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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
- Crooked Timber
- Dame Eleanor Hull
- Chapati Mystery
- Easily Distracted
- The Edge of the American West
- Ferule & Fescue
- Grow & Resist
- 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
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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
Category Archives: students
September 5, 2010, 2:16 pm
One of the things I have noticed, probably because I live with an anthropologist, is that academics tend to use the word “culture” to describe a variety of things that, actually, are not cultural at all. It is true that “culture” has a great many meanings, depending on the context in which it is being used, the historical period or thing that is being described, and the intellectual tradition (if any) that is being referenced: here are a few. For social scientists, most centrally anthropologists, “culture” is far more likely to invoke a set of usefully contentious questions and methodological choices than an answer to any given problem.
August 23, 2010, 12:56 pm
This morning I have been thinking about what kinds of criticisms are attached to warnings about cultural decline, and why. For example, our friend Historiann asks today why older people are always so critical of the young. Yeah, why is that? Particularly given the fact that generation after generation, young people seem to grow up into functional workers, consumers, artists, writers and financiers, no matter how much Facebook they do; how many video games they play; and how much/little they read.
Historiann’s emphasis on why cultural critique dominates, at the expense of a more relational view of cultural change and material outcomes, is an interesting corollary to William Julius Wilson’s 2009 reassessment of a sociological school of thought, of which he is a prominent architect, that highlights cultural explanations for Black poverty at the expense of structural analysis. In More…
April 21, 2009, 2:57 pm
Two. One to file the report, one to respond the barrage of stupid newspaper articles written about the report after the data is crunched by a non-profit conservative think tank.
This half-assed joke is a response to an article by Tamar Lewin in today’s New York Times that ran under the headline “Staff Jobs On Campus Outpace Enrollment.” The data, taken from Department of Education reports filed by 2,782 colleges and analyzed by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, shows that public and private colleges have about the same ratio of staff to student (8 and 9 per 100, respectively) and have bloated at about the same rate since 1987. Lewin writes,
In the 20-year period, the report found, the greatest number of jobs added, more than 630,000, were instructors — but three-quarters of those were part-time. Converted to full-time equivalents, those resulted in a total of 939,…
April 12, 2009, 11:40 pm
I just finished editing the last senior honors thesis chapter I have, although I imagine a few conclusions may come my way in the next 48 hours. My three seniors are pretty much on their own now. I have located as many split infinitives as I can find, and written primly in a comment for each somewhere along the line: “Never use a ten dollar word when a five dollar word will do” (where did I learn that? My grandfather? The Andy Griffith Show?) When I edit the same habits come up over and over again: at a certain point I hit one repetition, one misplaced semicolon, one odd word choice too many. “Eliminate this word wherever you find it!” I hiss from a red comment bubble; or, “History is written in the past!!!!!”
Editing theses at this stage is about the trees, not the forest; it is about wanting all the hard work to be shown to its best advantage; it is about teaching writing…
February 26, 2009, 10:33 pm
You would answer, “Uh — no. What?”
Me: “That soft thumping sound!”
You, listening hard: “What do you think it is?”
Me: “The sound of grandparents hitting the ground.”
I am, of course, referring to the grandparent holocaust that strikes around midterms and finals, grandparents whose sudden death causes their grandchildren to be unable to take their exams or turn in their papers. Some students have been known to lose more than one grandparent in a single semester; others seem to have more than four elderly rellies who slip in and out of comas, are sometimes miraculously healed (Praise the Lord!) or suddenly take a turn for the worse — just when we thought that paper was going to come in.
OK, I’m being mean.
January 23, 2009, 4:05 pm
Barack Is (Not) Responsible For Making All Things Good: The Radical Disputes The Proposal That There Is An “Obama Effect” On Education
Much as I would like Barack Obama to sprinkle magic dust all over the country, fixing racism, poverty, and absolutely everything we hated about the Bushies, each policy question will have to be tackled thoughtfully, one by one. Today’s topic is the national education agenda.
A crucial issue here is the continuing mania for using public school children as a vast pool of customers for corporations specializing in both mass curriculum distribution and in the endless testing through which students — on pain of humiliation, summer school, and being held back a grade — are asked to regurgitate these educational products. (I use the phrase “educational products” consciously: currently, a standard curriculum in the United States is to education what Cheez Whiz is to cheese.) The sad backstory of test scores going up in any given school are the number of students who drop out, or are…
January 18, 2009, 3:49 pm
“Magnificent Wind:”* In Which The Radical Begins Receiving Excuses From Her Students Even Before The Term Begins
Yesterday I, and a number of other colleagues who work at Zenith and other colleges, began to receive a steady stream of emails from students. They said some version of the following: “Hey, Professor, I am going to Barack’s inauguration and won’t make it back in time for class on Wednesday afternoon. I am sure you support my presence at this historic event. Hope this is ok — let me know if it isn’t, (signed) Siouxsie Q.”** I had several crabby, middle-aged responses to the emails I received, including:
“Hay is for horses” (I had a kindergarten teacher back in 1964 who was fond of this one.)
“If I am not going to the inauguration because I have a prior commitment to be at school to advise you on Tuesday, and teach you on Wednesday, why shouldn’t you actually have some commitment to be there and receive these services?” As the Mother of the Radical (MOTheR), a font of wisdom on matter…
December 1, 2008, 7:41 pm
So I’ve got a pain in my side that may indicate a cracked rib. I have a sore toe, a wrist that aches halfway up my forearm, a bump on my head, a throbbing neck, a sharp pain in my lower back and at least one elbow and two knees that are puffy and sore. You get one guess – what am I?
A football player?
Nope. Guess again. Can’t?
Liberal arts college professor. And it’s recommendation season. Yep, recommendation season. And as it turns out, this year recommendations are a contact sport.
This is what happened. I was going off to a country house where there was no internet. I decided to push through all my letters of recommendation – eight students, several applying to as many as nine graduate schools — in two days. Business school, law school, social work school, political science, history, American Studies – I wrote for all of them, sometimes more than one category for a …
July 19, 2008, 12:57 pm
One of the things that is great about being on the Zenith faculty is that my students (and I use this term broadly, since I teach relatively few of them) can always be counted on to be amusing. Well-behaved, not so much, but I don’t care about that most of the time, and don’t even really value it (as anyone who knows me or follows this blog could testify.) But amusing is essential. Among their habits is providing a helpful public service. They sift through the gunk that proliferates on the internet to come up with the funniest things — things that will lift our spirits; things to provide blog content over the weekend when we faculty should really be writing for those stuffy folks who publish words on paper. And my students provide this service at no charge whatsoever – whereas they are charged for everything they get from me through annual payments of almost $45K. I find this…
May 3, 2008, 2:06 pm
Well, this answers the question of why those claiming to be dissatisfied customers of mine (“Yeah, I was in that class and I think you suck too”) need to vent anonymously about this post, rather than discussing our pedagogical differences in office hours. Apparently, at Dartmouth, classroom conflict has reached such a pitch that a teacher is suing her students. I had not realized that there are dimensions of my vast power to dominate others that I have not yet activated.
OK, seriously: I’m sure there is more to this than meets the eye, and both teacher and students have clearly run off the rails in what appears to be a Lord of the Flies situation. But I think the department chair and this woman’s senior colleagues may have some explaining to do as to why there hasn’t been a mentoring intervention at an earlier date. Things like this don’t just happen suddenly, in one class, one…