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: Chronicle of Higher Ed (7-27-09)
He held numerous leadership roles at the college and earned three degrees while on the faculty. When Kentucky's community colleges and vocational schools underwent a big merger, Mr. Hall was considered a pioneer in leading the transition at Gateway, in northern Kentucky.
And somewhere among all those commitments, Mr. Hall, who was 48, gained the reputation for being extremely generous with his time, his colleagues say, each of them eager to offer a story of him lending a hand at just the right time.
"That's the kind of person we lost," says G. Edward Hughes, Gateway's president. "It's a big hole in a little school."
Mr. Hall loved Star Trek and history, and had action figures from the show peppered among the books in his office. He was a hands-on type of guy, his colleagues say, knowing how to work all kinds of equipment and fix just about anything. On his childhood farm, 40 minutes from the college, he built a house for his wife and two children where he had pledged to spend the rest of his life.
SOURCE: The Onion (7-31-09)
SOURCE: White House website (7-30-09)
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Ed (7-27-09)
This spring in El Paso, after a talk I gave on the Indian raids and the U.S.-Mexican War, a man in the back row raised his hand. "Do you see any similarities between the borderland violence you've just described for the 1830s and 1840s and the current drug war?" The energy in the room changed immediately.
More than any other American city, El Paso has borne witness to the tragedy of Mexico's raging drug war. Last year 16 people were murdered in El Paso. Meanwhile, 100 times as many people were killed just a stone's throw across the Rio Grande, in Ciudad Juárez. Mexico's government sent in the army to stop the bleeding, but, despite the presence of some 9,400 troops and federal police, the murder rate actually went up in the first half of 2009. While the residents of El Paso live in relative security, their neighbors in Juárez still confront daily horrors: gun battles in the streets, headless bodies dangling from bridges, children stumbling upon corpses on their way to school.
Here then was a chance to speak of something urgently important to my audience, to put the region's past and present into conversation. And the story I'd just told invited the comparison. In the 1830s, Comanches, Kiowas, and several tribes of Apaches began sending raiding parties against settlements in northern Mexico, killing and capturing their inhabitants and stealing or destroying their animals and property. Spurred in part by markets for stolen horses, mules, and captive women and children, those attacks eventually spread to all or parts of nine Mexican states. By the mid-1840s, raids and counterraids had claimed several thousand lives, ruined crucial sectors of the region's economy, sparked rebellions against the hapless national government, and helped enable the United States to seize half of Mexico's territory in the subsequent war....
So if I were given another chance to answer that question in El Paso, I'd say that the lesson I take away from the 19th-century parallel is that we ought to look to state and national legislatures (law), rather than the executive branch (enforcement), if we want to bring an end to the drug war in the borderlands. There is a crooked but unbroken line between our drug laws and the sorrows that have engulfed Juárez and so much of Mexico, to say nothing of our own shameful, burgeoning prison system. It is a moral as well as a practical imperative that we change our laws, despite the pain that change will bring. Even paired with comprehensive regulation and rigorous, well-financed drug-treatment programs, legalization would indisputably generate complex ethical, social, medical, and legal problems. But given the vast costs of the war on drugs and the heartbreak and trauma now stalking the borderlands, does anyone really believe those problems would be worse?
SOURCE: Boston Globe (7-30-09)
Zelizer said he couldn't remember a recent president inserting himself in a local issue this way, and certainly not inviting the principal parties to the White House.
On a much bigger scale, Zelizer noted that President John F. Kennedy, then a candidate, did personally intervene when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested in 1960 during an Atlanta sit-in. The future president became friends with King's widow, Coretta Scott King.
However, "that was a much more explosive issue than this," said Zelizer, a Princeton University professor. By getting involved, he said, Kennedy tacitly showed support for the civil rights movement and followed up with White House policies that helped bring about racial equality.
While Obama may be sincere about using the "teachable moment" of the Gates case to launch a positive discussion about race, "part of it was about him, rather than the situation," Zelizer said. "This is a way for him to quasi-apologize for what he said."
"I think that some part of him genuinely believes that dialogue can be helpful," he added. "It's also clearly partially a political response to stop a story that's getting out of control."
Obama, whose initial remark that Cambridge police had "acted stupidly" when they arrested Gates for disorderly conduct in his own home, helped elevate an essentially local case into a national controversy, has said he regretted that his comments had fueled the furor.
"I'm not a big fan of this beer at the White House," Zelizer said. "It turns this into a media moment, rather than a serious moment."
"It can kind of trivialize the matter," he said, instead of tackling the deep-seated racial problem underlying the confrontation between Gates, who is black, and police Sergeant James Crowley. The officer, who is white, was called to Gates' home when a neighbor reported a burglary, but Gates had forced open the jammed front door.
"If this is all we see from the president, there will be some people that will be disappointed" Zelizer said. "The danger of a hearts-and-minds approach is it never gets to the underlying problem If there's no policy on the table -- no serious proposal on the table -- it's hard to see how these discussions can really result in long-term change."...
SOURCE: Sean Wilentz in the New Republic (7-25-09)
I wrote a 25,000 word essay about Abraham Lincoln, not Barack Obama. My aim was to review some of the most prominent scholarly books interpreting Lincoln on the occasion of his bicentennial, and to offer a different view of Lincoln as, first and foremost, a democratic politician. The essay took some of the books severely to task and pointed out repeated abuses of historical evidence and reasoning, including important factual errors, manipulation of documents, and specious logic. More generally, it pointed out the damage to historical understanding that results when writers slight or misread Lincoln's political skills, or disparage his political maneuvering as insufficiently idealistic and beautiful.
I hoped that my essay would stir up an interesting debate over Lincoln; and I expected that some of the authors would attempt to rebut what I wrote. Yet apart from a few feeble feints, these letters do not muster a single substantive reply to my charges about shoddy scholarship: nolo contendere. Although Lincoln gets discussed, the letters are at least as interested, if not more so, in Thomas Jefferson, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. Instead of arguing seriously and decently over history, three of these writers attack me for carrying on a supposed grudge left over from last year's primaries, and then trying to disguise my bitterness as nineteenth-century history. Expert debaters know that there is only one course of action when one is caught in a mistake or infraction but does not wish acknowledge it: admit nothing, change the subject, and impugn the other person's motives and character.
