American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning


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Published May 25, 2011

We are pleased to announce the debut of ASHP/CML’s latest educational website, HERB: Social History for Every Classroom. Named in honor of our co-founder, the late labor historian Herbert Gutman, HERB is a free website for teaching U.S.history. The fruit of over two decades of professional development work with teachers in New York City and around the country, the site is an extensive archive of primary documents, teaching strategies, and other resources that look at how ordinary people both influenced and were influenced by the nation’s economic and political transformations.

Explore HERB

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Published March 30, 2011

ASHP/CML congratulates Executive Director Joshua Brown on his 2010 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in U.S. history for Studies in the Visual Culture of the American Civil War. This new work builds upon Josh’s earlier book Beyond the Lines: Pictorial Reporting, Everyday Life, and the Crisis of Gilded Age America (University of California, 2002). The importance of studying visual cultural is one of Josh’s key contributions to the field of 19th century U.S. history and this fellowship acknowledges the significance of his past work and gives support to his ongoing scholarship. We wish him great progress during his six-month leave...Read more

Published March 30, 2011

Last October historian Peter H. Wood, professor emeritus at Duke University, gave a talk at the Graduate Center sponsored by ASHP/CML and the Ph.D. programs in History and Art History about Winslow Homer’s recently rediscovered 1866 painting, Near Andersonville (marking the publication of his new book on the subject). He was kind enough to also record a podcast conversation with ASHP/CML’s Donna Thompson Ray about the life of North Carolina cabinetmaker Thomas Day, and how his experience as a free black characterized nineteenth-century race relations in the South. Peter assesses Day’s life as a businessman who crafted sought-after furniture collected...Read more

Published March 30, 2011

ASHP/CML is delighted to announce that we are now distributing a version of our DVD documentary Up South: African American Migration in the Era of the Great War that has optional subtitles in Spanish. We have also created a Spanish script of the program that can be downloaded from the Up South web page. We hope this proves popular for use in other countries, in classrooms where Spanish is spoken, and for English Language Learners and their teachers.Read more

Published March 30, 2011

Mark your calendars for Thursday, February 3, 2011, 6:00-8:00 pm and join ASHP/CML in the Martin Segal Theatre at the CUNY Graduate Center for the first of three public seminars on the sesquicentennial of the start of the U.S. Civil War. Supported by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities and organized in collaboration with the Ph.D. Program in History at the Graduate Center, this series will bring together leading scholars and educators to discuss recent trends in the study of the conflict, the gap between scholarly and popular understanding of the war, and how photography continues...Read more

Published March 30, 2011

Nathaniel Wheeler character from Mission US: For Crown or Colony? gameWe are pleased to announce the public launch of a groundbreaking multimedia initiative: Mission US, a free online history game designed to improve middle school students’ understanding of US history and their critical-thinking skills through innovative, engaging play. The first game, “For Crown or Colony?,” is now live. In the game, students assume the role of Nathaniel Wheeler, a young printer’s apprentice, and through encounter, inquiry, and decision-making learn about the critical events of 1770 leading up to the Boston Massacre. Three additional games...Read more

Published March 30, 2011

In August, we received word that two New York City Department of Education professional development programs involving ASHP/CML received funding through the U. S. Department of Education’s Teaching American History grant competition. In one of these programs, we will work with 7th and 8th grade social studies teachers in three Brooklyn and Queens districts. This program will combine compelling social history content with document-based classroom approaches designed to support the learning of these teachers’ special needs and English Language Learner (ELL) students. In our second new TAH program we will be working with teachers at small high schools in the...Read more

Published March 30, 2011

Edwin Forbes, “Reading the news—off duty”
Edwin Forbes, “Reading the news—off duty,” drawing, Morgan collection of Civil War drawings, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress
To mark the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the U.S. Civil War, ASHP/CML in collaboration with the Graduate Center’s Ph.D. Program in History has organized three public programs during 2011 where leading scholars and educators will explore recent trends in the study of the conflict, the gap between scholarly and popular understanding of the war, and how photography continues to shape its meaning.

Did the Real War Ever Get in...Read more

Published March 30, 2011

ASHP/CML is continuing work in earnest on our online teacher resource database, which will be known as HERB (in honor of the late historian and our co-founder Herbert Gutman). We’ve entered more than 1,000 social history documents, teaching activities, images, and other resources, and currently are finalizing design and building a beta version with the aim of a full public launch in January 2011.

HERB is being built with Omeka, an open source curation and document management application created by George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media. We’re attempting to incorporate as much of the feedback...Read more

Published March 30, 2011

Charles E. Peterson, “Slave Quarters at the Hermitage plantation, Chatham County, Georgia,” photograph, 1934.Though rare, slave cabins still dot the landscape of the southern United States. Some are parts of plantation museums, though former quarters are seldom interpreted with the same zeal as the main house. Almost invariably, former slave quarters stand empty today, making it hard to picture the complex and vibrant communities that once occupied them. This month’s featured document is an oral history of Mary Reynolds, who recalls her girlhood growing up on cotton and sugar plantations in Louisiana. Though 105 years...Read more