Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Podcast #209 - Review of "The Monuments Men" by Robert M Edsel

Hello. For the past couple of weeks I have been reading "The Monuments Men" by Robert M Edsel. This books tells the fascinating story of American troops racing across Europe to find and save the priceless art work taken by Hitler and the Nazi war machine.

This podcast is my quick review of this novel and how it could be implemented into an interdisciplinary lesson in the classroom.

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Direct link to Podcast #209 - Review of The Momuments Men by Robert M Edsel

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Great Review Site for AP World
This teacher has a site for both AP World as well as regular world history. However, the better site by far is the AP World one which includes "how to" sheets as well as links to five books' ancillaries, review sheets and more.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ways to Use Youtube Videos in the Classroom
Ever had a youtube video of yours blocked in the classroom? For one, you can upload your videos to TeacherTube, but that won't solve your problem for other videos that aren't yours. Watch the video above as is it give you three sites which can a) allow you to copy and move any youtube video to another site very quickly so you can access it at school b) cut any youtube video down to just what you might want in the classroom c) create a storage area of your own where you can quickly copy and store videos from youtube. Thanks to "web20classroom" for the tweet that told me about this.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

50 Digital Sites in 60 Minutes
Thanks to Technology Tidbits for this amazing set of technology ideas. You can blow up the screen to view the slide show or click on anyone of the links to go to the different pages.
History of Religion in 90 Seconds
I've run this one before, but it is a super video and a nice way to review the spread of religion.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Review Sites
Here is everything you need to review for the AP or end of the year state exams. Please leave a message if you find other sites (Links are fiexed).

Outlines & Textbooks
AP Outline
Textbook - this is for early civ to Renaissance. It has a great search engine and is broken up nicely by topic. More on this in a later blog.

Quizzes - All of them have answers except the Regents one.
AP World Quizzes for each unit (and answers)
Bubbabrain - makes games out of questions
Cenage - broken up by topic
Course Notes - these are essay questions that would be help for the kids to do - possibly in groups
Glencoe Quizzes (third item down on the list)
Global Studies' Quizzes (lots and lots of them)
Interactive Map Review (questions are asked and the student has to locate the place on a map)
Map Quizzes - Early Civilization to the Renaissance
McDougal Littell - select your state and level of students, find your text and then you will be able to get the questions.
Regents Exam - lots of questions -but no answers
School District Made - geared for the VA end of the year tests, but lots of questions by topic
School District Made - again geared for the VA end of the year tests
SparkNotes - this has notes, 45 question review quizzes for each section, detailed outlines, analysis, test questions, summaries.
Teacher Made - Early Civilizations - Renaissance
Teacher Made - Renaissance - Modern
World Civilizations (AP text) - select a chapter and the questions will be on the left.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bridging World History
This site has videos, maps and more and is broken up into many themes. I actually wrote about it two years ago, but was reminded about it by @APWorldGuru
Roman Mummy Found in Egypt
We know that Alexander the Great took over Egypt, but this is pretty interesting that a Roman mummy has been found. Having just returned from Egypt a week ago, it is amazing that they are still digging up artifacts - even in downtown Luxor - under people's homes. More and a hat tip to A Blog About History .

Monday, April 12, 2010

New Improvements to Google Docs
Yes, I love Google Docs and am getting more and more into the cloud. These changes only want me to go further!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Rival Revivals and Liberal Protestant Recovery

Rival Revivals and Liberal Protestant Recovery
Paul Harvey

Just back from the Organization of American Historians (OAH), I had planned on doing an extensive post on the excellent panel I saw there, “Rival Revivals,” featuring papers by Alison Greene, Jarod Roll, and Matt Sutton, and with commentary by Kenneth Fones-Wolf and chaired by Lizabeth Cohen. But now I don’t have to, as we have an excellent summary of the panel from the OAH reporting at HNN, with full videos of the presentations and summaries of the papers. I would just say in addition to what is there that the panel featured the interesting twist of having the fundamentalists of the 1930s/1940s (discussed in Matt’s paper) as the northern, educated elites, in comparison to the various folk preachers, Garveyites, and premillennial radicals discussed in Alison and Jarod’s papers, turning the usual stereotypes about recent fundamentalism on its head.