Fred Kaplan's book, as I said in my essay, makes some useful points about Lincoln's literary mind, but overdoes them. To recapitulate, briefly: Because Kaplan slights the political context, he attributes great Shakespearian echoes to passages in Lincoln's prose that Lincoln demonstrably adapted from Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Daniel Webster. Because Kaplan sets such great store by Lincoln as a literary man, he cannot see clearly enough the limits, and the uses, of eloquence in politics and government. Because he becomes so invested in his idea of Lincoln as a literary man, he comes up with groundless formulations about how, at one point or another"the only weapon [Lincoln] had at his command was language." To say, as I do, that this sort of contention has become an English Department conceit should hardly be controversial. Neither is it an attack on literary criticism, or on literary critics who analyze the writing of political figures or anyone else they choose. It is chiefly a criticism of Kaplan's analysis of Lincoln, and on its sloppy and over-reaching thinking about language, rhetoric, and politics, which abounds in the academy these days, and of which Kaplan's assertions are symptomatic.
My essay did not at all dispute, as Kaplan charges, that"the literary Lincoln and the political Lincoln are inseparable." That, in a way, was my very point. My complaint was that Kaplan and others either demote or ignore or misunderstand the political Lincoln, and the place of politics in Lincoln's identity. My essay did not imply that David Herbert Donald should not have written his distinguished biography of Thomas Wolfe, any more than it implied that Perry Miller should not have written about Cotton Mather. I suggest that Kaplan re-read my praise of how another author under review, the biographer and historian of theology, Ronald C. White, interprets Lincoln's reading and writing. There is a difference between doing a thing and doing it well, and all I say is that Kaplan's book often does the thing poorly. To point out this difference is what critics do: historical critics, literary critics, or any other kind of critic. To evade the evidence of his failures, Kaplan wraps himself in the mantle of his betters and treats my criticism of his work as an indictment of any effort to write about the literary side of a political figure.
Kaplan is one of the writers who claim that my essay has a devious political agenda. In fact, I spent all but about 1,500 of my many thousands of words on detailed discussions of Lincoln in his various phases and aspects. As it happens, I did not include Kaplan's book in my discussion of the Lincolnization of Obama and what it tells us about the larger intellectual climate. I had no idea whom he supported for the presidency last year. I don't care. It has nothing to do with my criticisms of his book.
Michael Kazin, who does not have a book in this affray, opens his letter with a highly flattering sentence about my previous work. He then observes, regarding Lincoln, that my"general thesis should be beyond dispute." The trouble is that it is not beyond dispute amid the proliferation of cultural studies and the like, which is why I wrote my essay. In line with his view that my argument was not only offensive but also obvious--a neat trick--Kazin proceeds to observe condescendingly that my observations on Lincoln and race are unoriginal--that they are merely an echo of a review Eric Arnesenwrote seven years ago for The New Republic, about so-called"whiteness studies" and American labor history. It is true that I briefly bring up whiteness studies in my discussion of one of the seven books under review; and it is true that I have found myself in almost complete agreement over the years with Arnesen. He and I have been allies in the labor history wars for a long time. And he will surely understand that my long discussion of Lincoln and race was not an homage to his book review. For Kazin to reduce all my historiographical criticisms on this vast and subtle subject to my objections about whiteness studies is--as our students might say--sketch.
According to Kazin, my Lincoln essay is really a sneaky effort to extend what he imagines is my hostility toward Barack Obama. He cites my criticisms of Obama published more than a year ago during the primaries, when I supported Hillary Clinton, and some friendly criticisms of his campaign after he secured the nomination, when I publicly supported him--although Kazin's letter makes me wonder if he can allow that there is such a thing as friendly criticism of Obama. Passing cursorily over what I hadto say about Lincoln, Kazin has an idee fixe about my view of about Obama--as if my view was fixed. He disqualifies my remarks, at the essay's conclusion, about the intellectuals' love affair with Obama as Lincolnian and above partisanship, because he did not see signs of that love affair during his own grassroots campaign work. Quite apart from its solipsism, this is odd. My essay never said that all of Obama's supporters, or even most of them, were swept up by the romance; it said only that many liberal intellectuals were so entranced, as well as members of the political press corps. Is this really controversial?
Kazin accuses me of attacking Obama"for possessing just those qualities [I] believe naive liberals ignore when they write about Lincoln." In fact, far from attacking Obama, I laud him for his political shrewdness, which I say is his truest Lincolnian trait. The essay--which is, I swear, about Abraham Lincoln, no matter what Kazin imagines--does contest the view that there were somehow two Lincolns, a party hack who then experienced some sort of mystical conversion (thanks to the goading of slaves and radicals) and went on to become a great statesman. And it attacks the kind of latter-day Mugwump liberalism--far more prevalent in the academic intelligentsia than in the electorate at large--that equates political virtue with political purity. Kazin clearly thinks that he and his political associates are not so na?ve. But does he mean to propose, with a straight face, that this political strain does not exist, and that its supporters are not legion, and that the Obama campaign failed to batten upon their idealism?
Kazin accuses me of not truly wishing the current administration well. This, of course, is the heart of his grievance. All I can say is that the accusation exemplifies an all-or-nothing view of political loyalty, a view that runs counter to liberal politics. If we must, for the moment, make Obama the center of this discussion: Why is it not enough to support him? Why must one also revere him? I certainly have supported him, beginning last June. Must my old criticisms be rehashed and recycled as if they had a larger and more sinister significance more than a year later? Kazin is a sore winner. There is a slightly poisonous quality to his dissatisfaction with me, which suggests that my writings have failed some sort of loyalty test. ...
[Click here to continue reading Sean Wilentz's response to his critics.]
SOURCE: http://www.impactnews.com (7-29-09)
Robert Utley and his wife, Melody Webb, moved to Georgetown in 1996. Utley was the former chief historian for the National Park Service and has written 16 books on the American West. Webb was a regional historian for the National Park Service in Alaska and Santa Fe, and also served as superintendent of the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park and assistant superintendent of Grand Teton National Park.
