It’s Friday, what else is going on in Social History?

2010 October 1

Links from Ellen:

For Chronicle of Higher Education subscribers, “The Afterlife of an Archive,” a lovely article by Deborah Kaplan on the papers and other materials amassed by her late husband Roy Rosenzweig in the course of his three extremely productive decades as a professional historian. Roy was, of course, a close and cherished colleague of ours, and Deborah’s essay is both tribute to Roy and a thoughtful reflection on the material traces of a scholarly life.

Be sure to check out our colleague Mike O’Malley’s new blog, The Aporetic. I was especially taken with his post “Colored Me,” a fascinating, document-studded piece of Virginia history that covers family history, the eugenics movement, and civil servants run amok.

On a far grimmer note, via MSNBC and Talking Points Memo, Professor Susan Reverby of Wellesley College has uncovered previously hidden evidence that from 1946 to 1948 the U.S. government intentionally infected prisoners and mental patients in Guatemala with syphilis in order to research potential chemical preventative measures against the disease. Reminiscent of the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study, which ran for decades rather than years, this federal public health initiative was equally egregious, since doctors refused to treat the Tuskegee subjects once penicillin became available but never deliberately infected anyone.

Links from Aaron:

A bold re-envisioning of the future of the New York subways also explores how the past has helped define the MTA system that we all use and experience today. Meanwhile, New York City’s past was the topic of a discussion at the Graduate Center last night where historians, developers and activists got together for a panel on Coney Island’s heritage and how it can be used in the its imminent redevelopment. Ephemeral New York re-discovered the Yiddish Hall of Fame (previous blog about it on Now and Then). A conference in honor of Roscoe C. Brown is being held at the Graduate Center this afternoon about the challenges and rewards of teaching disadvantaged students. ASHP is also proud to announce that Mission US has gone live, and you can read more on the main website.

My Pick of the week: Say what you want about Johnny Knoxville’s career but you would be remiss in not taking a look at the Knoxville hosted documentary Detroit Lives. Yes it’s made by a boot company, but its a rather powerful look at how ordinary people of all walks of life are trying to “remake” a city on their own terms that some have called an “apocalyptic wasteland” or worse. It’s a little over the top at times, but I think its just a powerful glimpse of a city where tomorrow’s social history is being made today.

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