Cover for ROLL: Spirit of Rebellion: Labor and Religion in the New Cotton South. Click for larger image

The material in Jarod Roll’s paper came from his book, out any day now (I saw it at the University of Illinois press table at the OAH, but wasn’t between regular hard covers yet), entitled Spirit of Rebellion: Labor and Religion in the Cotton South. A bit more about the work here:

In Spirit of Rebellion, Jarod Roll documents an alternative tradition of American protest by linking working-class political movements to grassroots religious revivals. He reveals how ordinary rural citizens in the South used available resources and their shared faith to defend their agrarian livelihoods amid the political and economic upheaval of the first half of the twentieth century.

On the frontier of the New Cotton South in Missouri’s Bootheel, the relationships between black and white farmers were complicated by racial tensions and bitter competition. Despite these divisions, workers found common ground as dissidents fighting for economic security, decent housing, and basic health, ultimately drawing on the democratic potential of evangelical religion to wage working-class revolts against commodity agriculture and the political forces that buoyed it. Roll convincingly shows how the moral clarity and spiritual vigor these working people found in Pentecostal revivals gave them the courage and fortitude to develop an expansive agenda of workers’ rights by tapping into existing organizations such as the Socialist Party, the Universal Negro Improvement Association, the NAACP, and the interracial Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union.

Yesterday morning I attended an equally excellent panel of a very different sort: “Putting Faith in American Democracy: Remembering Liberal Protestantism in the Twentieth Century,” featuring papers by Mark Edwards, Matthew Hedstrom, and Bryan Peery, and with commentary by Mark Hulsether. Mark discussed Protestant ecumenicism in the post WWII era, emphasizing how it dovetailed with a one-world liberalism rather than a Cold War realism that we associate with Reinhold Niebuhr. Matt’s paper discussed the Protestant liberal influence on the American Library Association, which created a sort of quasi-canon of books to read each year (sort of a well-publicized “top 50” list), one which pushed a reading public towards Protestant liberal thought and thus exerted more influence culturally than we might recognize looking only at the Protestant liberals and politics. Bryan Peery, a graduate student at George Washington, covered the course of Protestant-Catholic dialogue after WW II and the vital influence of Robert McAfee Brown in the same, who held that “dialogue itself was valuable, even if it only led to more dialogue.” Those views competed with an upsurge of anti-Catholicism signaled in Paul Blanshard’s 1949 screed American Freedom and Catholic Power, which compared the Vatican to the Kremlin.

Hulsether called for more appreciation and respect for mid-century liberal Protestants. Often they are interpreted as being powerless -- thus, nowhere -- or as leading the charge for a “secular neutrality” that was just liberal Protestantism in disguise -- and hence, everywhere. He suggested that the Protestant liberals assumed a position sort of like the UN non-aligned movement in distinction to the choosing up of sides going on in the Cold War, and that their vision should be given more respect and credence than is usual in a scholarship which in recent years has made the Protestant liberals the object of target practice.

Politically radical premillennialists, preachers jumping out of airplanes to call attention to the imminent millennium, Garveyite devotees picking up the cause of radicalism in the South, Protestant liberals demanding alternative visions besides those given to them during the Cold War, northern fundamentalists wondering if the “Blue Eagle” of the NRA was the mark of the best -- who said 20th century Protestants were boring?

Friday, April 9, 2010

From the Record Bin: Jewish Folk from the Fabulous 60s

Randall Stephens

Get out the hand sanitizer. It’s time to rummage through the dusty, moldy, old albums at your local Salvation Army, book store/cat sanctuary, or record shop. When I'm thumbing through LPs by Tijuana Brass, Ray Conniff, Henry Mancini, The Commodores, and Captain & Tennille, I’ll spot the occasional religious album. It might be the bicentennial/patriot/gospel mishmash of the Heritage Singers, hymns rendered for pipe organ lovers who were born before 1920, or the Jesus anthems of the Imperials. Once in a great while, I’ll come across a real gem.

I picked up a copy of the Rabbis' Sons' 1967 folk romp at a used bookstore in Bennington, Vermont. I know next to nothing about beatnik-lite Jewish folk music. So, I’ll let the liner notes and the music itself do the talking/singing. (The notes below remind me of the wordy, awkward prose that fills a typical college yearbook. It doesn't quite capture the beauty of the music.):

With the emergence of the state of Israel, folk songs became the natural vehicle of expression for the renascent spirit of a people bursting with a longing for freedom and national independence. Songs of faith and thanksgiving were mingled with exultant tones of Jewish heroism to produce a colorful array of melodies that we now know as Israeli folk music.