After 13 years in Georgetown, the couple decided to move to a retirement community in Arizona. In order to put their house on the market, they needed to free up space in their library, which contained approximately 5,000 books. About 1,000 were sold to a collector and Southwestern will receive more than 2,000 books on Alaska, American history and the American West, the Civil War and Reconstruction, Texas, and environmental and historic preservation, among others.
“Southwestern has been wonderful to us,” Webb said in a statement. “They welcomed us as a part of the family from the day we got here. This is our way to show our appreciation to them.”
SOURCE: Times-Picayune (7-29-09)
Just in from breakfast with C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb, he stops for an interview with his former hometown's newspaper the day before he makes an appearance with Diane Rehm on NPR. Earlier this month he wrote a cover story for Vanity Fair, a postcard from a weeklong cruise in the Caribbean with actor Johnny Depp. Last month there was dinner with President Barack Obama and fellow presidential historians Michael Beschloss, H.W. Brands, Robert Caro, Robert Dallek, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Kennedy, Kenneth Mack and Garry Wills.
And now he's poised for a book tour for "The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America," his account of the conservation efforts of the 26th president. The tour stops in New Orleans for a Garden District Book Shop signing on Saturday.
Brinkley, formerly of Tulane University and before that the University of New Orleans, now teaches at Rice University in Houston, but he still spends a lot of time in the city that was his home from 1993 to 2007.
"My wife's whole family is there," he said. "So we get back to New Orleans every couple of months." ...
SOURCE: Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom in the Chronicle of Higher Ed (7-29-09)
Budget cuts at the University of California have generated a lot of attention, especially after a plan of across-the-board salary cuts, combined with mandatory furlough days, was recently announced. How will such drastic financial measures threaten the strengths of that system and other large public universities? Are certain fields of study in the humanities and social sciences especially vulnerable to state cuts because those areas of inquiry—even when dealing with topics of broad importance—rarely get large infusions of national, foundation, or corporate monies of the sort that routinely support work done in areas such as engineering and medicine?
One way to begin to answer such big questions is to consider a specific case with which I am intimately familiar: that of modern Chinese history and closely related fields (e.g., literary and political studies of the country) as they have developed within the University of California system. I have had a long and varied relationship with that system, having received degrees from two of its campuses (Santa Cruz and Berkeley), taught at two others (a one-year visiting position at San Diego, now a permanent one at Irvine), and given public talks or participated in outreach events at three more (Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Davis).
There are many distinctive things about the study of China, a country whose importance to America and indeed the world has never seemed greater, as evidenced most recently by President Obama's statement earlier this week, at the start of a series of high-level bilateral talks, that the "relationship between the United States and China will shape the 21st century." There are also distinctive things about the University of California, such as its size and prominence—as well as about the budget crisis currently affecting it, which is unusually severe and has gotten a good deal of news-media attention. And yet, a close look at the current strength but also vulnerability of modern Chinese studies at the university offers a cautionary tale with relevance for many other areas of study and many other institutions.
Two things have often been overlooked in coverage of the California crisis. One is how scholarship in fields like history and political science—for which Nobel Prizes aren't given and big grants generally aren't received—has contributed to the system's reputation and overall excellence. Another is how the University of California works as a system, not just a cluster of separate campuses. A quick look at the area I know best, modern Chinese studies, illustrates those two often-ignored parts of the story. Here are some basic facts worth pondering:
* When officials at the World Bank wanted advice on China recently, one person they called was a colleague of mine at the University of California at Irvine, the economic historian Kenneth Pomeranz, inviting him to come brief them. But if budget cuts like those happening now had hit earlier, he might have been working somewhere else, since several colleges had tried to recruit him in the preceding decade.
* When the Congressional-Executive Commission on China held a hearing on Chinese human-rights issues in June, two people they brought to Washington were from the University of California: Susan Shirk, a professor of China and Pacific Affairs at San Diego, and Perry Link, a specialist in East Asian studies at Riverside. Had the 2009 cuts come earlier, they would have been bringing Link from New Jersey, not California; one of the most talked-about developments in Chinese studies in recent years was Riverside hiring him away from Princeton University....
SOURCE: HNN Staff (7-28-09)
And this is the cover for Mike Rose's new book about the meaning of education (New Press, September 2009):
Professor Zimmerman told HNN he was aware that Mike Rose was working on a book on education, but"I had no idea that it would have the same cover as my own!"
Mike Rose told us in an email:
About three weeks ago, I got an email from an editor I know who had gotten an advanced copy of my book and who already had a copy of Jonathan's. You can imagine what went through my mind, some of which is not printable here. I sent panicked notes to my publisher, but it turned out that they had already printed the cover, and didn't have the resources or time to change course. I apologize to Jonathan, and I hope that both of our books do well.
SOURCE: Lee White at the website of the National Coalition for History (NCH) (7-28-09)
The New York Public Libraries is one of the largest public library systems in the United States and one of the largest research library systems in the world. Mr. Ferriero is responsible for collection strategy; conservation; digital experience; reference and research services; and education, programming, and exhibitions. The NYPL has 2600 full-time employees and a budget of $273 million. Prior to taking the Director position in June 2007, Mr. Ferriero served as the Chief Executive of NYPL’s Research Libraries for three years.
Mr. Ferriero was formerly the Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs at Duke University. Mr. Ferriero joined the staff of Duke University in 1996. He began his career as a Junior Library Assistant at the the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries, where he spent 31 years, leaving in 1996 as the Acting Co-Director of the MIT Libraries.
Mr. Ferriero has a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Northeastern University, and an M.S. from the Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science.
SOURCE: Huffington Post (7-27-09)
SOURCE: propublica.org (independent journalism website) (7-27-09)
Questions about Inkwell Foundation emerged over the weekend, part of a tsunami of attention Gates has received since July 16, when he was arrested at his home by a police officer responding to a report about a possible burglary in progress. The incident ignited a national debate over racial profiling, further magnified when President Obama jumped into it....
SOURCE: Martin Kettle in the Guardian (7-27-09)
The death this weekend at 111 of Harry Patch, the last surviving British soldier to fight in the trenches on the western front, is a poignant event and a large symbolic national moment. The first world war has cast a very long shadow over 20th- and 21st-century Britain and Patch, with the interviews he gave in his later years, helped to ensure it continued to do so. Now, with Patch's passing, what was once called the Great War slips finally out of direct memory and into the history books.
