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Contributors to this collection, edited by Claire Potter and Renee Romano, consider the wide range of challenges the practice of contemporary history poses. These essays address sources like television and video games, the ethics of writing about living subjects, questions of privacy and copyright law, and the possibilities that new technologies offer for writing history. Doing Recent History offers guidance and insight to any researcher considering tackling the not-so-distant past. Buy the Book
- Academic Cog
- Bully Bloggers
- Center of Gravitas (GayProf)
- Chapati Mystery
- Confessions of a Community College Dean
- Constitutionally Speaking
- Corey Robin
- Crooked Timber
- Dame Eleanor Hull
- Easily Distracted
- The Edge of the American West
- Ferule & Fescue
- Joe. My. God.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money
- Legal History Blog
- Madwoman With a Laptop
- New Deal 2.0
- New Kid on the Hallway
- Nursing Clio
- Pat Griffin's LGBT Sport Blog
- Reassigned Time 2.0
- Religion in American History
- University Diaries
- We Are Respectable Negroes
- American Historical Association Blog
- Chronicle of Higher Education
- Inside Higher Ed
- Juan Cole's Informed Comment
- Ms. Magazine
- National Public Radio
- New York Times
- States of Devotion
- Ta-Nehisi Coates/ The Atlantic
- The Book (The New Republic)
- The Book Bench
- The Daily Kos
- The Nation
The Chronicle Blog Network, a digital salon sponsored by The Chronicle of Higher Education, features leading bloggers from all corners of academe. Content is not edited, solicited, or necessarily endorsed by The Chronicle. More on the Network...
Claire Potter's is the first book to look at the structural, legal, and cultural aspects of J. Edgar Hoover's war on crime in the 1930s, a New Deal campaign which forged new links between citizenship, federal policing, and the ideal of centralized government.
War on Crime reminds us of how and why our worship of violent celebrity hero G-men and gangsters came about and how we now are reaping the results.Buy the Book
Author Archives: Claire Potter
November 29, 2014, 12:30 pm
Ok, I lied. But you clicked on it, didn’t you?
Today we focus on yet another study, this one by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The AAAS injects new life into a tired conversation (one that has been going on intermittently for about five decades) about whether humanities Ph.D.s spend too much time in graduate school. What are they doing there? Should they do less of it? More? Should they do the same things — only faster? No one seems to know much, except that the median time to degree is 6.9 years.
As Colleen Flaherty of Inside Higher Ed noted last week, in a follow up to the MLA’s 2014 report that recommended a five-year Ph.D. clock “with wiggle room” (perhaps two years of wiggling?), AAAS is suggesting that humanities graduate students might benefit more generally from a shorter time to degree.
Among the key findings is that the median time is longer in the…
November 28, 2014, 12:35 pm
If you are a writer for an education weekly, what exactly is supposed to happen in the aftermath of the grand jury decision in Ferguson, MO? The decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson, reached just before Thanksgiving, has swept through the academic Facebook and the blogosphere, making everything else seem irrelevant. Here are a few random questions and thoughts.
What should we teach next week? In an ideal world, we would all agree to take a day off for a teach-in on race in Amerika — like maybe once a week. Barring that outcome, many faculty may be puzzling about how to go back into the classroom after break. Will students expect, hope for, or dread, a special class devoted to Ferguson? I suspect it depends where you are…
November 20, 2014, 8:12 am
Citing “pain and sometimes life-altering injuries” acquired while working at the Harvard-owned Doubletree in Allston, housekeepers went out on strike this morning at 5:30 a.m.
What do they want? They want to join a union, something they originally approached Harvard about in 2013.
The workers, who claim they are the first housekeepers in Boston history to go out on strike, are assembling at 9:30 and 5:00 at Harvard’s Science Center Plaza, supported by students and clerical workers.
As an aside, one wonders what Harvard is doing owning a hotel in the first place. Small colleges often build, or partner with hotel chains, to maintain a hotel (Williams and Wesleyan come to mind) because otherwise there might literally be nowhere for visitors to stay, much less a…
November 16, 2014, 10:15 am
A powerful essay by Yale professor of women, gender and sexuality studies Inderpal Grewal about why racial and gender diversity on the faculty matters to how women, people of color and queers are treated on campus. Check out the section of the comments thread where someone (presumably a Yalie but maybe not) claims WGSS is not getting adequate resources from the university because the courses are easy A’s, providing even more evidence for what Grewal has argued.
