American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

January 2011

Up South in Español

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.

The Civil War @ 150

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 to shape its meaning. We begin on February 3rd with “Did the Real War Ever Get in the Books?” with Bruce Levine (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Stephanie McCurry (University of Pennsylvania), James Oakes (The Graduate Center, CUNY), and Gregory Downs (City College of New York, CUNY). Click here for more on CW @ 150.

Temporary Changes at ASHP

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 starting in March.

While Josh is on leave, Associate Director Pennee Bender will serve as Acting Director. Pennee came to ASHP in 1992 to produce video, CD-ROM, and Web projects and became Associate Director in 2000. She was supervising editor of the third edition of Who Built America? Working People and the Nation’s History Volume II. Her film and video credits include: Savage Acts: Wars, Fairs and Empire, Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl, The West Bank: Whose Promised Land, Bitter Cane, Missing Persons/Personas Ausentes, and Labor Produces. She has a Ph.D. in American History from New York University, is on the faculty of the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Program at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and has taught history and media production to students from elementary school through college.

Featured Document: Free Blacks in the South: The Life of Thomas Day

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 by an exclusively white clientele—and as a man of deep social conviction operating in tenuous circumstances.

“Thomas Day: Nineteenth-Century Free Black Cabinetmaker” is a Now and Then podcast conversation. The Now and Then podcast series features discussions with scholars, educators, and ASHP staff members about new work in public and scholarly history.