Brown was quick to respond to Patch's death by announcing a special national service of remembrance to commemorate the sacrifices of the first world war generation. Here is what he said yesterday:
I think it's right we as a nation have a national memorial service to remember the sacrifice and all the work that was done by those people who served our country during world war one and to remember what we owe to that generation – our freedom, our liberties, the fact that we are a democracy in the world. Those men and women did a huge amount and it's right that he have a special commemoration of what they have done.
I have no problem whatever with the idea of a national memorial service to mark the passing of the first world war generation. It is a huge moment for the collective culture and it deserves to be marked and reflected upon with great care and feeling. But I am fed up with Gordon Brown's unseemly attempts to rewrite British history and at his efforts to enlist huge, complex and traumatic events such as the first world war as part of his campaign to persuade us that British history is an upward march towards liberty, tolerance and all the other values which he would like his ill-starred premiership to embody.
It simply is not true that we owe"our freedom, our liberties, the fact that we are a democracy in the world" to the sacrifices of the millions of people of Harry Patch's generation in war. One could, I suppose, just about make a case that British participation in the first world war was at some level about freedom, though the freedom was primarily that of Belgium, and the freedom that was at risk – both of Belgium and by extension of its allies – was the freedom to remain independent nation states in the face of German expansion, not freedom of a more individual kind.
But it is misleading to imply that the first world war was fought in the name of freedom more generally, let alone of British liberties, and still less in the name of democracy. Even in the second world war, about which that case can be made much more properly and convincingly, the reality is that this country went to war against Germany, rather than in defence of democracy against tyranny, liberty against servitude or good against evil. For Britain, the chief direct effect of the first world war was the temporary end of the German naval challenge and the acquisition of German colonies in Africa. After both world wars, but after the first world war in particular, the victors made considerable efforts to reframe the conflict in much loftier terms than those they professed at the outset....
SOURCE: Press --Wyman Institute (7-24-09)
“During the Holocaust, the international community failed to act against the Nazi genocide,” said Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the Washington-based David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, which organized the petition. “By contrast, Uganda's action helps isolate Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir and shames the Arab and African countries that have given him red-carpet treatment."
Bashir, who has been indicted by the International=2 0Criminal Court for his role in Darfur, had planned to attend the Smart Partnership conference in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, on Sunday, July 26--until the recent announcement by Uganda Foreign Minister Henry Okello that Bashir could be arrested if he showed up.
In recent months, Bashir has visited Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Libya, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, all of which ignored the ICC warrant for Bashir's arrest.
The Wyman Institute's petition, addressed to Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, stated, in part: "We salute Uganda for making it clear that Bashir is not welcome, and we hope other countries will follow Uganda's lead. Strong interna tional action is necessary to end the Darfur genocide and bring the murderers to justice. The International Criminal Court's arrest warrant for Bashir must be implemented."
The signatories on the petition, who come from the United States, Germany, Canada, Israel, England, and Australia, include the most distinguished figures in the field of Holocaust and genocide studies. The 100 signatories include:
* Dr. Gregory H. Stanton, president of Genocide Watch and immediate past president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars.
* Dr. Henry R. Huttenbach, Chairman of the International Academy for Genocide Prevention, and founder and editor of the Journal of Genocide Research.
* Prof. David S. Wyman, author of The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust 1941-1945.
* Prof. Yehuda Bauer, former director of Yad Vashem’s International Center for Holocaust Studies.
* Dr. Michael Berenbaum, former research director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
* Prof. Deborah Lipstadt, author of History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving.
* Prof. Christoper Browning, author of Ordinary Men.
The complete text of the petition, with all the signatories, follows below.
* * *
The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies
July 24, 2009
Hon. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
President=2 0of Uganda
c/o Embassy of Uganda
5911 16t h St NW
Washington, DC 20011-2816
Dear Mr. President,
As scholars who have written or taught about the Holocaust or other genocides, we wish to express our support for the announcement by Ugandan Foreign Minister Henry Okello that Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir could be arrested if he attempts to attend the international summit in Kampala later this month.
Uganda's position against the perpetrators of the Darfur genocide contrasts admirably with the appalling behavior of the governments of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Libya, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. As you know, those governments have welcomed Bashir and treated him as a respected international leader instead of as a fugitive mass murderer.
We salute Uganda for making it clear that Bashir is not welcome, and we hope other countries will follow Uganda's lead. Strong international action is necessary to end the Darfur genocide and bring the murderers to justice. The International Criminal Court's arrest warrant for Bashir must be implemented.
Prof. Irving Abella
Shiff Professor of Canadian Jewish History
York University, Toronto
Author, None Is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933-1948
Prof. Franklin Hugh Adler
G. Theodore Mitau Chair of Political Science
Prof. Mark=2 0J. Allman
Author of Who Would Jesus Kill? War, Peace and the Christian Tradition
Prof. Marie L. Baird
Associate Professor of Theology & Director of Graduate Studies
Author, On The Side of the Angels: Ethics and Post-Holocaust Spirituality
Dr. Paul R. Bartrop
Honorary Fellow, Faculty of Arts
Deakin University, Australia
Author, Dictionary of Genocide (2 vols)
Prof. Yehuda Bauer
Professor of Holocaust Studies (Emer.), Hebrew University
Academic Adviser, International Center for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem
Author, A History of the Holocaust
Recipient of Emmy and CINE Golden Eagle Awards
Producer-Corresponde nt, The Search for Mengele
Prof. Doron Ben-Atar
Chair, Department of History
Co-author, What Time and Sadness Spared: Mother and Son Confront the Holocaust
Dr. Michael Berenbaum
American Jewish University
Executive Editor, Encyclopedia Judaica
Author, The Wor ld Must Know
Prof. Alan L. Berger
Raddock Family Eminent Scholar Chair of Holocaust Studies
Florida Atlantic University
Co-editor, Encyclopedia of Holocaust Literature
Prof. Aaron Berman
Dean, Hampshire College
Author, Nazism, the Jews, and American Zionism 1933-1948
Chaplain, St. Joseph's Villa
Author, Following the Virgin Mary Through Auschwitz
Prof. Paul Bookbinder
University of Massachusetts - Boston
Author, Weimar Germany
Dr. Harold Brackman
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Author, "The Holocaust in the Thought of W.E.B. DuBois"
Prof. Christopher R. Browning
Frank Porter Graham Professor of History
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Author, Ordinary Men
Prof. James P. Buchanan
University Professor and Director
The Edward B. Brueggeman Center for Dialogue
Dr. Daniel Burston
Chair, Psychology Department
Prof. Vivian Grosswald Curran
Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh
Author, "The Legalization of Racism in a Constitutional State: Democracy’s Suicide in Vichy France”
Prof. Rebecca I. Denova
Dept. of Religious Studies
University of Pittsburgh
Prof. Hasia R. Diner
Paul S. and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History
Director, Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History
New York University
Prof. Lawrence Douglas
Author: "The Memory of Judgment: Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaust"
Prof. Deborah Dwork
Rose Professor of Holocaust History
Director, Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Author, Holocaust: A History
Prof. Liba H. Engel
Queens College, CUNY
Stuart G. Erdheim
Director, They Looked Away
Author, “Could the Allies Have Bombed Auschwitz-Birkenau?”