This week, Derrick Gordon, of the University of Massachusetts, the first men’s DI college basketball player to come out as gay, started his first game since the announcement on April 9. Note to campuses trying to recruit talented scholar-athletes: he chose UMass be…
November 14, 2014, 10:10 am
How are educational debt and assumptions about student borrowing related to other forms of financial fraud perpetrated under deregulation?
In “A House is Not A Credit Card,” Bethany McLean of The New York Times points out the obvious: encouraging people to take money out of their home equity for consumer spending was a major factor in a foreclosure crisis that is not yet over. “A sizable percentage of mortgages — including most of the risky ones that were made in the run-up to the financial crisis — are not used to buy a home,” McLean writes. “They’re used to refinance an existing mortgage. When home prices are rising and mortgage rates are falling, many homeowners choose to replace their mortgage with a bigger one, taking the difference in cash. In other words, mortgages are a way to provide credit.”
Well here’s the news: people also take a lot of money out of their…
November 12, 2014, 9:22 am
Yale’s Beverly Gage has an essay in the New York Times about the famous letter sent to Martin Luther King on November 18, 1964 accusing him of being “a colossal fraud and an evil, vicious one at that.” The letter, sent by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of its COINTELPRO operation intended to disable radical movements in the United States, catalogues a range of sexual misbehaviors. It uses the word “evil” multiple times, as Gage points out; and concludes with the well known phrase: “There is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is.”
We have known about this letter for years, but it has always appeared in redacted form, and those who have used it have always presumed that it was intended to push King to suicide. But was that actually its purpose, and under what circumstances would Hoover have imagined that a man schooled in non-violence, a…
November 5, 2014, 11:36 am
You know that political culture is in complete disarray when large numbers of feminists, who otherwise believe that every other issue they hold dear will be put in jeopardy by a Republican Congress, are arguing about whether Lena Dunham is a sexual predator (or not) rather than getting the vote out on Election Day. I didn’t see one Facebook post in my circle from academics who were pounding the streets, working the phones, or driving the elderly to the polls one at a time.
Could we progressives get over cultural politics that divert us from actual policy agendas and electing knowledgeable people who know how to govern? This is the greatest weakness in both parties right now, but in this round it was the Democrats who to…
October 26, 2014, 7:47 am
These are not the only five things, but here goes:
When discussing a problem at your university with colleagues, think twice before laying wholesale blame on “the administration.” You might ask: when there are so many administrators to blame for so many things, why not? Here’s why: other than alienating lots of decent, hard-working administrators who actually make our work lives possible, even poorly functioning universities are not made up of opposing teams scoring points on each other. Some administrators will publicly support policies they disagree with, and oppose privately, because that is the expectation in a hierarchical organization. In addition, blaming a faceless “other” actually impedes what needs to…
October 18, 2014, 11:00 am
The Radical household caught up with Nashville last night, one of our favorite shows. Serious debate ensued. Will Juliette Barnes keep the baby? How very doomed is Deacon Claybourne’s new relationship with Luke Wheeler’s backup singer, since he will always be in love with Rayna Jaymes — who is engaged to marry Luke? How many people over 40 were having flashbacks, not just to “the accident,” but to Princess Di, as Rayna and Sadie Stone fled the paparazzi rioting outside the wedding dress store in a souped up Mustang convertible? When did actress Connie Britton, who plays Rayna, become the ultimate abortion counselor, here and on Friday Night Lights?
These are the questions that consume us, even as work piles up in the in box. SPOILER ALERTS BELOW …
October 17, 2014, 10:57 am
A friend of mine observed recently that the heightened attention to campus rape has a familiar pattern: when it’s time to take action, suddenly women drop out of the conversation. How do men feel? How will men be newly victimized by women? Will California’s new “Yes Means Yes” policy for its public higher ed system make men frightened to initiate sexual relations for fear they will be driven from campus by feminazis on the march?
I read these things and think: imagine what heterosexual life — or any other aspect of higher education — might be like if feminists really were in charge! Wouldn’t it be cool to find out, even for a day?
But no. Conservative pundits predict that putting women in charge of anything, except for child-rearing, only brings out the worst in the menz. As conservative journalist Ross Douthat puts it in a blog post about “Yes Means Yes,” or what are now…