Professional opportunities Sept. 1, 2015

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AWARD: 2016 John Wesley Powell Prize from Society for History in the Federal Government for a major historic preservation project completed in 2014 or 2015
DEADLINE: Nov. 30, 2015

FUNDING: The Joe and Wanda Corn Fellowship for pre- and postdoctoral scholars whose research interests span American art and American history and who propose a primary advisor/supervisor at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
DEADLINE: Sept. 8, 2015

PUB:The Caring Museum: New Models of Engagement with Ageing,” new from MuseumsEtc

REV:The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898” (Tetrault)

REV:Here and There: Reading Pennsylvania’s Working Landscapes” (Conlogue)

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Professional opportunities Aug. 25, 2015

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CFP: Society of Civil War Historians biennial conference – June 2-4, 2014, Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.
DEADLINE: Sept. 11, 2015

CFP:Emergency! Preparing for Disasters and Confronting the Unexpected in Conservation” conference of the American Institute for Conservation and Canadian Association for Conservation – May 13-16, 2016, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
DEADLINE: SEPT. 14, 2015

CFP:The Heritage of Al-Andalus, Persia-Iberia” – Nov. 17-18, 2015, Tehran, Iran
DEADLINE: Oct. 2, 2015

CFP:On Nearness, Order, and Things: Collecting and Material Culture 1400 to Today” – April 8-9, 2016, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
DEADLINE: Oct. 2, 2015

PUB: Oral History Review Vol. 42, No. 2 (Summer/Fall 2015) Table of Contents now available online

REV:The Historical Uncanny: Disability, Ethnicity, and the Politics of Holocaust Memory” (Knittel)

REV:Re-collecting Black Hawk: Landscape, Memory, and Power in the American Midwest” (Brown)

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Professional opportunities Aug. 18, 2015

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ANNCT: #‎museumsrespondtoferguson‬ Twitter chat 2-3 pm eastern US time Aug. 19 – All are welcome to join in this regular chat.

CFP: Historical Justice and Memory Network 2015 Conference – Dec. 3-5, 2015, New York, New York, U.S.
DEADLINE: Sept. 15, 2015

CFP:Generations and Memory: Continuity and Change” – special issue of Oral History Forum d’histoire orale
DEADLINE: Oct. 1, 2015

CFP:Crossroads: The Future of Graduate History Education” – March 11-12, 2016, Madison, New Jersey, U.S.
DEADLINE: Nov. 15, 2015

CFP: Call for submissions for volume on Teaching Fashion Studies (including history of fashion)
DEADLINE: Dec. 4, 2015

CFP: 17th Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders and Sexualities – June 1-4, 2017, Hempstead, New York, U.S.
DEADLINE: Jan. 15, 2016

CONF: American Association for State and Local History online conference – Sept. 17-18, 2015 (six sessions offered in conjunction with AASLH Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky)

FUNDING: Bard Graduate Center 2016-17 fellowships for scholars from university, museum, and independent backgrounds with a PhD or equivalent professional experience
DEADLINE: Nov. 15, 2015

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Professional opportunities Aug. 13, 2015

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AWARD: William E. “Bill” Atkinson Award for Mississippi Civil War History

CFP:The politics of memory practices: Making the past present in contemporary education” – Feb. 21-24, 2016, Braunschweig, Germany
DEADLINE: Sept. 15, 2015

CFP:Memory in Southern and Western Slavic cultures” – Nov. 27-28, 2015, Warsaw, Poland
DEADLINE: Aug. 30, 2015

CFP: Museums and Cultural Landscapes” – Nov. 28, 2015, Brescia, Italy
DEADLINE: Oct. 12, 2015

CFP:Inheriting the City: Advancing Understandings of Urban Heritage” – March 31-April 4, 2016, Taipei, Taiwan
DEADLINE: Oct. 15, 2015

CONF:Regional Museums and the Forging of Identities in a Multicultural Society” – Oct. 19-23, 2015, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel

CONF:Deep Voices, Many Voices: Exploring Utah’s Multicultural Past” – 2015 Annual Utah State History Conference – Oct. 2, 2015

REV:Designing Dixie: Tourism, Memory, and Urban Space in the New South” (Hillyer)

PUB: Museum History Journal, Vol. 8, No. 2 (July 2015) – Table of Contents now available online

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Ask a Public Historian Q&A: Anne Mitchell Whisnant

This is the first in a new series “Ask a Public Historian,” brought to you by the NCPH New Professional and Graduate Student Committee.

Anne Mitchell Whisnant, PhD, is Deputy Secretary of the Faculty and Adjunct Associate Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also Consulting Historian, Primary Source History Services, and the author of Super-Scenic Motorway: A Blue Ridge Parkway History (UNC Press, 2006).

Anne Mitchell Whisnant.  Photo credit: Evan Whisnant

Anne Mitchell Whisnant Photo credit: Evan Whisnant

Why did you choose to enter your field?

I have two fields–“alt-ac” university administration (where I make the majority of my living) and public history consulting and teaching.

