Announcing the New Director of the NHC:
Eric Arnesen is the Teamsters Professor of History in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at The George Washington University. A graduate of Wesleyan University and the recipient of a Ph.D. in History from Yale University, he is a specialist in the history of race, labor, politics, and civil rights. Among his books are Brotherhoods of Color: Black Railroad Workers and the Struggle for Equality (2001), which received the 2001 Wesley-Logan Prize in Diaspora History from the AHA and the ASAALH,and Waterfront Workers of New Orleans: Race, Class, and Politics, 1863-1923 (1991), which won the AHA’s John H. Dunning Prize. He is also the author of Black Protest and the Great Migration: A Brief History with Documents, editor of the 3-volume Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor and Working Class History (2006), The Black Worker: Race, Labor, and Civil Rights since Emancipation (2007), andThe Human Tradition in American Labor History (2002), and co-editor of Labor Histories: Class, Politics, and the Working-Class Experience (1998). His scholarly articles have appeared in the American Historical Review, Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, American Communist History, Labor History, Labor’s Heritage, and the International Review of Social History; he was a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune and his reviews and review essays have appeared in the New Republic, the Nation, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and Dissent. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Harvard’s Charles Warren Center, he held the Distinguished Fulbright Chair at Uppsala University in Sweden. He has served as co-chair of the Washington History Seminar at the Wilson Center since 2013 and is completing a biography of A. Philip Randolph.
Apply for the 2020 Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research
The Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Programand the Project on History and Strategy at CSIS seek applications for the 2020 Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research (SICAR). Ph.D. candidates in various disciplines from the US and around the world are welcome to apply, with particular consideration for those who can demonstrate a policy-relevant historical research agenda. The deadline for applications is Sunday, March 8, 2020.
SICAR is a four-day seminar-style program co-hosted by the Wilson Center and CSIS in cooperation with George Washington’s Cold War Group. The objective is to provide Ph.D. students training from world-class faculty, researchers, archivists, policy practitioners, and publishers on conducting archival research and designing research agendas on topics broadly related to international history, national security, diplomacy and the military. Although archival research is an integral part of many academic disciplines, it is virtually never taught at the graduate level. To address this deficiency and provide PhD candidates with the tools they need to make the most of their access to historical archives, SICAR offers in-depth training, access to expert historians and practitioners, and familiarization with the intersection of history and policy in the heart of Washington, D.C.
Competitive candidates for the 2020 SICAR cohort are pursuing a Ph.D. topic in a variety of disciplines, including history, international relations, government, sociology, and public policy, as well as area and regional studies. Candidates should demonstrate an open mind about applying their research to contemporary policy and strategy questions. Preference will be given to students who have defended their dissertation proposal and who are about to embark on archival research.
The 2020 Seminar will be held during the week of May 26-May 29. Seminar sessions will take place at the Wilson Center and CSIS in downtown Washington, DC, followed by optional networking and sightseeing event programming. Student participants are required to attend all seminar sessions. (Exact schedule TBA).
Applications should include the application cover sheet, curriculum vitae, and a one to two page (12 pt. font, double spaced, 1” margins) proposal outlining how your dissertation research would benefit from participation in SICAR. One letter of recommendation should also be submitted directly by the recommender. All application materials should be submitted via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Wilson Center will make an effort to confirm receipt of all application materials.
The Wilson Center and CSIS will provide meals and hotel accommodations in Washington for non-local participants. Applicants are strongly encouraged to request additional funding for travel and ground expenses from their home institution or elsewhere.
For further information, please contact email@example.com, or read about past seminars at https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/2016-summer-institute-for-conducting-archival-research-glimpse-years-institute
Our Spring seminar series is in full swing. Please check out our schedule and we look forward to seeing you this semester.
Drawing upon the model of the Congressional Briefing series and some of the examples from the History and Policy Education Program, Corey M. Brooks, Associate Professor of History at York College of Pennsylvania, developed a new course, “Policy and History in York” for the Spring 2019 semester. His full reflections can be found here.
On a May night in downtown York, Pennsylvania, two blocks from city hall, I sat quietly as seven of my York College undergraduates expounded to politicians and community leaders on the histories of poverty in our community and of policy responses that had in years past attempted (and often failed) to meaningfully alleviate this deep-rooted problem. Speaking for 90 minutes on subtopics they had selected themselves and researched over the course of a semester, these students together unfolded several key facets of the history of poverty policy in York. The audience responded with rapt attention, as student research informed and energized attendees, including the city’s mayor, the city council president, the local constituent services director for the area’s U. S. Representative, and the CEO of York County’s official Community Action Agency. After concluding their prepared remarks, students handled difficult, thought-provoking audience questions with comfort and skill. Each student stood a little taller later that night as they mingled with local policymakers and college faculty. In the process, they celebrated their hard work—work that might tangibly contribute to a community in which they now felt increasingly invested.
The group had traveled quite a distance from our first class meeting in January. At the outset, the students had little idea where they would direct their energies and widely varying experiences with history research, policy analysis, and local community engagement. Guiding these students from that starting point to the final briefing event was perhaps the most demanding and most fulfilling teaching experience of my nine years at York College of Pennsylvania. In this new “Policy and History in York” course, modeled on the National History Center’s congressional briefings, I challenged students to conduct the research necessary to become experts on the local history of policies that concern our community. They then would have to work as a team to build and present a shared briefing for local decision makers.
I conceived of this course for two main reasons. The first was in response to the all too ubiquitous questioning, including (especially) in higher education itself, of the relevance of historical research. Here was a course in which students would show peers, faculty, and the broader community how historical research could be brought to bear to contextualize current challenges.Continue reading Policy and History in York, PA: College Students Brief Local Leaders