American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

October 2004

As we begin our 24th year…

…our range of projects grows as our dedication to advancing public knowledge about the past and the history of working people intensifies. ASHP/CML may have achieved a venerable age, but we’re still eager to embark on new ventures that, we hope, promote learning about the past and stretch the parameters of *how* we learn. To name just a few ongoing activities: While continuing our fifteen-year collaborative work in New York’s high schools, we have inaugurated several faculty institutes under the federal Teaching American History faculty-development program. Our social history-rich websites are being complemented by professional development and new media projects that focus on critical use of visual evidence in exploring the past. And our New Media Lab and participation in The Graduate Center’s Interactive Technology and Pedagogy certificate program are direct interventions in shaping the future of innovative new media scholarship and teaching. Fortunately, our efforts on occasion receive recognition: most recently, the New Jersey Historical Society’s What Exit? New Jersey and Its Turnpike website, produced by ASHP/CML, was awarded the Special Web Art Bronze Award from UNESCO’s International Committee of Museums for Audiovisual, Image, and Sound New Technologies. So, as ASHP/CML nears a quarter-century, even as we face some uncertainties and obstacles, we look forward to a new year of vigorous and creative work.

“Who We Are”
As you can see, ASHP/CML takes on all kinds of jobs to make ends meet.

NEH EDSITEment Project: “Lessons of History”

In conjunction with David Jaffee of The City College of New York and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, ASHP/CML was awarded a contract to produce “Lessons of History,” interactive classroom activities for the National Endowment for the Humanities’ EDSITEment website. Building on CUNY’s “Investigating U.S. History” project, ASHP/CML will work with teachers and scholars to create 24 interactive activities on Colonial America, the American Revolution and Constitution, FDR and the New Deal, and the 1960s to the 1980s. These new teaching resources will be available on the EDSITEment site in early 2007.

Teaching American History Grants

In July ASHP/CML was a partner in two Teaching American History grants awarded to the New York City public schools by the U.S. Department of Education. ASHP/CML will be the lead partner working with middle and high school teachers in NYC’s Region 4, made up of schools in western Queens and the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. This program will provide teachers with a series of five day-long retreats, each featuring a noted historian and focused on a different topic in U.S. History, along with a week-long summer institute and ASHP curriculum materials. Other partners in the grant, who will host retreats and introduce teachers to their resources, include the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn Historical Society, and Museum of Television and Radio. Bill Tally of the Education Development Center will conduct research to evaluate the program’s effectiveness.

ASHP/CML is partnered with NYC’s Region 6, former Community School Districts 17 and 22, in Brooklyn for “Teacher as Historian: A Teaching American History Initiative.” The program features four ASHP/CML-led seminars as well as mentoring support for teachers and assistant principals in high schools region-wide. Other service providers include the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Gilder-Lehrman Institute for American History.

Calendar: October 4th Public Seminar: New York Underground

Five aficionados of New York’s subterranean past will participate in a panel discussion that explores the history of the city’s literal “lower depths.” The participants include Julia Solis, author of New York Underground; Robert Sullivan, author of Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants; Chris Neville, lecturer for Place Matters on the Marble Cemetery; and Anne-Marie Cantwell and Diana diZerega Wall, authors of Unearthing Gotham: The Archaeology of New York City. This free event, sponsored by ASHP/CML, The Gotham Center, City Lore, and the Continuing Education program will take place on Monday, October 4th, at 6:30 in the Elebash Recital Hall of the CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue.

2004 Herbert G. Gutman Memorial Lecture

Alice Kessler-Harris
Alice Kessler-Harris
Alice Kessler-Harris, R. Gordon Hoxie Professor of American History at Columbia University and author of, most recently, the Bancroft Prize-winning In Pursuit of Equity: How Gender Shaped American Economic Citizenship, will discuss “Thinking Globally: Paradoxes of a Gendered Labor History.” The free event will be held on Thursday, October 7, at 6:30 in the Skylight Room (Room 9100) at The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue. The lecture series, co-sponsored by ASHP/CML and The Graduate Center’s Center for the Humanities and Ph.D. Program in History, is dedicated to the memory of the late labor historian and ASHP/CML co-founder Herbert Gutman.