I started graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1989 to become a college professor. By 1997, I had my degree and a husband who was a full professor of English at Chapel Hill. Doing a national assistant professor job search was not an option, and I spent five years raising our two sons. Only after my husband David retired and the stock market tanked (in that unfortunate order) did I start trying to figure how to forge some “other” kind of career/employment path with my history PhD. In 2002, I attended a joint OAH-NCPH (Organization of American Historians and National Council on Public History) meeting featuring many public-history-related sessions about “what you can do with a History PhD.” I was introduced both to the wide world of “public history” and the radical idea that history training could be useful beyond professor positions. The insight about transferable skills led directly to my first “alt-ac” job, and I’ve remained in that realm. Continue reading

Project Showcase: Working History podcast

slsa-logoThe Southern Labor Studies Association (SLSA) has launched a new podcast, Working History. Hosted by SLSA President Beth English, Working History spotlights the work of leading labor historians, activists, and practitioners focusing on the U.S. South. The podcast is available for listening on iTunes and SoundCloud.

Working History seeks to inform public debate and dialogue about some of today’s key labor, economic, and political issues, with the benefit of historical context. Through the podcast SLSA is able to bring the research and expertise of its members to bear on an array of topics.

The inaugural episode, posted in June, features an interview with Hood College Assistant Professor Jay Driskell who discusses his book, Schooling Jim Crow, and traces the roots of black protest politics to early 20th century Atlanta and the right for equal education there. The latest episode features Professor Elizabeth Shermer of Loyola University Chicago, who talks about her forthcoming book on the impacts of corporate influence and the politics shaping higher education, past and present.

To keep up to date on future episodes, subscribe to Working History on iTunes or SoundCloud.

The Southern Labor Studies Association promotes the study, teaching, and preservation of southern labor history.  All podcast inquiries should be directed to Beth English at workinghistorypodcast[at]

Professional opportunities July 29, 2015

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AWARDS: Organization of American Historian awards for public history – OAH Friend of History Award, Roy Rosenzweig Distinguished Service Award (Oct. 1 deadline), Stanton-Horton Award for Excellence in National Park Service History (Jan. 1 deadline)

CFP: Annual Great Falls Symposium on Industrial Archeology in the New York-New Jersey Area – Oct. 24, 2015, Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.
DEADLINE: Aug. 31, 2015

CFP:Keeping History Above Water,” An international, multidisciplinary conference focused on saving historic structures and neighborhoods in the face of rising tides – April 10-13, 2016, Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.
DEADLINE: Sept. 15, 2015

CFP:Resilient Europe?” Conference of the Council for European Studies – April 14-16, 2016, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DEADLINE: Oct. 1, 2015

CFP: Libraries, Archives, Museums, and Popular Culture section of Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association annual conference – March 21-25, 2016, Seattle, Washington, U.S.
DEADLINE: Oct. 1, 2015

CFP: Special Issue of “Environment and History” on Parks and Gardens
DEADLINE: Dec. 31, 2015

CONF: Conference on Illinois History – Sept. 24-25, 2015, Springfield, Illinois, U.S.

CONF:INTERCOM 2015: Leadership for a Sustainable Museum” – Oct. 28-31, 2015, Washington, D.C., U.S.

EDU:Moving Collections” – online course on starting Aug. 31

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Project Showcase: College Women

college-women-betaWith the support of a one-year Foundations planning grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the seven women’s colleges once known as the “Seven Sisters” recently launched College Women: Documenting the History of Women in Higher Education. College Women brings together digitized letters, diaries, scrapbooks, and photographs of women who attended Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Vassar, Wellesley, and Radcliffe (now the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University). These materials, documenting women’s campus cultures, have long been preserved in the libraries of the seven schools; College Women makes them available online and searchable together for the first time. Continue reading

Professional opportunities July 21, 2015

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AWARD: Midwestern History Association’s Alice Smith Prize in Public History
DEADLINE: Sept. 15, 2015

CFP: Edited collection, “Baltimore Revisited: Social History for the Twenty-First Century City

CFP: Archaeology Channel Conference on Cultural Heritage Media – May 11-15, 2016, Eugene, Oregon, U.S.
DEADLINE: Oct. 31, 2015

CONF:The Art of Being Contemporary” – Communicating the Museum conference – Sept. 9-12, 2015, Topkapi, Hagia Sofia and Hagia Eirine, Turkey

CONF:Access is a Human Right” – Federation of International Human Rights Museums conference – Sept. 22-24, 2015

FUNDING: 2016/17 Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin for U.S.-based researchers to conduct independent study in Berlin
DEADLINE: Sept. 30, 2015

NCH: Recent news items and calls for action from the National Coalition for History – Librarian of Congress retires, new NEH grant programs on “Dialogues on the Experience of War” and “Literacy and Engagement with Historical Records,” more

PUB: Free access to “The History of America in 100 Documents” from Adam Matthew Digital
DEADLINE: July 31, 2015

PUB: Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, Vol. 54, No. 2 (May 2015)

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Defining success: Seeking clarity or accepting uncertainty?

A 50-foot (15 m) tape measure produced by the Lufkin Rule Co. in Saginaw, Michigan at some point after 1929 (patent 1,713,807).

How should public history graduate programs measure success? Photo credit: Wikipedia Lufkin tape measure

What constitutes success for a public history graduate program?  A strong placement record?  Student mastery of a set of professional skills?  Or perhaps cultivation of our discipline’s habits of mind?

One might say, “It depends”–on whom you ask, when you ask them, and why you want to know.  But does that ambiguity compromise our ability as program directors to represent our programs accurately and effectively to the students we serve and the administrators who oversee us?  In defining success, should we pursue clarity or get comfortable with uncertainty?

Continue reading