American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning


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Published September 21, 2011

The Thinker protestsOver the course of the past three decades investment in public higher education has declined dramatically. Most American public university systems, such as California, Wisconsin, and Illinois, have experienced serious reductions in their state funding requiring dramatic cutbacks in academic programs and services they provide to their students.

Here at the City University of New York (CUNY), we have gone from a tuition-free system as late as 1976 to one that receives more than 45% of its operating budget from student fees and tuition. During this same time, the faculty workforce has been...Read more

Published September 21, 2011

While our e-newsletter will keep arriving in your inbox, you can also keep up with what we’re doing here at ASHP/CML on a more regular basis. Our Facebook page ( and Twitter account (@ashp_cml) will alert you to our new podcasts, highlights from our online projects, public seminars, and links to useful and enlightening items from around the Web. So “like” us on Facebook and “follow” us on Twitter—historical insight is just a click away!Read more

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

...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

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

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

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