States Supreme Court, is the third person to serve as editor in the publication's 60-year history.

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Posted: November 17, 2015
Tagged: News of the Profession, Clio's Kudos


NEH Turns 50

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) this week will kick off a year-long celebration of the agency's 50th anniversary.

Fifty years ago, on September 29, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 at a White House Rose Garden ceremony, attended by scholars, artists, educators, political leaders, and other luminaries. (Read a history of how NEH got its start).

The law created the National Endowment for the Humanities as an independent federal agency, the first grand public investment in American culture. It identified the need for a national cultural agency that would preserve America's rich history and cultural heritage, and encourage and support scholarship and innovation in history, archeology, philosophy, literature, and other humanities disciplines.

 To read more about the history of the NEH or to see a list of highlights of the anniversary celebrations, click here.

Posted: September 30, 2015
Tagged: News of the Profession


RUSA Genealogy and History Achievement Award

Established in 1992, and sponsored by ProQuest, this award presents a citation and $1,500* cash to a librarian or library in recognition of their professional achievement in historical or genealogical reference, service or research. The recipient shall be selected for exceptional accomplishment in one or more of the following areas: professional association leadership and/or service and training; reference services; publication of recent, important, and highly regarded print or web based reference works; or digital projects that offer important access to genealogical or historical sources.

This award presents a citation and $1,500* cash to a librarian, library or publisher, in recognition of professional achievement in historical or genealogical reference, service, or research librarianship. The recipient shall be selected for exceptional accomplishment in one or more of the following areas: leadership; service; training; reference; or publication of recent, significant print or digital reference works/projects that offer access to genealogical or historical sources.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:
Nomination materials should include the following:

Questions may be directed to the committee chair, Helen Gbala, gbalah@cod.edu.

*Monetary award amounts are subject to change without notice and are contingent upon donor funding supplied at the time the award is presented. Questions about these awards should be directed to the committee chairperson or to Leighann Wood, RUSA awards program coordinator, at lwood@ala.org.

For more information, please visit http://www.ala.org/rusa/awards/genealogicalpublishing

Posted: September 30, 2015
Tagged: News of the Profession


The American Academy in Rome Invites Applications for the 2016 Rome Prize

For over a century, the Academy has awarded the Rome Prize to support innovative work in the arts and humanities. Through a national juried competition, Rome Prizes are awarded to emerging and established artists and scholars working in the following disciplines:

Ranging from six months to two years, the thirty fellowships include a stipend, room and board, and individual workspace at the Academy's eleven-acre center in Rome.

Submissions due: NOVEMBER 1, 2015

Visit aarome.org/apply for guidelines.

Posted: September 23, 2015
Tagged: News of the Profession


Two Longtime OAH Members Receive National Humanities Medals

The Organization of American Historians is delighted and honored to learn that Past OAH President Vicki Lynn Ruiz and longtime member Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham have been named by the White House as two of the ten distinguished recipients of the 2014 National Humanities Medal.  The National Humanities Medal is the nation’s highest award recognizing individuals, groups, and institutions for transformative research, scholarship, and public engagement that advance the humanities and deepen our understanding of American life, history, and culture. 

The National Humanities Medal honors Professor Ruiz "for her contributions as a historian. In monographs and edited volumes, Dr. Ruiz has pioneered the history of twentieth-century Latinas in a distinguished career that began with collecting oral testimony from Mexican immigrants who worked in U.S. canning factories."

Read more about the award and how to live stream the presentation on September 10

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Posted: September 4, 2015
Tagged: News of the Profession


Action Alert: National Humanities Alliance

Act now to prevent deep cuts to funding for international education.

The Senate has proposed deep cuts to Title VI and Fulbright-Hays.

These programs are crucial for educating U.S. students for our interconnected world and training experts in foreign languages and cultures.

The proposed cut would slash $25 million (35%) from Title VI and Fulbright-Hays, and it has already passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

This comes after a drastic cut in 2010 and would amount to a 63% reduction over five years!

What's at stake?

Click here for more information on Title VI programs and the status of the appropriations process.

Send a message to Congress now.
We need to speak out now to ensure that the Senate bill does not advance any further. The House appropriations committee has already approved funding at the current level. Your voice will help ensure that these crucial international education programs remain intact.

For more information about the National Humanities Alliance, click here.