Dr. Helen Fein
Institute for the Study of Genocide
Dr. Eugene J. Fisher
Associate Director (Ret.), Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs
U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC
Editor, Catholics Remember the Holocaust
Prof. Saul Friedman
Wayne State University
Author, No Haven for the Oppressed
Prof. Allon Gal
Author, David Ben-Gurion and the American Alignment for a Jewish State
Prof. Zev Garber
Professor Emeritus, Jewish Studies, Los Angeles Valley College
Author, Shoah: The Paradigmatic Genocide
Series Editor, Studies in the Shoah
Prof. Jay Geller
Associate Professor of Modern Jewish Culture, Vanderbilt Divinity School
President, Tennesseans Against Genocide
Editor, Postmemories of the Holocaust
Prof. Haim Genizi
Bar Ilan University (emer.)
Author, American Apathy
Prof. Myrna Goldenberg (Emer.)
Ida E. King Distinguished Visiting Professor in Holocaust Studies, 2005-206
Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Co-Editor, Experience and Expression: Women, the Nazis and the Holocaust
Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin
Presi dent, Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem
Editor, Megillat HaShoah
Prof. Henry Gonshak
Professor of English, Montana Tech
Author, "Does ‘Judgment at Nuremberg’ Accurately Depict the War Crimes Trials?"
Prof. Gershon Greenberg
Coeditor, Wre stling with God: Jewish Theological Responses During the Holocaust
Dr. Alex Grobman
Author, Rekin dling the Flame
Dr. Elvira Groezinger
Freie Universitaet Berlin/ SPME Germany
Author, Die jiddische Kultur im Schatten der Diktaturen
Prof. Susannah Heschel
Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College
Author, The Aryan Jesus: Christian20Theologians and20the Bible in Nazi Germany
Prof. Herb Hirsch
Professor of Political Science
Virginia Commonwealth University
Co-editor, Genocide Studies and Prevention
Author, Genocide and the Politics of Memory
Prof. Ron Hollander
Montclair State University
Contributor, Why Didn't the Press Shout? American and International Journalism During the Holocaust
Dr. Henry R. Huttenbach, Chairman
International Academy for Genocide Prevention
Professor (emer.), City University of New York
Founding editor Journal of Genocide Research
Dr. Steven Leonard Jacobs
The University of Alabama
Associate Editor, The Encyclopedia of Genocide (2 vos.)
Prof. Marty J. Kalb
Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts/Artist
Ohio Wesleyan University
Prof. Steven T. Katz
Director, Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, Boston University
Author, The Holocaust in Historical Context
Dr. Neil J. Kressel
William Patterson University
Author, Mass Hate: The Global Rise of Genocide and Terror
Prof. Michael Kuelker
St. Charles Community College
Council Member, St. Louis Holocaust Museum & Learning Center
Prof. Fred Lazin
Ben Gurion University
Author, The Struggle for Soviet Jewry in American Politics
Prof. Laurel Leff
Author, Buried by 'The Times': The Holocaust and
America's Most Important Newspaper
Prof. Richard Libowitz
Intellectual Heritage Program
Co-editor, The Genocidal Mind
Prof. Deborah E. Lipstadt
Author, Beyond Belief: The American Press & the Coming of the Holocaust
Dr. Marcia Sachs Littell
Professor, Holocaust and Genocide Studies
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Dr. Erich H. Loewy
Professor of Medicine and Founding Chair of Bioethics (emer.)
Associate in Philosophy
University of California, Davis
Rabbi Dr. Haskel Lookstein
Kehilath Jeshurun / Ramaz School
Author, Were We Our Brothers' Keepers?
Dr. Rafael Medoff
Director, The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies
Author, Blowing the Whistle on Genocide
Prof. Robert Melson (emer.)
Prof. Rochelle L. Millen
Editor, New Perspectives on the Holocaust
Prof. Paul Miller
McDaniel College and the International University of Sarajevo
Executive Producer, They Looked Away
Prof. Stephen H. Norwood
University of Oklahoma
Author, The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower
Director, "America and the Holocaust" (PBS)
Prof. Zsuzsanna Ozsvath
The Leah and Paul Lewis Chair of Holocaust Studies
The University of Texas at Dallas
Author, In the Footsteps of Orpheus: The Times and LIfe of Miklos Radnoti
Rev. John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, Ph.D
Professor of Social Ethics
Director, Catholic-Jewish Studies Program
Catholic Theological Union
Prof. Monty Noam Penkower (emer.)
Machon Lander Graduate School of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem
Author, The Jess Were Expendable: Free World Diplomacy and the Holocaust
Prof. Susan Lee Pentlin (emer.)
University of Central Missouri
Editor, Mary Berg’s Diary: Growing Up in the Warsaw Ghetto
Prof. Michael Phayer (emer.)
Author, The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930-1965
Prof. Eunice G. Pollack
University of North Texas
Coeditor, Encyclopedia of American Jewish History
Prof. Allen Podet
State University College at Buffalo, NY
Author, Success and Failure of the Anglo-American Committee
Prof. Ronald Radosh (emer.)
