American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

September 2013

July 2014 NEH Institute for College and University Teachers

Yankee Notions No. 2 The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a grant to ASHP/CML to host a two-week institute in July 2014 on the visual media of the American Civil War. Following on the heels of our successful summer 2012 institute, this second institute on “The Visual Culture of the American Civil War” will study the ways the war was recorded, reported, represented, and remembered via an unprecedented array of visual media that included the fine arts, photography, cartoons, and a range of “ephemeral”pictorial items and publications. Institute participants will work with a roster of leading scholars in the field and take part in hands-on sessions in local museums and archives as well as in new media lab workshops. Including sessions on photography of the war front and home front; painting the war; illustrated journalism; political cartoons; the image of slavery, antislavery, and emancipation; the cloth and clothing of war; women on the home front; ruined bodies and landscapes; and monuments and memory, institute activities will introduce the rich body of scholarship that addresses or incorporates Civil War era visual culture, encourage exploration for further research in the field, and assist participants in developing approaches that use visual evidence to enhance teaching and researching the history of the war.

Click here for further information about the Institute—and check back later this fall to apply!

Visual Culture of the American Civil War—A New Website

With the support of a supplementary grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, ASHP/CML just launched Visual Culture of the American Civil War. The new website provides broad public and educational access to the resources of our 2012 NEH summer institute for college and university teachers. The website features videocast presentations by historians, art historians, and archivists focusing on the war’s different visual media as well as major themes of the conflict. In addition, each presentation is accompanied by a selection of archival images, primary documents, and a bibliography. Additional presentations and resources will be posted on the website over the course of the coming fall.

Visual Culture of the American Civil War is a special feature of ASHP/CML’s Picturing U.S. History, an interactive resource for teaching with visual evidence.

First Annual CUNY Games Festival

CUNY Games Festival Banner

Mark your calendars—ASHP/CML is helping to organize and sponsor the first annual CUNY Games Festival, which will take place on January 17, 2014 at the City University of New York Graduate Center. This one-day conference to promote and discuss game-based learning in higher education will bring together faculty, students, game designers, and other domain experts from various disciplines. Open to the public, the conference features an Arcade where attendees can play learning games and games-in-progress, as well as sessions addressing questions such as:

  • Apart from engaging college students, what real learning can happen through games?
  • What relevance does the broader debate about gamification have to higher education?
  • Should games be read, analyzed, or even replace texts in a course?

The plenary session features a diverse panel of scholars and game designers, including: John Black (Teachers College, Columbia University), Robert Duncan (York College, CUNY), Joey Lee (Teachers College, Columbia University), Anastasia Salter (University of Baltimore), and Eric Zimmerman (New York University).

Interested in presenting? Read the guidelines and submit your proposal by October 1st.

Mission US: A Cheyenne Odyssey

Mission US 3Launching soon! Mission US: A Cheyenne Odyssey will introduce middle school students across the country to Little Fox and his Northern Cheyenne band. The third installment of the Mission US series of adventure games begins in 1867 in what is now Montana. As the fictional Little Fox, players will decide how best to survive changing life on the Plains and respond to encroachment from white soldiers and settlers. Visit Mission US on October 16, 2013 to start playing—and learning.

ASHP/CML is the content developer of Mission US, which is produced by public television station WNET/Thirteen in partnership with game developer Electric Funstuff, and supported by major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In the Works…

We’ve been hard at work on our latest website, Who Built America Badges for History Education. It’s free, online professional development designed to help middle and high school social studies teachers integrate the Common Core Standards into their teaching—and it’s launching in October at Our new professional development program, Bridging Historias through Latino History: An NEH Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges Project, is underway. Thirty-eight faculty and administrators from colleges in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania have been active in online reading discussions and will meet at the Graduate Center in October for the first full-day seminar on “Conceptualizing Latino/a History and the Colonial Era.”