American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

March 2013

ASHP/CML’S New Professional Development Program Receives NEH Funding

The National Endowment for the Humanities as part of its Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges initiative has awarded a $359,659 cooperative contract to the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning in partnership with Queensborough Community College for Bridging Historias through Latino History and Culture, a professional development program for community college faculty.

Bridging Historias masthead

The goal of Bridging Historias is to develop curricular materials that will deepen and expand the teaching and understanding of Latino history and culture across the humanities disciplines. The program will run from Fall 2013 through Spring 2015 and involves faculty members and administrators from 36 community colleges in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

The project’s activities include a seminar series run by Professor María Montoya (NYU) and Professor Lisandro Pérez (John Jay College, CUNY), online reading discussions, curricular development mentoring, and a program aimed at academic administrators. A culminating conference will feature the award-winning Latino studies scholar Vicki Ruiz, dean of the School of Humanities, University of California–Irvine.

ASHP/CML staff members Pennee Bender, Donna Thompson Ray, and Andrea Ades Vásquez will work with QCC Associate Dean Michelle Cuomo, who will lead the administrators’ program, and QCC history professor Megan Elias, who will guide the faculty mentors. Also among the project personnel are sixteen U.S. humanities and Latino studies scholars.

The application for community college faculty and administrators is available online now. The submission deadline is April 30, 2013, but we would appreciate the cover sheet indicating intent to apply by March 19, 2013.

Award Season Continues for Mission US

Since launching last year, Mission US: Flight to Freedom continues to win accolades from the education, media, and gaming worlds. Flight to Freedom, the second of the Mission US series of adventure games on which ASHP/CML has collaborated with public television station WNET/Thirteen and other partners, features the journey of Lucy King, a (fictional) 14-year-old girl enslaved on a Kentucky Plantation. The game and curriculum immerse players in the history of slave communities and resistance, and the wider anti-slavery struggles that led up to the Civil War. Flight to Freedom has been praised for it’s “intelligent” and “thought-provoking” approach to history. Recent awards and acknowledgements include:

ASHP/CML Website Gets a New Look

We are excited to announce a new look to our website. After a year of hard work and many discussions, we are pleased to go public with a home page that highlights new material and current ASHP/CML projects. Also, items from HERB and our podcast series are featured right on the homepage.


ASHP/CML’s Ellen Noonan Wins Book Prize

The Strange Career of Porgy and Bess: Race, Culture, and America’s Most Famous Opera by Ellen Noonan has been selected as the winner of the 2012 George C. Rogers Jr. Book Award, which is presented annually by the South Carolina Historical Society for the best book on South Carolina history published during the preceding year.

Published by University of North Carolina Press, The Strange Career of Porgy and Bess examines the 1935 Gershwin opera’s long history of invention and reinvention as a barometer of twentieth-century American expectations about race, culture, and the struggle for equality. Weaving together the wide-ranging debates over the original DuBose Heyward novel, Porgy, and its adaptations on stage and film with a history of its intimate ties to Charleston, The Strange Career of Porgy and Bess is, in the words of Stanford University’s Harry J. Elam, Jr., “engaging and informative, … a most notable book for scholars and students interested in American cultural history.”

New Media Lab Welcomes 10 New Students

As part of our continuing effort to support digital research and experimentation in a collaborative interdisciplinary environment, 2013 ushered in 10 new doctoral students into the ranks of the New Media Lab. Bringing our total to 24, NML’s coterie of students comes from 14 programs/subprograms at the Graduate Center, with each student incorporating a range of approaches and tools as they explore the use of new technology in his or her doctoral work. For the first time, we have representation from Educational Psychology (Second Life environments to teach autistic children), French (Digitization of 17th century manuscripts), and Criminal Justice (Othering and Selective Victimization).

New Media Lab student at workAdding to the novelty, the NML now has five awards available to its students:

  • The New Media Lab Digital Dissertation Award
  • The History or Public Health Award
  • The Social Justice Award
  • The Dewey Digital Teaching Award
  • NML Conference Travel Award

We are excited that, along with other recent Graduate Center digital initiatives, the New Media Lab is the site of the cross-pollination and birth of so many new projects and directions in research, teaching, learning, and publishing.