With this album, however, a new creation in Jewish music makes its debut. It offers an harmomous blend of Jewish liturgical texts with traditional melodic warmth, uniquely set to a modern folk beat--by The Rabbis' Sons. On this LP recording, eleven songs are presented; nine were composed by Baruch Chait, one by Mark Davidowitz, and the last is a stirring revival of a somewhat forgotten Yiddish folk song.

[Listen to my favorite track: "Hu Elokeinu (Sabbath Prayer)"]

Two guitars and a bass fiddle provide the fundamental instrumention for this complement of musical innovations. The penetrating resonance of a steel guitar is skilfully produced by David Nulman, who assisted in the guitar arrangements. Mickey Lane, as master of the bass fiddle, carries the rhythm with striking artistry.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Podcast #208 - Ask the Experts Donner Party Project

Hello. I am a big fan of the American Experience series from PBS and WGBH. This series has produced some of the most fascinating and engaging historical documentaries I have ever seen. One episode that I have used repeatedly in my class over the years is "The Donner Party" by Ric Burns. This documentary is both haunting and descriptive in telling the tale of this group's fateful journey west.

For the past several years I have had my students participate in a debate after finishing the video. The debate is centered on the role of Lansford Hastings - the person who told the Donner Party to take the shortcut that cost them valuable time on the attempt to reach California. The Donner Party becomes trapped in the mountains and some resort to cannibalism. The class is divided into two groups and debates whether the blame should be placed upon Hastings or the Donner Party themselves. While watching the film students have been recording events and information which could be used to defend both sides of the debate.

Two years ago I started recording the debate in audio format. I then contacted several Donner Party experts - authors and writers who have experience with the Donner Party - and asked if they could critique the debate and provide feedback for my students. I sent the audio file as an attachment with the e-mail. This was very successful and my students loved the feedback.

This year we used a Flip camera to record the debate in video format and I then posted it to YouTube. I contacted a variety of Donner Party experts through web searches and found five individuals who were willing to take the time to comment on the student debates. I then gathered the responses from all the experts and created a handout for my students. I am always amazed at the amount of detail these experts provide.

The technology used in this project is pretty simple - posting a video on YouTube and then sending an e-mail but the ability to find experts in the field and then have them comment directly to students is extremely powerful.

Special thanks to my experts who were willing to share their time and respond to my students :

Dr. Julie M. Schablitsky, Archaeologist with University of Oregon

Daniel James Brown, author of The Indifferent Stars Above : The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride

Kristin Johnson - Historian for Donner Party Archaeology Project and author of The Donner Party Blog

Chelsea Walerscheid - Truckee Lake Historical Society

Katie Holley - Truckee Lake Historical Society

To learn more about this project please listen to the podcast. I have also included the links to the student debates and included one video as a portion of this blog post. I am also posting the feeback from the experts as a PDF if you would like to see the comments the experts returned to my class.

If you have any comments on this project please feel free to leave a comment on this blog post.

Period 2 Class Debate

Period 3 Class Debate

Period 4 Class Debate

Period 5 Class Debate

Period 7 Class Debate

Period 8 Class Debate

Click to subscribe to the Speaking of History Podcast at i-Tunes here

Direct link to Podcast #208 - Ask the Experts Donner Party Project

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Black Church(?)

by Matt Sutton

There has been a lot of debate
recently among academics about the “black church.” First Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., buried it on the Huffington Post. Then, Religion Dispatches asked some prominent scholars to respond to Glaude. Some dumped more dirt on the grave, others claimed that the church had never died, and others still asserted that it had never existed in the first place. In the midst of the forum Ed Blum inadvertently provoked a firestorm. Now he turns his attention away from the bizarre-o world of the academy to take on a bigger churcher—Barack Obama. See his excellent piece in the Washington Post here. Nice work Ed!

Mount Vernon Summer Institute

I recently learned that I've been selected to attend the 2010 Gilder Lehrman Summer Institute on George Washington at Mount Vernon this summer. I'm very excited for this opportunity. I visited Mount Vernon a couple of years ago with my wife and we spent the entire day in awe of this location. I'm looking forward to visiting and of course will be blogging as well as posting pictures and recording some podcasts from Mr. Washington's house.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

We All Got A Sacred History

Paul Harvey

“Africa is no historical part of the world,” wrote Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in the nineteenth century. Blacks, he thought, had no “sense of personality; their spirit sleeps, remains sunk in itself, makes no advance, and thus parallels the compact, undifferentiated mass of the African continent.” In short, Africans were a people without history. The World Historical Spirit that moved history forward never breathed over the continent.

