Comments on: Bleg update: Introduction to Historical Practice http://www.historiann.com/2013/07/11/bleg-update-introduction-to-historical-practice/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Mon, 22 Sep 2014 19:47:12 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: A http://www.historiann.com/2013/07/11/bleg-update-introduction-to-historical-practice/comment-page-1/#comment-1618514 Wed, 21 Aug 2013 17:11:03 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21510#comment-1618514 Perhaps not for your syllabus this time around, but I just came across this book: Perspectives on Women’s Archives by Zanish-Belcher and Voss

http://saa.archivists.org/store/perspectives-on-womens-archives/3334/

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By: Jessica Weiss http://www.historiann.com/2013/07/11/bleg-update-introduction-to-historical-practice/comment-page-1/#comment-1562603 Wed, 17 Jul 2013 05:22:49 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21510#comment-1562603 I have a tough time with these bookstore deadlines as well. I would suggest that the campus organization to communicate with on the issue is Accessibility Services (under whatever name it goes by on your campus). These offices are under- resourced but charged with upholding laws regarding access to education and when the books aren’t available to them to scan in time to make them readable by text to voice softare programs etc…, students with disabilities do suffer. It must show that I’m off to an Accessibility Initiative Task Force meeting tomorrow am. We can’t know in advance whether students with disabilities will be present in the class but if universal design is the goal…how do we plan that in and deal with the seemingly impossible deadlines and craft evolving creative courses?

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By: Western Dave http://www.historiann.com/2013/07/11/bleg-update-introduction-to-historical-practice/comment-page-1/#comment-1558359 Mon, 15 Jul 2013 03:33:29 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21510#comment-1558359 The lead time on high school textbooks seems to be a lot longer. They are frequently on backorder and we order in May for September. Most public schools do their ordering a year or more in advance which is the great bulk of orders so our comparatively dinky 50 or 60 book orders rarely get top priority. OTOH, when we use college level books they usually have no problem getting us them. Sadly, this means will probably be shifting over to e-texts sooner than we would like. The annotation features still aren’t there yet although they are getting better.

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By: Contingent Cassandra http://www.historiann.com/2013/07/11/bleg-update-introduction-to-historical-practice/comment-page-1/#comment-1556727 Sat, 13 Jul 2013 17:05:55 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21510#comment-1556727 My understanding is similar to truffula’s: the issue is letting the students know the full cost of their education (and requiring supposedly-profiteering proffies to disclose if they’re making their students buy their own books. This concern, of course, reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the publishing business, even the textbook publishing business). I manage, because I don’t get to teach new classes very often. But I’d have major trouble if I had more chances to teach in my field. I’d be happy to declare a budget/upper limit, which would serve the same purpose, and allow me to use the summer for its intended purpose: course planning (the same people who passed these laws presumably are the ones who think we take summers off, and teach from yellowed notes. There really is a lot of invisible labor in higher ed, and designing reading lists that both expose students to the ideas to which we want them exposed *and* provide good material for the papers and other skill-developing activities we want to include in the class is one part of that labor.)

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2013/07/11/bleg-update-introduction-to-historical-practice/comment-page-1/#comment-1556570 Sat, 13 Jul 2013 13:43:25 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21510#comment-1556570 Matt & Indyanna, I’m with you on the complexity of historical places. Many of the critics of the Neutra demolition over the past decade have pointed to the urban/industrial development within and on the edges of the park, noting that no one is proposing to tear down all of that stuff.

It seems like Neutra’s building fell into disrepair at least a decade too soon for it to seem cool enough to restore and preserve. If it had limped into the 1990s or early 2000s as a functional building, a critical mass of midcentury modern enthusiasts may have mustered more support for it. It seems to me that some creative historic preservationists could have interpreted the Neutra building as an interesting artifact of the Cold War & the Civil Rights movement with an integrity of design all its own. Clearly, trying to preserve Gettysburg in 1863 as though in amber is a folly.

(As for the flat roof: that seems like a reasonable design flaw to raise. But no one is tearing down Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in Illinois or PA, for that matter, because of the flat roofs.)

As for the “federal law” requiring me to submit my textbook orders by X date: I will continue to register my civil disobedience. Why should I obey the laws of an outlaw nation, one that regularly spies on its citizens and demolishes Richard Neutra buildings? Johnny Law can come get me if he wants to. (Are you listening, PRISM?)

