Category Archives: Current events

Historians of the World, Adapt?

Professors Jo Guldi and┬áDavid Armitage threw down the scholarly gauntlet six months ago when they published their bold appeal to rescue History from the “bonfire of the humanities.” The History Manifesto claims that the discipline’s descent into public irrelevance has resulted from current historical scholarship’s lack of long-term thinking. Citing statistics that show a precipitous […]

Occupy Hong Kong?

For the past couple of days, tens of thousands of Hong Kong citizens have taken to the streets to protest recent decisions by the central Chinese government to limit voting reforms in the city and to allow only communist-vetted candidates stand for the city’s upcoming municipal elections. Several dozen protestors have suffered injuries in clashes […]

Not a Coup: A Revolution

Yesterday the Ukrainian Parliament voted to oust President Viktor F. Yanukovych, and shortly afterward the people of Kiev stormed the presidential palace, forcing Yanukovych to flee the capital. He refuses to step down and rejects the Parliament’s decision to hold new elections at the end of May, despite the fact that it is acting within […]

Brooks’ “Practical University”

In his latest New York Times editorial, David Brooks encourages online education companies to impart not only technical knowledge but also what he calls “practical knowledge.” The “practical [online] university” of the future, he claims, should not only teach students what to do, i.e. technical skills, but also how to apply those skills in a […]

Minecraft! Reflections by Two Scholars Who Should Know Better

When the full version of Minecraft, a computer game by Mojang, turned one year old last month, we thought that it would be fun to share our experiences of and reflections on this thing that’s been haunting our dreams. We should begin by admitting that we’ve only tried single-player mode; entering into a war of […]

The Austere Option

Matt Taibbi, blogging for Rolling Stone, recently posted a thoughtful critique of European and American calls for “austerity” in response to the global economic crisis. His basic point is that the burden of proposed austerity measures — cuts to welfare, public services, and government spending in general — falls disproportionately on the shoulders of the […]

ChronoZoom: Do Technology and the Natural Sciences Make History Easier?

Scholars of history and of the humanities in general take umbrage when scientists lay claim to what they think of as their own territory. ChronoZoom, a project conceived of by a former student at UC Berkeley, Roland Saekow, is the latest attempt by scientists to fit human history inside the natural history of the earth […]