"We all got history . . . It's there. You just got to look for it," said Ellen L. Hazard, descendant of a friend of Amos Webber, a free black Union Army veteran, churchman, political activist, and fraternal order member in mid-nineteenth century Massachusetts (and a personage recovered in 1996 by historian Nick Salvatore; see the link above).

Webber and his family and friends (and his descendants) knew that they lived through some of the most dramatic and revolutionary events of nineteenth-century history: the Civil War and Reconstruction. Black Americans were not just a people with history; they practically embodied American history.

With honorable exceptions, white Americans from the Revolution to the early twentieth century were Hegelians at least in terms of their relegating of Africans and African Americans to the historical dustbin. Black Americans like Amos Webber knew otherwise. And so did the legion of authors, intellectuals, philosophers, poets, schoolteachers, journalists, and sociologists, both educated and self-taught, which Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp discusses with consummate skill in her new (and long-awaited book) Setting Down the Sacred Past: African American Race Histories.

I'll have much more to say about this important work later in the summer when I have the chance to review it fully for
Books and Culture. I'll save the full-length review for that venue. For now, here's a bit more from the book's website:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Christian Militias, White Supremacists, and Scholars Who Study Them

Kelly Baker

I know that many of you who know me well for just waiting for me to comment on the Hutaree, the Michigan Christian militia group, the nine arrests, and the larger white supremacist plot to reclaim America. What might be more surprising is that I sort of don't want to. What?, you say, How could a girl who works on the 1920s Klan, religious intolerance, and the hate movement not want to talk about this? What have you done with the real Kelly Baker? Is she locked up somewhere? Has her course load gone to her head?

No, I think I might be suffering from white supremacist fatigue. For the past two weeks in my Religious Intolerance class, we have been discussing terrorism (more later, I pinky swear), domestic terror and (surprise) white supremacy's relation to religious intolerance. We examined the SPLC's new report that caused much news fervor. We looked at the racial slurs flung at members of Congress about health care reform. Menacing phone calls, faxed nooses and scary racist slurs became topics of interest. This week before the Hutaree story broke (or before I knew it broke anyway), we covered the World Church of the Creator and Christian Identity. We've debated fantastic and terrifying racial theologies, yearnings for a racial apocalypse, the weird insistence that Obama is the anti-Christ. This is the part of the semester, in which I start to feel guilty about the focus on white supremacy and domestic terrorism. This is, generally, because students aren't aware of Christian militias, The Turner Diaries, and the promotion of racial separation and longing for a return to white America. This semester, however, my students are hyperaware because of recent events and their frequency in the news cycle. We, ny students and I, have covered this topic in length, and I am terribly unsettled.

In all fairness, my students could be unsettled too, but my discontent comes the realization of something that has always lingered in the back of mind when I decided to study groups like this: Despite how fantastic and racist these worldviews are, people believe in them and act upon these ideologies. Many of you might be saying, "Well, duh." But, there is a keen difference in knowing this intellectually and watching these sorts of things happen in real time. I recite these words like a mantra to my students, to public audiences and to my peers to showcase how important work on groups like the Hutaree is, but there is often a disconnect between my study and actual events. Part of this is from the obvious, my work now centers on the 1920s Klan, whose members are long gone or aged and the structured movement no longer exists. Sure, there have been more recent incarnations of the Klan but they aren't central to my more historical case study. The disconnect has allowed me to write on the 1920s Klan in depth and to showcase how common prejudices and positions that the order held dear were. The recent upsurge in coverage on the contemporary movement gives me the opportunity to showcase how my historical work is important to our particular moment, but it also gives me pause. Part of me wants to retreat into my historical work and ignore the Hutaree altogether.

The other part of me wants to proclaim how these movements are similar to the 1920s Klan and how these movements feared the loss of white dominance in America. The Hutaree don't present a complete picture of our nation in this moment but they do signal the growth of white desperation about the direction of our nation (Chip Berlet catalogues Hutaree's beliefs at Religion Dispatches). For this particular movement, America has lost her religiosity and her racial hue, and this Christian militia also continues a long tradition of Hofstader's "paranoid style"in American culture. Their positions aren't new, but they are important to understanding why certain segments of white America finds these ideas appealing. It, of course, is about more than loss of dominance, frustration or anxiety. It is also about the soul of America, the religiosity of Americans, and America's role in a global affairs. The Hutaree tells us something how Americans envision our nation and the place of religion and race in that vision. Somebody has to study these groups, even if we (myself included) sometimes might not want to.
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