City University of New York
Adjunct Fellow, The Hudson Institute, Washington DC
Prof. Harry Reicher
University of Pennsylvania Law School;
Scholar-in-Residence, Touro Law Center
Prof. Elihu D. Richter
Genocide Prevention Program
Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Dr. Carol Rittner RSM
Distinguished Professor of Holocaust & Genocide Studies
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Co-Editor, The Holocaust & the Christian20World
Prof. Paul Lawrence Rose
Mitrani Professor of European History, The Pennsylvania State University
Author, Archives of the Holocaust, vol. XIV
Dr. Peter I. Rose
Sophia Smith Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology
Editor, The Dispossessed: An Anatomy of Exile
Prof. Thane Rosenbaum
John Whelan Distinguished Lecturer in Law
Director of the Forum on Law, Culture & Society
Fordham University School of Law / Author, The Myth of Moral Justice
Prof. John K. Roth
Edward J. Sexton Professor Emeritus of Philosophy
Founding Director, The Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights
Claremont McKenna College
Prof. Richard L. Rubenstein
President Emeritus, University of Bridgeport
Author, After Auschwitz
Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel
Remember the Women Institute
Author, The Jewish Women of Ravensbruck Concentration Camp
President, Chambon Foundation and Varian Fry Institute
Prof. Robert Mo ses Shapiro
Judaic Studies Department
Brooklyn College of the City University of New York
Translator and Editor, Lodz Ghetto: A History
Dr. Baila Shargel
Author, Female Leadership in the American Jewish Community
Prof. Gerald Sorin
American and Jewish Studies
State University of New York, New Paltz
Rev. Dr. Kevin P. Spicer, C.S.C.
Associate Professor of History
Prof. Gregory H. Stanton
President, Genocide Watch
Immediate Past President, International Association of Genocide Scholars
Research Professor in Genocide Studies and Prevention, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University
Prof. Leon Stein
Professor of History (emer.)
Roosevelt University, Chicago and Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois
Prof. Norton S. Taichman
University of Pennsylvania
Coordinator of The Ivansk Project
Prof. Peter Tarjan (emer.)
University of Miami
Editor: Children Who Survived The Final Solution
Prof. Samuel Totten
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Co-editor, Genocide in Darfur: Investigating Atrocities in the Sudan
Dr. James Waller
Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation
Author,"Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mas s Killing
Prof. Kenneth Waltzer
Professor & Director, Jewish Studies
Michigan State University
Prof. Chaim I. Waxman
Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Jewish Studies
Dr. Racelle R. Weiman
Executive Director, Global Dialogue Institute, Temple University
Founding Director, Center for Holocaust and Humanities Education,
Hebrew Union College
Prof. Victoria Saker Woeste
Research Professor, American Bar Foundation
Contributor, Encyclopedia of Antisemitism, Anti-Jewish Prejudice, and Persecution
Prof. David S. Wyman
Josiah E. DuBois, Jr. Professor of History (emer.)
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Author, The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust 1941-1945
Prof. Randall C. Zachman
Professor of Reformation Studies
University of Notre Dame
Prof. Bat-Ami Zucker
Bar Ilan University
Author, In Search of Refuge
Dr. Efraim Zuroff
Simon Wiesen thal Center
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (7-27-09)
Q: What was the role of German mathematics, in the pre-Nazi period, to the worldwide study of the discipline?
A: Germany was around 1933, when the Nazis came to power, still the internationally leading country in mathematics, both theoretical and applied. The German language was still dominating mathematics and its publication system. The strength relied both on traditions (with the Göttingen school around David Hilbert leading) and on the multi-centered and therefore competitive German university system and the relatively thorough high school mathematics. Nevertheless there were signs of decay, particularly due to lacking funds. One may argue that mathematics in the United States was on the way to a world-dominating position even without immigration of Germans and other foreigners. (See details in chapters 1-3 of the book.)
Q: Mathematicians were not the only academic group in Germany with significant numbers of Jews, or of people politically opposed to the Nazis. Were there ways mathematicians were treated differently, or responded differently, than other academic groups?
A: Mathematics as a fundamental and very international science had traditionally a very high percentage of Jews in its ranks, primarily for general sociological reasons, because many professions in Germany were closed to Jews. As to the Jews in mathematics they were -- on the whole -- not treated differently compared to other academic groups. But the ideological atmosphere under the Nazis was particularly negative towards very rational and intellectual disciplines like mathematics (unlike for instance engineering). The Nazis came even forward with racist theories according to which there was a difference between “Aryan” and “Jewish” mathematics. Because Jews were allegedly not fit to teach “Aryan” students or pupils this was used to give a reason for the expulsions. This affected in particular school mathematics but also the situation for non-Jews who remained at the universities. Therefore the overall future development of German mathematics was -- in addition to the expulsion of Jews -- impaired by the Nazis. (See chapters 4 and 5 of the book.)...
SOURCE: Adam Liptak in the NYT (7-24-09)
James MacGregor Burns is a distinguished historian best known for his work on Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the book’s title is, of course, a reference to Roosevelt’s failed attempt to increase the number of justices after the court repeatedly struck down New Deal legislation. That episode, presented in lively detail, accounts for only two of the book’s 12 chapters, but it informs Burns’s view of the court from start to finish.
Burns is deeply hostile to Chief Justice John Marshall’s claim, in Marbury v. Madison in 1803, that the Supreme Court has the last word on whether the actions of the other two branches are constitutional. “The court’s vetoes of acts of Congress are founded in a ploy by John Marshall that was exploited and expanded by later conservatives until the court today stands supreme and unaccountable,” Burns writes.
He proposes a counterattack. If the court repeatedly strikes down “vital progressive legislation,” he says, the president should “announce flatly that he or she would not accept the Supreme Court’s verdicts.” The case against judicial review has been made more fully and rigorously elsewhere, but whatever its merits, it is hard to take very seriously as a practical matter this late in the life of the Republic.
