Past Tense April 21: The Journalist as Historian

Please join us for our last event of the academic year on Thursday, April 21, 7:00pm, in the Huntington Library’s  Overseers’ Room, for:

“The Journalist as Historian”

Miriam Pawel spent twenty-five years working for Newsday and the Los Angeles Times. She was recently an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellow and a John Jacobs Fellow at the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, and in 2009 published The Union of their Dreams: Power, Hope, and Struggle in Cesar Chavez’s Farm Worker Movement (Bloomsbury Press, 2009).

Excerpt from The Union of their Dreams

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Event: Rick Perlstein, April 6, Yale University

Wednesday, April 6, 4 p.m., HGS 119A&B (Yale University)
Backlash: Writing the Psyche of a Divided Nation
Writer Rick Perlstein, author of Before The Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of The Conservative Consensus (2001) and Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America (2008), is now at work on the third volume of his Backlash Trilogy, a history of American conservatism from the Red Scare to Ronald Reagan. On April 6, Rick will join us at Writing History to present the cornerstone chapter of his work-in-progress. This chapter, which will be circulated in advance on the v2, treats the repatriation of American POWs from Vietnam in February and March of 1973 as a case study in the formation of two political cultures whose clashes would define the battlefield to come: a culture of critical reckoning, which questioned the idea of America as God’s chosen nation, and a culture of patriotic reassurance, which spearheaded the rise of Reagan. Join us for a historical exploration of American psycho-politics … the providential self-conception, the mode of moral outrage, and the politics of ignorance.  Refreshments. Co-sponsors: The Graduate Writing Center and the MacDougal Center. 
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Event: Saul Cornell, Yale University, March 24th

Thursday March 24 at 4 p.m. in HGS 217A, Yale University (co-sponsored with YEAH): “Will the Real Founding Fathers Please Stand Up: Or Why Do Historians Dislike Constitutional Originalism So Much?” A talk by and conversation with legal historian Saul Cornell, Paul and Diane Guenther Chair in American History at Fordham University

One of the nation’s leading authorities on early American constitutional thought, Professor Cornell is the author of two prize-winning works in American legal history.  His scholarship has been widely cited by legal scholars, historians, the U.S Supreme Court and several state supreme courts. Professor Cornell has also been a leading advocate of using new media to teach history and has authored a path-breaking new American history text book, Visions of America, which uses visual materials to illustrate the competing visions that have shaped American history.
Following Professor Cornell’s talk, we will open the floor to discussion.  We will give particular attention to the issue of how historians can approach writing for a wider audience, especially when the topic has implications for controversial contemporary policy debates. Refreshments served.
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Event: Marcy Norton, “Writing the Longue Durée,” March 22

Please join us on Tuesday, March 22, 7:00pm, in the Huntington Library’s  Overseers’ Room, for:

“Writing the Longue Durée”

Marcy Norton
Associate Professor, George Washington University,
and
Huntington Fellow

Please join us!
Sacred Gifts-Profane Pleasures selections and Norton-Spain Animals selection

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Event: Talk by Saul Cornell, March 24th, Yale University

YEAH is pleased to announce the following upcoming talk by legal historian Saul Cornell, Paul and Diane Guenther Chair in American History at Fordham University

Thursday March 24 at 4PM in HGS 217A

Will the Real Founding Father’s Please Stand Up: Or Why Do Historians Dislike Constitutional Originalism so Much?

Professor Cornell is the author of two prize-winning works in American legal history. He is one of the nation’s leading authorities on early American constitutional thought.  His work has been widely cited by legal scholars, historians, and has been cited by the U.S Supreme Court and several state supreme courts. Professor Cornell has also been a leading advocate of using new media to teach history and is the author of a new American history text book, Visions of America. This path breaking book uses visual materials to illustrate the competing visions that have shaped American history.
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Event: Writing History with John Demos, Yale, Feb. 24th

The Foreign Mission School
A Writing History Workshop with John Demos
Thursday, Feb. 24, 4.30pm
HGS 217B

Join Writing History and Yale Early American Historians (YEAH) as we discuss a draft-chapter from John Demos’s current book project, a *microhistory* of the Foreign Mission School. This chapter is an account of John’s own experience during a recent visit to Hawaii, to explore the origins of a central character in the story. As such it raises questions of place, authorial presence, author-to-subject connections, and the like.

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Upcoming Schedule for the Past Tense Lectures at the Huntington Library

In collaboration with the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute and the USC-Huntington Institute on California and the West, we are happy to announce the schedule for the Past Tense seminar.

These gatherings focus on the craft of writing history — not the content so much, not the historiography, not whether historians can or should write for a wider audience. (They can, and they should.)

We will pause over pace, consider each comma, wonder if word choice or narrative perspective is the most important element. We will relish the writing process, try to take up new writing challenges, and work to reach new audiences. And we’ll have snacks to accompany inspiring conversations.

Writing the Long Duree
Marcy Norton, GWU and Huntington Fellow
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Journalist as Historian
Miriam Pawel, author of The Union of Their Dreams: Power, Hope, and Struggle in Cesar Chavez’s Farm Worker Movement
Thursday, April 21, 2011

All Past Tense events will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Overseers’ Room at the Huntington Library. If you need a handy way to remember this and all future Past Tense events (and selected Huntington Library lectures), use this Google Calendar.

We hope to see you there, and we will be working to extend the conversations here on the blog, through recaps, previews, and interviews and podcasts where possible.

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