National History Center at the AHA Annual Meeting

The National History Center will sponsor seven sessions at the American Historical Association’s Annual Meeting in Chicago January 5-8. Topics range from environmental history to Scotland’s role in the British Empire to the future of the history major in liberal education. The Center will also inaugurate a new initiative, “Historians, Journalists, and the Challenges of Getting It Right,” join in the reprise of 2011’s successful workshop, “Recognizing Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching,” and host an open forum and reception welcoming all meeting participants.

“Historians, Journalists, and the Challenges of Getting Right” is a joint venture of the History Center, the AHA, and two centers at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism, the Center on Communication Leadership and Policy and the Norman Lear Center.  The collaboration is based on the idea that historians and journalists can learn from each other as they pursue accuracy and acuity.

“Imagine if journalists, under deadline pressure, had easy access to relevant historians in order to add depth and context to their stories,” said Martin H. Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center. “Imagine if historians who use journalism as primary source material had a more intimate understanding of how journalists craft narratives in real time.  Building bridges like that, which could help both professions, is one of the aims of this project.”

For more on the Getting It Right panels and the NHC’s other sessions, see an article on them in the December issue of the AHA’s magazine, Perspectives, at http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2011/1112/National-History-Center-at-the-Annual-Meeting.cfm.

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