American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

ASHP Newsletter - Winter 2019

ASHP Hosts Public Program Series

Join us Wednesday, February 6, 2019 from 6:30-8:00 pm for a public event, Monuments of the Future: Alternate Approaches, which will be held in the Segal Theatre at the CUNY Graduate Center. This panel and discussion will present physical and virtual alternatives to monument creation that use a variety of media to promote public dialogue about how and what we remember. Panelists include Kubi Ackerman, director of the "Future City Lab" at the Museum of the City of New York; Marisa Williamson, artist and creator of “Sweet Chariot: The Long Journey to Freedom Through Time; Ken Lum, co-curator of "Monument Lab: A Public Art and History Project" in Philadelphia; and will be moderated by Jill Straus, assistant professor, at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

ASHP has partnered with The Gotham Center for New York City History and the CUNY Public History Collective to host this series of public programs titled Difficult Histories/Public Spaces: The Challenge of Monuments in New York City and the Nation. The series brings together historians, art historians, community activists, and artists to discuss the ongoing reevaluation of public monuments and memorials and to engage with audiences about the often controversial histories represented.

ASHP held the first event regarding the former J. Marion Sims monument on Fifth Avenue and 104th Street last spring. The second event was held in the fall of 2018 to discuss the history of monument creation, visions for new projects, and the current pressures on New York City agencies to respond to public opinion.

The event is free and open to the public. The series is made possible with funding from Humanities New York and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit the series homepage to learn more about the upcoming program.

In order to promote a lively conversation and ensure the inclusion of as many voices as possible, we ask you to please share your thoughts on following questions on the future of monuments:

Survey: Monuments of the Future

Your responses will be pooled and presented to the panelists and the audience at the event on February 6th.

NEH Digital Humanities Grant for Who Built America?

Who Built America? Working People and the Nation’s History will soon become an updated, completely free, open education resource (OER) finalizing a 38-year process of making social history accessible to the broad public thanks to a new grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Digital Humanities.

ASHP will work in partnership with the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media to combine the 2-volume textbook with ASHP’s varied multimedia teaching resources including the ten 30-minute documentaries, “excursions” from the Who Built America? CD-ROMs and the website History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web. The project allows us to revitalize the History Matters resources, which went online twenty years ago (ancient by web standards) with programming that will guarantee its stability for the future.

As a fully customizable OER, instructors will be able to make selections from the textbook, all the primary and teaching resources of History Matters as well as new features that will be added. Annelise Orleck, labor historian from Dartmouth College is updating the textbook with a new chapter covering 2007 to the present.

By its nature as an open digital resource, Who Built America? The OER will be available to the broad international public including trade unions, community-based activists, museums, and other organizations that have used ASHP’s educational materials for the past 38 years.

Closing Seminar for Presente: Latino-Centered Learning Communities

Over the past year ASHP staff have been working with faculty members from Bronx Community College CUNY to assist them in incorporating Latino history and culture into their courses and encouraging them to develop learning community clusters focused on Latino content.  In December, Presente: Latino-Centered Learning Communities, hosted a closing event open to all BCC faculty where instructors shared their work and personal reflections on their experience of expanding their curriculum. Participating faculty represented a range of disciplines and highlighted their desire to advance various skills such as critical reading, active viewing, community engagement, and storytelling as part their exploration of Latino themes. Some faculty shared learning units developed with colleagues or adjustments made to their syllabi, and provided examples of student work and student responses to new content on U.S. Latino life and culture.  

Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Presente featured the work of fifteen faculty members from the humanities and social sciences.

Welcome to Our New Office Administrator

Julian Ehsan joined ASHP/CML in October 2018 as a college assistant, providing administrative and podcast production support to the Project's staff. He has previously worked in local and state politics, interning for a councilwoman, an alderman, and a state treasurer. A graduate of New York University, Julian received a B.A. in History and Metropolitan Studies, focusing on the intersections of race, class, and gender in United States culture, as well as the nefarious forces of capitalism and austerity politics in the formation of unfair and unequal cities. He hails from Chicago, but for the past four years has called New York and briefly, Berlin, home.