Read more >

Posted: August 26, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization, News of the Profession, Advocacy


U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (USCAVC) Seeking Proposals

CONTENT
The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (USCAVC) seeks proposals for a scholarly book on the history of the creation and the first 25 years of the Court. If the Court determines to publish such a book, the book will describe judicial review of veterans appeals and the effect of the Court upon veterans' benefits and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) claims and appeals process. Possible topics could include:

Efforts of veterans and organizations to obtain judicial review of veterans benefits decisions

Legislative history and the process involved in the creation of the Court

The Early Phase of the Court's History, including

Later Phases of Court history, including significant events since inception

Unique features of the Court and their impact

Significant decisions of the Court

Sources will include published records of the Court, other published accounts (such as journal articles, Congressional legislative records, and VA records), statistics, and oral histories.

FORMAT
The book will be a hard cover illustrated history of approximately 100-200 pages in length not including the table of contents, index and appendices. The book size is expected to be 6.75" x 10".

TERMS OF SERVICE
The Court will pay reasonable author's fees plus expenses. The Court will not pay any fees incurred for the preparation of any bidder's response to this Request for Proposals.

There will be a series of deadlines for deliverables and drafts to the Court for review, with the ultimate time for the author(s) to complete the draft to be approximately one year from the signing of a contract.

RIGHTS TO THE WORK
The Court will retain exclusive right to publish the materials. The author will be provided a specified number of copies for personal use and not for resale.

SELECTION CRITERIA
Selection is at the sole discretion of the Court but if a selection is made, it will be made based upon the Best Value. Factors considered will include:

Selection and any resulting contract will be in compliance with the Court's procurement policy and all applicable federal laws. Award of a contract is contingent on the absence of, or the absence of appearance of, any conflicts of interest, as determined by the Court, between the bidder and the Court.

PROPOSALS AND DEADLINE
All proposals should include the following:

Deadline for the submission of proposals is November 30, 2015.

Proposals should be sent as email attachments to:

Gregory O. Block
Clerk of the Court
United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
625 Indiana Avenue, NW, Suite 900
Washington, D.C. 20004
Email: contracting@uscourts.cavc.gov

QUESTIONS
Questions should be directed to the Clerk of the Court care of the email address noted above. Answers to questions will be sent by reply email, and all questions and answers submitted will be published for review on our Court website (www.uscourts.cavc.gov) under "Employment" via the link titled "Court History Book Request for Proposals Q&A Summary."

Posted: August 24, 2015
Tagged: Calls for Papers, News of the Profession


Action Alert: Urge Congress to Restore Funding for K-12 History and Civics Education

Negotiations to finalize a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) will resume when Congress returns after Labor Day. Quite simply, the Senate bill restores federal funding for K-12 history and civics education while the House bill does not. 

The Organization of American Historians and the National Coalition for History (NCH) urgently need you to contact your member of the House of Representatives. Congressmen Ross (R-FL) and Cicilline (D-RI) have drafted and distributed a sign-on letter urging their colleagues to adopt the history and civics provisions in the Senate's version of the bill.

Please urge your representative to sign the "Dear Colleague" letter supporting key provisions that benefit history and civics education.

Send an email directly to House members!

Follow this link to NCH's website for more information.

To read the full Action Alert, click here.

Read more >

Posted: August 21, 2015
Tagged: Advocacy, News of the Organization, News of the Profession


Alice Smith Prize in Public History

The Midwestern History Association invites nominations for the Alice Smith Prize in Public History. Named after the director of research at the Wisconsin Historical Society from 1947 to 1965 who authored six books and numerous articles on the state's history, the prize honors a public history project completed in the previous calendar year (2014) that contributes to broader public reflection and appreciation of the region's past. For purposes of the award, "the Midwest" includes the twelve states of the region as defined by the US Census: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Projects by individuals, groups, community organizations, businesses, or other organizations or work done in support of such projects may be nominated. Projects may include, but are not limited to the following areas: Media, Exhibits, Public Programs or Written Works (such as research reports, brochures, working papers, or historical fiction) that broaden public history understanding. Non-fiction books and journal articles are not eligible for this award.

Nominations must include name and contact information of project participants along with appropriate materials documenting the project. For consideration, please submit nomination and materials to Aaron Shapiro, Chair, Smith Prize Committee at ashapi10@uncc.edu or via mail at Department of History, UNC Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223.