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By: truffula http://www.historiann.com/2013/07/11/bleg-update-introduction-to-historical-practice/comment-page-1/#comment-1556112 Sat, 13 Jul 2013 05:18:13 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21510#comment-1556112 International Standard Book Number and retail price information

My understanding is that this is a “cost of education” thing, as in, the cost of education is not just the tuition. It’s also the fees, the parking permit, the textbooks and blue books and scantron sheets, etc. The last time I taught a course with a required textbook (specialist, thus expensive), I bought a bunch of copies and set up my own lending library.

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2013/07/11/bleg-update-introduction-to-historical-practice/comment-page-1/#comment-1556055 Sat, 13 Jul 2013 04:11:24 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21510#comment-1556055 This debate was had, at great length, informally, and in the back-offices, in the Park Service in the late 1970s, in connection with the federalization of what until then had been Valley Forge State Park. The place had not even become a state park for more than a century after the Revolution, and there had been a lot of industrial development (and decay) on what had once been a rural site. And the state park had itself been assembled piecemeal over time from chunks of private property. In the middle of the new park there was the ruin of a 20th century plant that processed asbestos materials, just sitting in a little declivity, reeking of menace. The plan over what to do with it was entangled in toxicity issues, suburban aesthetics issues, historical similitude issues, and a wide range of other issues. But at the core of the planning discourse was a major debate between one kind of purists and other kinds of complexity theorists, plus your requisite provocateur(s) left over from the 1960s and ’70s. (Oh, wait, it *was* the 1970s). Anyway, toxicity and the culture of litigation won out, but the plant was only “mitigated” by half-measures, the other half of which still loom over the place today. But the stoner reverie of choice running through the dispute was the impish counterfactual question: what if the Confederates had triumphed at Gettysburg, broken through, turned right, and headed toward Philadelphia, only to be stopped cold in late 1863 in an even more titanic battle right in the middle of the old Valley Forge “battlefield” (sic)? *Then* what would you tear down, and what would you interpret?

Gettysburg, by the way, was speckled with state unit statues from all or most of the seceding and non-seceding states between he 1870s and about 1900, so there never really *was* any frozen-in-time “then.”

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By: Matt_L http://www.historiann.com/2013/07/11/bleg-update-introduction-to-historical-practice/comment-page-1/#comment-1555985 Sat, 13 Jul 2013 02:41:55 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21510#comment-1555985 Wow, the demolition of the Richard Neutra building is an atrocity.

I’m calling Bull-ony on this bit of the article:
“The loss of Neutra’s only public building east of the Mississippi River, though a tragedy for admirers of modernism, will be atmosphere’s gain. Once the Cyclorama Center has been removed, the 6,000-plus-acre park will look much as it did in the summer of 1863, shortly before more than 51,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed in a three-day military action. As a recent park-service analysis pointed out, “[Demolition] best meets the park objectives of protecting and preserving cultural and natural resources by rehabilitating the landscape. . . . and its veteran-designed commemoration.””

Really? So what is atmosphere exactly? And why do Veterans of any conflict get the finally say in how something is commemorated? They should have some say, but given the role of the Civil War in shaping American federalism, its safe to say that later generations, including say mid 20th century moderns, also have a stake in that commemoration.

Obliterating a building in an architectural style that has since fallen from favor in the name of authenticity is dishonest historicism. (Much like the way the Authorities of Greater Berlin decided to demo the GDR era Palace of the Republic in favor of a kitchy reconstruction of the Old Hohenzollern Royal Palace that had been flattened in WWII – no side stepping of a complicated 20th century legacy there, no sir). What are you going to do, pretend that nothing in N. Pennsylvania has changed between 1863 and 2013?

BTW the syllabus looks great! I am going to have to crib from it when we redesign our undergraduate methods class.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2013/07/11/bleg-update-introduction-to-historical-practice/comment-page-1/#comment-1555625 Fri, 12 Jul 2013 19:39:52 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21510#comment-1555625 That’s nutz!

I very kindly emailed my students a copy of this reading list so that they find the books themselves, if that’s what they want to do. What pre-internet world of comparison shopping do the Feds live in if they imagine that “comparison shopping” required more than a google search or two?

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By: Doctor Cleveland http://www.historiann.com/2013/07/11/bleg-update-introduction-to-historical-practice/comment-page-1/#comment-1555618 Fri, 12 Jul 2013 19:30:09 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21510#comment-1555618 The federal law thing is, alas, real. It’s relatively new.

A lot depends on when students are allowed to register; you have to allow them to comparison-shop for book deals as soon as they can register.

This becomes a problem if, as an attempt to improve student planning and progress toward degree, your institution has decided they should be able to register for classes a full year in advance.

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