Burns is more persuasive when he writes that the court “has far more often been a tool for reaction, not progress.” The justices are, after all, often a sort of lagging indicator, legacies of the presidents who appointed them decades earlier. There is a random element, too. President William H. Taft appointed six justices in three years. The last Democratic president, Bill Clinton, appointed two justices over eight years; the one before him, Jimmy Carter, had no appointments in his single term. This amounts, Burns writes, to a “judicial roulette wheel.”
SOURCE: Melody Rod-Ari in the NYT (7-22-09)
Getting through each day is a battle: a battle of mental stamina, emotional ups and downs, moments of self-perceived brilliance and confirmed scholastic inadequacy. Those who can identify with me are probably graduate students, too. I belong to your academic sorority. I am a doctoral candidate in U.C.L.A.’s department of art history.
What this means is that I have finished all my coursework, taken all of the requisite exams and am now writing and completing my dissertation. Truth be told, when I first started graduate school I never thought I would get this far. But now that I am here, I am terrified. My horror does not stem from the actual process of researching or writing the dissertation. I love this part. Instead, I am afraid that what I am passionate about, what I write about and what I teach will have no value to the greater academic community, and even worse to humanity.
My “deer in the headlights” moment, as I call it, occurred earlier this academic year. It started with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the near-ruin of A.I.G. and other financial institutions, the Dow dipping below 7,000 and now the foreclosed homes throughout my once-impervious west Los Angeles neighborhood (disclaimer: I am a renter in a rent-controlled building).
At first things seemed O.K.; media reports stated that certain industries and sectors, including education, would be unaffected. I was optimistic but then reality set in. Many universities, public and private, rely on the largess of others as well as on the investments made from previous donations. As stock values fell, so did the value of university endowments. Similarly, donations of all sizes decreased.
I began to feel the effects. Institutions once known for their generous fellowships cut the number of recipients by sometimes as much as 40 percent. University and museum jobs that I had applied to or intended to apply to were no longer available; the position had been eliminated or frozen.
I know that pursuing a graduate degree, especially in the humanities, does not guarantee a job. I also know that many believe a degree in the humanities is a luxury, irrelevant. Still, I pursued my dream of being an art historian because I believe that art matters and the past matters.
And at the time I was accepted into my graduate program, I believed that I would become a professor or a museum curator. Now almost finished with my degree, I am faced with the reality that there may be no place for me....
SOURCE: U.tv.news (7-26-09)
Then there are those who claim he is among the finest historians of his generation and will be one of the big thinkers behind the next Conservative government, pointing to his close acquaintance with David Cameron and old friendships with Michael Gove, Oliver Letwin and, more surprisingly, Cameron's touchy-feely strategy chief, Steve Hilton.
It is certainly the case that it is practically impossible to go to a smart party in London without finding Roberts, usually squiring a beautiful woman - recently his second wife, public relations executive, Susan Gilchrist - and always surrounded by admirers listening to his tales of cosy dinners with George Bush and Nicolas Sarkozy. Of the other rumours, the bedside photograph will have been banished since his marriage (though his admiration for Lady Thatcher is undiminished), his romantic prowess speaks for itself and the ownership of KFC is true, though the family money also comes from the sale of Job's Dairy in 1987, and his books sell a fair few copies.
As a historian, Roberts is facing a defining moment. Next week sees the publication of The Storm of War, subtitled with characteristic bravado: "A New History of the Second World War". It runs to well over 600 pages and may be his masterpiece, concentrating on Hitler's personality and his Nazism and providing an answer to the biggest question of all: why the Germans lost the war....
SOURCE: Miami Herald (7-24-09)
The Rosewood massacre unfolded in a burst of racial violence that stretched through the first week of 1923. By its end, six blacks and two whites were dead -- although scholars and historians insist such numbers are woefully low -- and Rosewood was abandoned in ashes, its wretched, final chapter buried.
Now, the state of Florida has awarded Dunn's Miami-based community organization a grant to conduct an archaeological survey of the site. He believes he is the first black to buy land in Rosewood, 40 miles southwest of Gainesville, since it burned.
``It's such a powerful story, this black town and its success and its horrific end,'' says Dunn, a retired Florida International University professor. ``The place and its history draw you in.''
Dunn expects to find the bones of a rich 19th century culture -- artifacts, pottery and utensils, and traces of the Seaboard Air Line Railway and the depot that had served as a community center before becoming an escape route for some residents during the riots.
Whatever bits of Rosewood that researchers unearth will form the foundation of an exhibition to be based in South Florida. Dunn also hopes to reconstruct the depot.
SOURCE: Press Release (7-25-09)
July 26-July 31, 2009
• Melvyn P. Leffler, Edward Stettinius Professor of American History, University of Virginia; fellow at The Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia
• Christian F. Ostermann, director, History and Public Policy Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center, Washington, D.C.
• Thomas Blanton, director, National Security Archive
• Malcolm Byrne, deputy director and director of research, National Security Archive
• Michael Dobbs, independent author; former reporter for Washington Post
• Mircea Munteanu, program associate, Cold War International History Project, Woodrow Wilson Center
• David Painter, professor of history and international affairs, Georgetown University
• John Prados, senior fellow, National Security Archive
• Marc Selverstone, associate professor at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia
• Samuel Walker, historian, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Education and Seminar Coordinator:
Ronald Nash, Governor Livingston High School, Berkeley Heights, NJ
Woodrow Wilson Center Staff:
• Mircea Munteanu, program associate, Cold War International History Project
• Kristina Terzieva, program assistant, Cold War International History Project Kristina.Terzieva@wilsoncenter.org
Gilder Lehrman Institute Staff:
Lesley Hermann, Executive Director
This seminar will examine the role of the United States in the Cold War. We will look at some of the latest historical monographs and compare recent interpretations to earlier viewpoints. We will examine the goals, motivations, and tactics of U.S. policymakers. We will explore the origins of the Cold War, the arms race and the Cuban missile crisis, the origins and erosion of détente, and the end of the Cold War. We will look at the ideological, economic, strategic, and geopolitical sources of rivalry as well as explore the domestic politics and organizational/bureaucratic imperatives that nurtured the Soviet-American competition. We will spend a considerable amount of time analyzing the fears, motives, and goals of key leaders and will examine the role of human agency in the making and unmaking of the Cold War.
Melvyn P. Leffler, For the Soul of Mankind, The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War. New York: Hill & Wang, 2007.
Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Michael Dobbs, One Minute to Midnight: Kenned, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War. New York: Knopf, 2008.
SOURCE: Press Release (7-25-09)
July 26-July 31, 2009
Warren I. Cohen, Emeritus Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Senior Scholar, Asia Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington D.C.
Christian Ostermann, Director, History and Public Policy Programs, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C.
Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy, Director, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Former U.S. Ambassador and Assistant Secretary of State
James Mann, writer in residence, Johns Hopkins School of International Relations
Nancy Bernkopf Tucker, Professor of History, Georgetown University; and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and Senior Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Thomas J. Christensen, Professor of Politics and International Affairs and Director of the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program, Princeton University
Edward A. McCord, Associate Professor of History and International and Director, Taiwan Education and Research Program, George Washington University
Woodrow Wilson Center Staff:
Mircea Munteanu, Cold War International History Project Mircea.Munteanu@wilsoncenter.org
Kristina Terzieva, Seminar Coordinator Kristina.Terzieva@wilsoncenter.org
Gilder Lehrman Institute Staff:
Lesley Herrmann, Executive Director
Sasha Rolon, Associate Director of Education email@example.com
Anthony DiBattista, Education and Seminar Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Warren I. Cohen, America’s Response to China: an Interpretative History of Sino-American Relations, 4th
edition. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.
Chen Jian, Mao’s China and the Cold War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.
James Mann, The China Fantasy: How Our Leaders Explain Away Chinese Repression. Viking Adult, 2007.
SOURCE: Lee White at the website of the National Coalition for History (NCH) (7-24-09)
The Labor, Health and Education fiscal year 2010 appropriations bill (H.R. 3293) passed by the House (264-153) would slash the TAH program by $19 million from the current fiscal year’s level, down to $100 million. For the past several years, Congress has funded the program around the $120 million level, despite Bush administration efforts to cut funding for the program in half.
In report language (H. Rept. 111-220) accompanying the bill the House Appropriations Committee justified the cuts by questioning the program’s effectiveness. In 2007, the Department of Education began a four-year evaluation of the program to examine the relationship between teacher participation, teacher content knowledge, and student achievement. The Committee felt the reduced funding was sufficient pending program improvement efforts and completion of the on-going national evaluation.
The House Rules Committee, by a vote of 4-7 refused to allow floor consideration of an amendment introduced by Representatives John Kline (R-MN) and Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) to abolish the TAH program and reallocate the funds to education programs for students with disabilities.
The program is designed to raise student achievement by improving teachers’ knowledge and understanding of and appreciation for traditional U.S. history. Grant awards assist Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in partnership with institutions of higher education (IHEs), nonprofit history or humanities organizations, libraries, or museums that have content expertise, to develop, document, evaluate, and disseminate innovative models of professional development. By helping teachers to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of U.S. history as a separate subject matter within the core curriculum, the goal is to improve instruction and raise student achievement.
SOURCE: Henry Louis Gates in The Root (edited by Henry Louis Gates) (7-24-09)
"It was very kind of the President to phone me today. Vernon Jordan is absolutely correct: my unfortunate experience will only have a larger meaning if we can all use this to diminish racial profiling and to enhance fairness and equity in the criminal justice system for poor people and for people of color.
And to that end, I look forward to studying the history of racial profiling in a new documentary for PBS. I told the President that my principal regret was that all of the attention paid to his deeply supportive remarks during his press conference had distracted attention from his health care initiative. I am pleased that he, too, is eager to use my experience as a teaching moment, and if meeting Sgt. [James] Crowley for a beer with the President will further that end, then I would be happy to oblige.
After all, I first proposed that Sgt. Crowley and I meet as early as last Monday. If my experience leads to the lessening of the occurrence of racial profiling, then I would find that enormously gratifying. Because, in the end, this is not about me at all; it is about the creation of a society in which 'equal justice before law' is a lived reality."
SOURCE: NYT (7-24-09)
The cause was pneumonia, his daughter Andrea Casson said.
Drawing from an array of sources — the writings of the historian Thucydides and the speeches of Demosthenes; cargo manifests kept by unknown captains; images of ships on sculptures; the dating and typing of timbers taken from sunken vessels — Dr. Casson’s gracefully written books traced the trade routes that bound the ancient world and described the early evolution of shipbuilding and naval warfare.
A particularly useful source for Dr. Casson were amphorae, the earthenware freight containers of antiquity that carried products like honey, olive oil, wine, frankincense and myrrh from port to port. Markings preserved on many amphorae identified not only the point of embarkation but the year and the month.
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (7-22-09)
For many, it was a startling portrait: the normally reserved Harvard University professor, Henry Louis Gates Jr., standing on his front porch in handcuffs, appearing to yell as police officers surrounded him. Yet those were the images that circulated Tuesday, as news of Gates’ controversial arrest – and the subsequent dropping of charges against him – circulated on Web sites and television.
Stephen L. Carter, a Yale University law professor and novelist, felt like he was watching a scene unfold from one of his own books. Carter has written scholarly works along with bestsellers about the lives of upper-class African Americans, including those in academe, and his fiction often illustrates how wealthy blacks draw suspicion in posh environs like private beaches or Ivy League campuses.
“If it can happen to Henry Louis Gates, possibly the most prominent black scholar in the country, and in his home town, then it can indeed happen to any of us,” Carter, author of The Emperor of Ocean Park, wrote in an e-mail to Inside Higher Ed.
“Odd, isn’t it? Here we are in the age of Obama, and some things haven’t changed. Blackness is associated in the public mind with wrongdoing; if we are spotted in an unexpected locale, we must be up to something.”
Echoes of Carter’s words could be heard across academe Tuesday, as professors discussed Gates’ assertion that he had been the victim of racial profiling, and recalled their own similar experiences. The story, which had drawn significant media attention by Monday, began early Thursday afternoon when officers responded to a possible break-in at Gates’ Cambridge, Mass. home. Gates had been spotted trying to force open his own jammed door, and when confronted by officers he accused them of racism, drawing a charge of disorderly conduct, according to a police report.
Amid public outcry, however, the police dropped the charges, and all those involved – including Gates – called the incident “regrettable and unfortunate” in a joint statement. ...