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Writing for Student Audiences

Pitfalls and Possibilities

Heather Streets-Salter

When historians privilege writing to and for one another over all other kinds of writing—especially in a period when the humanities in particular are under siege at public universities around the country—do we run the risk of making ourselves irrelevant to anyone but ourselves? This article explores the stakes involved when historians shift the focus of their scholarly work toward alternate, non-academic audiences. In this case, I will focus my attention on writing for university and secondary student audiences through textbooks and reference works. On the one hand, I argue that writing for students has its pitfalls, because it is devalued in the historical discipline relative to monographs and articles based on archival research. As such, investment in such writing can prove detrimental to achieving tenure and promotion. On the other hand, I argue that writing for students allows us to reach a much larger audience than our peers. In addition, writing for student audiences forces us to think carefully about the accessibility of our writing as well as the link between research, telling stories in writing, and teaching. As such, I argue that writing for students may allow historians greater visibility and relevance in the public at a critical time, given recent cuts in higher education budgets.

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"The Truth about the Mistake"

Perpetrator Witness and the Intergenerational Transmission of Guilt

Katharina von Kellenbach

Based on the archived correspondence between Artur Wilke, a convicted member of Sonderkommando 1005, and Hermann Schlingensiepen, a former professor of theology who acted as spiritual advisor to imprisoned Nazi perpetrators, this article examines the moral and political lessons that Nazi perpetrators communicated to their children. In a seventy-seven-page letter written to his son in 1966, Artur Wilke tried to preserve his paternal authority and moral integrity by denying personal wrongdoing. Instead, he portrayed himself as a victim of his teachers, of politicians, and of religious and legal authorities. He counseled his son to distrust the state and the law, and to submit only to divine authority. His political lessons and deep disillusionment with the German state resonated with the radical politics of the student rebellion of 1968.

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La Commission Stasi

Entre Laïcité Républicaine et Multiculturelle

Jean Baubérot

In December 2003, the Stasi Commission, appointed by the President of France, recommended prohibiting public school students from wearing conspicuous religious symbols or apparel. This recommendation was quickly enacted, becoming the Law of 15 March 2004. This law is meant to be an application of the "principle of laïcité," which is part of the French Constitution. The law speaks in terms of a general prohibition, but in fact essentially targets the wearing of the headscarf by young Muslims, a practice that had been permitted in French schools since late 1989. The present article attempts to explain the particular conditions within which the problem arose in France and to render an account of the work of the Stasi Commission, of which the author was a member. In conclusion, the article offers a critical evaluation of the effects of the law.

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Elizabeth C. Macknight

This article presents two case studies, from Scotland and the Scottish Islands, of communities' engagement with archives and their attitudes toward heritage. The case studies arise out of knowledge transfer between an historian employed in an academic role at a Scottish university and two “third sector“ organizations. By comparing the perspectives of historians, archivists, and community organizations the article shows the different ways in which these separate interest groups perceive the value of archives. It then points to some of the possibilities and challenges of working collaboratively to deepen understanding about the past and to create wider opportunities, now and in the future, for historical interpretation, teaching, learning, and research. In the era of digital technologies, it is recommended that undergraduate students be taught the key concepts of archival theory and practice, while also being encouraged to experience working with original archival documents.

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Joel T. Rosenthal

The Institute of Historical Research (IHR), University of London, was founded in 1921, largely due to the efforts of A. F. Pollard, professor at University College, a major authority on Tudor History and an active entrepreneur in the world of historical scholarship and organization. Thanks to a recent arrangement of the IHR's archives the story of its founding and its first decade of existence can be told with reference to such in-house issues as who taught—and who attended—the early seminars and who attended the first meeting of the Anglo-American Historical Conference. Pollard envisioned a central clearing house for historical research as an integral part of the university whereby ideas could be exchanged, students introduced to the mysteries of historical research, and questions about the nature of historical projects and inquiry could be answered both through personal communication and in the Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research. Those who use the IHR today benefit from a vision that at the time was novel and unorthodox.

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Mapping the Rise of a New Concept

Ruth Hemstad

some sort of organizational structure and access to the public sphere through common networks, publications, periodicals, meetings, and societies was in the making from the late 1830s. The first meeting of Danish and Swedish students was actually on

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William R. Caspary

manifesto of Students for a Democratic Society, which introduced the term “participatory democracy” into general currency ( Students for a Democratic Society 1964 ; Isserman 2001 ; Miller 1994 ). First, the mention of other “sectors of society” is crucial

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Paul Apostolidis, William E. Connolly, Jodi Dean, Jade Schiff, and Romand Coles

effects are catastrophic: constant pain in muscles, tendons, and ligaments; joints that eventually seize up and stop moving; job loss, when the worker’s body gives out and the company has no further use for that individual. The task for each worker-student

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History, Violence, and Steven Pinker

Mark S. Micale and Philip Dwyer

central theme are being organized internationally. Not least significant is a burgeoning interest in the subject among university students, who often serve as excellent barometers of emerging areas of contemporary interest. Master’s theses and doctoral

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Participatory Democracy in Unlikely Places

What Democratic Theorists Can Learn from Democratic Professionals

Selen A. Ercan’s and Albert W. Dzur

democracy in her work. She is facilitating collaborative action teams made up of teachers and students who work together to call attention to institutional deficits in schools through their research. Then they talk about these institutional deficits, these