Deadline for submissions: 15 September 2015

Posted: July 16, 2015
Tagged: News of the Profession


Hamlin Garland Prize in Popular History

The Midwestern History Association invites nominations for the Hamlin Garland Prize in Popular History. The prize is named after the Midwestern writer Hamlin Garland, a product of Wisconsin, Iowa, and South Dakota who sought to promote writing about his home region and published widely in popular outlets. His many books include Daughter of the Middle Border, which won the Pultizer Prize in 1922. The Garland Prize honors a work of popular history about the Midwest published in the previous calendar year (2014) that contributes to broader public reflection and appreciation of the region's past. For purposes of the award, "the Midwest" includes the twelve states of the region as defined by the US Census: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Works of popular history eligible for the prize may include, but are not limited to, articles in popular history magazines and journals, feature stories in magazines and newspapers, and books written for a broad public audience.

Nominations must include the name and contact information of the nominated work's author and three copies of the work nominated. For consideration, please submit nomination and accompanying materials to Professor Kristin Mapel Bloomberg, Chair, Garland Prize Committee at kbloomberg@hamline.edu or via mail at Manor Hall 33B, PO Box 158, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55104.

Deadline for submissions: 1 October 2015

Posted: July 16, 2015
Tagged: News of the Profession


Librarian of Congress to Retire

James H. Billington, the 13th Librarian of Congress, will retire on January 1, 2016. The former history professor and Rhodes Scholar was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 to oversee the largest library in the world. Billington is credited with expanding the Library's public outreach, including a lead role in the creation of Thomas.gov legislative search engine and the National Book Festival. His 28-year legacy is not without its critics, however, many of which blame Billington for the institution's digital lag. Just this year, the nation's oldest cultural institution came under scrutiny for technology issues that put the Library at risk of a data breach. The new appointee will be nominated by President Obama and requires Senate confirmation.

Posted: July 10, 2015
Tagged: News of the Profession


The Smithsonian Welcomes New Secretary

Dr. David J. Skorton became the Smithsonian Institutions 13th Secretary in its 169-year history on July 1, 2015. Previously, Skorton served as president at Cornell University and Iowa University. His background and training is in cardiology, which he taught for twenty-six years. He is the first medical doctor to lead the Smithsonian.

In assuming his new position Skorton stated, "With its diverse collections and staff, the Smithsonian is uniquely positioned to lead a global dialogue on critical questions where the arts, humanities and sciences intersect. The Smithsonian can advance our understanding of the world around us through a distinctly American perspective." http://newsdesk.si.edu/releases/smithsonian-welcomes-secretary-david-skorton

Posted: July 10, 2015
Tagged: News of the Profession


OAH Executive Committee Issues Statement on Tenure, Academic Freedom, and Shared Governance—and the University of Wisconsin System

The Executive Committee of the Organization of American Historians strongly supports the statement on academic freedom and tenure issued by more than twenty of our fellow scholarly organizations. The academic freedom secured through tenure and a partnership between faculty and administration in governing standards is a linchpin of intellectual inquiry in American higher education. Together, tenure and shared university governance stand at the heart of advanced research and vigorous teaching, as has been recognized explicitly in Wisconsin since its Board of Regents' report of 1894.

The OAH Executive Committee shares the grave concerns voiced by our fellow scholarly associations that the proposed changes to the University of Wisconsin tenure system will irreparably damage protections for free inquiry in one of the nation's most distinguished public universities, undermining its model achievements in research, scholarship, and teaching. A threat to the continuation of tenure at the University of Wisconsin threatens the vitality of all higher education in the United States, for erosion of academic freedom anywhere threatens free inquiry as a principle and practice everywhere.

The statement from the twenty scholarly associations supported by the OAH Executive Committee can be found here.

Update: The OAH has recieved several letters thanking the Organization for our support. 

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Posted: July 10, 2015
Tagged: News of the Organization, News of the Profession


OAH LGBTQ Committee Issues Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Obergefell v. Hodges

The Organization of American (OAH) Historians Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Historians and Histories celebrates the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, declaring same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states and making marriage equality a reality.

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Posted: June 29, 2015
Tagged: Advocacy, News of the Organization, News of the Profession