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News in American History

In Memoriam: Anna Kasten Nelson

Distinguished Historian-in-Residence at American University, died at her home in Washington DC, on September 27, 2012. Anna K. Nelson taught courses related to the history of American Foreign Relations from 1783 to the present. She wrote her dissertation and published on the diplomacy of the 19th century before moving her research into the post World War II period. In addition to her teaching and research, she has testified before Congress and written in support of Freedom of Information Act and access to documents in the National Archives. She was a member of the Department of State Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation and received a presidential appointment to the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Paul Nelson, and is survived by her sister Reba Kasten Nosoff, her two sons, Eric (Sarah) and Michael; and her three grandchildren Faith, Marc, and Jeffrey Nelson.

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Posted: October 11, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


In Memoriam: Henry F. May

Henry May, one of his generation’s most distinguished historians, died Saturday, September 29, at the age of 97. May was Margaret Bryne Professor of American History Emeritus at the University of California Berkeley, where he had taught from 1952 until his retirement in 1980.

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Posted: October 11, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


In Memoriam: James Lorence

James Lorence, died in June 2012. For 35 years he had taught at the University of Wisconsin Marathon County. Lorence joined the OAH in 1964.

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Posted: August 21, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


In Memoriam: Lee Benson

Dr. Lee Benson, professor emeritus of history and a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania's Netter Center for Community Partnerships, died on February 10, 2012. He was 90 years of age. Dr. Benson, a 45-year member of the OAH, graduated from Brooklyn College in 1947. He received his MA from Columbia University in 1948 and his PhD from Cornell University in 1952.

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Posted: June 12, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


In Memoriam: Thomas J. Pressly

Longtime OAH member Thomas J. Pressly died at age 93 on April 3, 2012.

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Posted: June 1, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


Action Items of the OAH Executive Board, Spring 2012

The OAH Executive Board took action on its April agenda items, including approving the organization's budget for fiscal year 2013, establishing new travel grants and a new book prize in labor history, as well as approving appointments to the OAH Magazine of History Editorial Board and forming a new committee on disability and disability history.

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Posted: May 21, 2012
Tagged: News of the Organization


In Memoriam: Betty Miller Unterberger

OAH notes with sadness the passing of longtime member Betty Miller Unterberger. A native of Scotland, she began her college career at Syracuse University, earned her Master's degree at Radcliffe College (now Harvard), and completed her PhD at Duke University. A pioneer in her own right, Unterberger was Texas A&M's first female professor, and was the first woman president of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR). Read more about her life in a profile OAH printed in August 2005 in the OAH Newsletter.

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Posted: May 17, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


In Memoriam: Naomi Wulf, 1964-2012

Naomi Wulf’s many American friends were deeply saddened to learn of her death on April 17, 2012, after her courageous, decade-long struggle with cancer. Naomi was a key figure in the American Studies community in France and throughout Europe. Born in 1964 of mixed Franco-American parentage, Naomi promoted a broader and deeper understanding of her two countries through her scholarship and her warm personal connections with fellow scholars.

Naomi completed her PhD. under the mentorship of the distinguished Americanist Elise Marienstras at Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7 and first taught at Paris-12, now the Université Paris-Est Créteil; in 2007, she was named professor of American History at the Universit? Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3. At the time of her death Naomi was revising her prize-winning doctoral dissertation for publication as a book, “Democracy in America”: Orestes Brownson, American Critic of Jacksonian America. Naomi was convinced that this brilliant and eccentric preacher, social reformer and Catholic convert offered an illuminating counterpoint to Alexis de Tocqueville’s famous contemporaneous account of the new nation’s political culture in his classic Democracy in America. Naomi worked on her project for many years, exploring Brownson’s Jeffersonian roots as a fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies (Monticello) in the Fall of 2010.

Naomi had a genius for collaboration and conference-organizing. Co-author of two monographs with her mentor Elise Marienstras, Naomi also edited volumes of conference proceedings and special issues of journals with Marienstras, Marie-Jeanne Rossignol, and Nathalie Caron. With Caron, her dear friend and now professor at Paris-Est Créteil, Naomi published “Les Lumières américaines: continuitiés et renouveau” in the on-line journal Transatlantica in 2009. This important essay was awarded the David Thelen Prize for the best foreign-language article on American history at the April meeting of the Organization of American Historians in Milwaukee and will be appear in English translation in The Journal of American History in 2013.

Naomi Wulf will be sorely missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing her.

Peter Onuf, University of Virginia
Nathalie Caron, Paris-Est Créteil

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Posted: May 7, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


In Memoriam: Paul S. Boyer 1935-2012

The OAH notes with sadness the passing of Paul S. Boyer, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, and fifty-year member of the OAH. http://www.cressfuneralservice.com/obituary/89729/Paul-Boyer/

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Posted: March 23, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


Imperiled Promise: The State of History in the National Park Service

The OAH is pleased to announce the availability of Imperiled Promise: The State of History in the National Park Service, a new report examining the practice and presentation of American history in the National Park Service and at its sites.

