Comments on: Assistant Professor, Public History, Colorado State University http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/06/assistant-professor-public-history-colorado-state-university/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:12:13 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Tom http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/06/assistant-professor-public-history-colorado-state-university/comment-page-1/#comment-902026 Wed, 09 Nov 2011 14:28:09 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16957#comment-902026 I’m intrigued by the anecdotal suggestions of a trend towards ‘public history’ and ‘oral history’–perhaps especially because I am a medievalist. Public and oral history seems so powerfully focused on “here” and “now” (or at least “living memory”). I’d love to see historians’ (or Historiann’s) take on the implications…

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By: henry http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/06/assistant-professor-public-history-colorado-state-university/comment-page-1/#comment-902013 Wed, 09 Nov 2011 13:34:20 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16957#comment-902013 Meh, I am a little more skeptical than you I guess. These oral history programs often turn into “let’s tape military veterans memories then turn them into flag-waving bastions of conservative history.” This has happened at 3 major R-1s in my state.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/06/assistant-professor-public-history-colorado-state-university/comment-page-1/#comment-901551 Tue, 08 Nov 2011 16:11:05 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16957#comment-901551 Henry, you’re right, although I think our job at CSU is probably the most attractive in terms of R-1, teaching load, and location. I think the reason that PH is so hot now is that students can get jobs in the field, and the terminal degree is the M.A. Our grads have a great employment record, anyway.

I think it’s also getting more popular in part because the big professional organizations (OAH and AHA) have made concerted efforts over the past decade to promote public history and to erase any lasting snobbery against public history & public historians (the idea that PH was mere vocational training, versus the “real” “intellectual” work of academic history & historians.) Finally it seems like people are listening.

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By: henry http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/06/assistant-professor-public-history-colorado-state-university/comment-page-1/#comment-901509 Tue, 08 Nov 2011 14:34:28 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16957#comment-901509 Public / oral history is really, really hot right now. There are several searches going on right now, according to the job wiki and H-net . Is it because these fields can get grants and other outside funding? Does anyone have any insight on this?

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By: J. Otto Pohl http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/06/assistant-professor-public-history-colorado-state-university/comment-page-1/#comment-901424 Tue, 08 Nov 2011 11:50:01 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16957#comment-901424 I did some historical work for an asylum case out of Walla Walla, WA back in 2005. They had been denied asylum by DHS after 13 years of waiting for a decision. So they took it to court on appeal. The main applicant contacted me and asked me to help him. Afterwards I was contacted by his lawyer. I worked on it pro-bono, but the applicants won their case on appeal. My work basically consisted of writing a history of the persecution of their ethnic group in their home country. They were ethnic Germans from Kazakhstan. I understand that historians of Latin America and the Middle East get similar cases and sometimes even get paid for it.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/06/assistant-professor-public-history-colorado-state-university/comment-page-1/#comment-901172 Tue, 08 Nov 2011 02:16:02 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16957#comment-901172 Indyanna, my grad students and I read several articles on the EEOC v. Sears case (the Jellison article you mention, the offers of proof published by Jacquelyn Dowd Hall inSigns, an analysis by Ruth Milkman, and the review post-facto by Alice Kessler-Harris that was published in RHR and in Feminist Studies. They were pretty demoralized about how one could be the better historian and lose the case anyway.

But, as I’ve argued here repeatedly, historians do nuance, and nuance isn’t really appreciated outside of history. (At least it’s not what they’re looking for instrumentally in law, politics, policy, etc.) So what, precisely, is the point of us, I wonder sometimes?

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/06/assistant-professor-public-history-colorado-state-university/comment-page-1/#comment-901162 Tue, 08 Nov 2011 01:51:05 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16957#comment-901162 Historians are sometimes hired by law firms, more often I would think on a duration-of-the-case basis, or in some other “outwork” capacity, to provide research or analytic services to litigation teams. More often, probably, as expert witnesses. The diametrically opposing testimony of two scholars in EEOC v. Sears Roebuck & Co. [1986], on the treatment of women in hiring and promotion decisions, remains a pretty fraught issue. [see T. Haskell and S. Levinson, "Academic Freedom and Expert Witnessing: Historians and the Sears Case" 66 _Texas L. Rev._, 1988, @ 1629, and K. Jellison, "History in the Courtroom: The Sears Case in Perspective," _The Public Historian_ 9 (1987)].

I worked for eleven months during grad school for a small boutique law firm, almost entirely on one case, doing things as mundane as moving boxes and being yelled at to bird-dogging events at public agency meetings relevant to the case to more traditional kinds of research. The guy who I primarily bird-dogged for, a smart but tempermental and fairly disorganized litigator who had gotten an MA in history before going to law school, did me the great favor of always introducing me to people, high and low, as “a historian who’s doing some work for us,” rather than “a guy who never moves the right boxes in the right order at just the right time…,” and I always appreciated that.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/06/assistant-professor-public-history-colorado-state-university/comment-page-1/#comment-900550 Mon, 07 Nov 2011 02:44:32 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16957#comment-900550 My impression is that they tend to be free-lancers or to work with an agency or a group that’s involved in a lot of legal actions (for example, an Indian nation pursuing mineral rights, actions against the U.S. government, etc.) But I am not certain about this, as I’m not a public historian myself & have no training in the field.

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By: Comrade PhysioProf http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/06/assistant-professor-public-history-colorado-state-university/comment-page-1/#comment-900544 Mon, 07 Nov 2011 02:31:01 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16957#comment-900544 That sounds pretty fucken cool! Do any of the people involved in litigation support end up working for law firms?

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/06/assistant-professor-public-history-colorado-state-university/comment-page-1/#comment-900360 Sun, 06 Nov 2011 20:22:32 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16957#comment-900360 Public history is history outside of the classroom, broadly speaking. The three tracks of our public history M.A. program are historic preservation, museum studies, and cultural resource management. Other public history fields include: archives, litigation support, material culture, and the ambiguous but intriguing field known as “digital history” or the “digital humanities.”

Our grads are working in history & natural history museums, house museums, archives, historical societies, and in a variety of capacities for the U.S. government (National Parks Service, National Forest Service, etc., plus many agencies keep their own archives & so choose to employ archivists & historians, too.) In fact, I’m sure that if we include people who teach at state universities, the U.S. & state governments combined employ more historians than any other entity.

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