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Posted: February 21, 2012
Tagged: News of the Organization


Professional Organizations and Political Engagements

The Organization of American Historians recently conducted an “interchange” conversation among current and past leaders of the organization. The discussion focuses on the complex relationship between the duties, professional obligations, and avowed mission of a learned society and the personal or political ideologies of the individual members it represents. Ed Linenthal, editor of the Journal of American History, facilitated the lively online discussion.

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Posted: February 9, 2012
Tagged: News of the Organization


2012 OAH Annual Business Meeting

The OAH Business Meeting will be held immediately preceding the OAH Awards Ceremony and Presidential Address, Saturday April 21 at 3:30 p.m. All OAH members are encouraged to attend and participate in the governance of the organization. Proposals for action by the OAH shall be made in the form of ordinary motions or resolutions. As outlined in Article VIII, Section 3 of the OAH Constitution and Bylaws (http://www.oah.org/about/constitution.html), all such motions or resolutions must be submitted at least thirty days prior to the meeting (or March 22, 2012) to the OAH Executive Director Katherine M. Finley and the OAH Parliamentarian Jonathan Lurie. Proposals should be sent to the OAH, 112 North Bryan Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47408.

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Posted: January 12, 2012
Tagged: News of the Organization


Actions of the OAH Executive Board

The OAH Executive Board took action on several of its November agenda items, including hearing reports from the task forces assigned to examine the annual meeting and membership, reviewing a proposed plagiarism policy, discussing disability issues, and approving appointments of individuals to OAH service and award committees.

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Posted: December 19, 2011
Tagged: News of the Organization


The OAH recognized by the Indiana Society of Association Executives

The Indiana Association of Association Executives held its annual Star Awards banquet on December 8. The Organization of American Historians received first-place awards in two association categories: the OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program was recognized as the best non-dues revenue program, and our new membership newsletter, OAH Outlook, was recognized as the best association newsletter or bulletin.

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Posted: December 19, 2011
Tagged: News of the Organization


OAH Mourns the Passing of David Montgomery

The Organization of American Historians notes with sadness the passing of OAH Past President David Montgomery, Farnam Professor of History emeritus at Yale University, on December 2, 2011. Montgomery was 84 years of age.

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Posted: December 18, 2011
Tagged: News of the Organization


In Memoriam: John Morton Blum, 1921-2011

John Morton Blum, Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University, died at his home in North Branford, Connecticut on October 17, 2011 at the age of ninety. A preeminent scholar of American politics and culture during the second half of the twentieth century, Blum was born on April 29, 1921 in New York City. A Yankee fan from his early youth, Blum followed the Bronx Bombers, the NFL Giants, and Yale football with equal gusto. He was educated at Andover and at Harvard, from which he received his Ph.D in 1950. He was a co-editor of the Letters of Theodore Roosevelt (1951—1954). Blum taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1949 to 1957 and at Yale from 1957 to 1991. Among his thirteen books, The Republican Roosevelt (1954) and V was for Victory (1976) had the widest influence, but his three—volume work From the Morgenthau Diaries (1959—1967) displayed the extensive range of his talents. His memoir A Life with History (2004) traced the many accomplishments of his career as author, scholar, and administrator in lucid and revealing prose. He was a gifted undergraduate lecturer whose recreation of Theodore Roosevelt at Kettle Hill became a classic experience for his student listeners. He was also a superb mentor to his many graduate students and friends within the historical profession. A memorial service at Yale University on November 11, 2011 brought more than 500 people together to honor his rich life, his vibrant personality, and his outstanding scholarly accomplishments. He lineis survived by Pamela Z. Blum (pzb23@comcast.net) of 88 Notch Hill Road, #176, North Branford, CT, 06471, their three children and three grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the John Morton Blum Fellowship in American History at Yale University or to the scholarship fund of your choice at any university.

Lewis L. Gould

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Posted: December 15, 2011
Tagged: In Memoriam


In Memoriam: David Montgomery 1927-2011

The Organization of American Historians notes with sadness the passing of OAH Past President David Montgomery, Farnam Professor of History emeritus at Yale University, on December 2, 2011. Montgomery was 84 years of age.

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Posted: December 6, 2011
Tagged: In Memoriam


The OAH Joins in Support of House Resolution 3071

The Organization of American Historians has joined the National Coalition for History in supporting House Resolution 3071, which amends the Presidential Records Act to establish procedures for the consideration of claims of constitutionally based privilege against disclosure of presidential records. The OAH supports the proposed legislation which significantly reduces the possibilities of closing presidential records while keeping them as accessible as possible.

More information is available at: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h112-3071

Posted: November 8, 2011
Tagged: News of the Organization


The OAH Executive Board Issues Statement on Institutional Review Boards

In its letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, the executive board of the Organization of American Historians (OAH) unanimously agrees that the work of historians, especially oral historians, should be exempt from the purview of institutional review boards (IRBs).

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Posted: October 28, 2011
Tagged: News of the Organization


In Memoriam: William S. Hanable, 1938-2011

Posted: October 4, 2011
Tagged: In Memoriam