Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Humanities Grads and Careers

Inside Higher Ed, in Shocker:  Humanities Grads Gainfully Employed and Happy, reports on a new study. 

Although humanities majors are often depicted as being on the fast-track to a career as a barista, according to the story a "a study being released today by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences -- based on data from the U.S. Census and other government sources, plus Gallup polling of workers nationwide -- challenges the myth of the underemployed, unhappy humanities graduate.

The report doesn't contest that those who majored in engineering or natural sciences earn more, on average, than do humanities graduates do. But it shows humanities grads to be gainfully employed and holding positions of authority, and finds that only a slightly smaller share of them than of their better-paid counterparts think they have enough money. When it comes to measures of career satisfaction, humanities grads are as satisfied as those who majored in STEM."

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Chautauqua Scholars Program

This prestigious scholarship will be awarded to select students who indicate a rationale for a desired week of study at Chautauqua Institution in the summer of 2018.
St. Bonaventure University and Chautauqua Institution engage in hands-on instruction and civil dialogue that lead toward a deeper understanding of the world around us and the dynamic and complex relationships that cause conflict, but that also lead us forward as a society.  The Chautauqua Scholars program will create an intersection between these institutions, leading to deeper insight to not only understand the civic role we play, but to become leaders and designers, aiming at a better and more inclusive American experience for all.  This program will put students in contact with the nation and the world’s leading experts in their interested fields of study.  By choosing the week to attend, students will immerse themselves in the topic of their choice, thereby playing a role in curating a transformational educational experience.

The program scholarships will include:
Cost of week-long programming at Chautauqua (gate pass)
Housing for the week
Master classes and programming with keynote speakers

Application Procedure:
Student must provide: academic standing, and a letter of nomination from a faculty member who will serve as an off-site mentor during their study at CI (stipend provided).  A two-page summary of the student’s interest in the topic and content will also be considered.

The student will receive one credit of internship or independent study.  Depending on the week chosen and work agreed upon, it may be possible to complete the “W” or “D” designations for their General Education requirements.  Students and faculty mentors will be responsible for satisfying designation requirements for the week at Chautauqua if proposed.  Honors students, with the support of their Honors advisor and the Honors Program director, may utilize the week at CI to complete their required “Honors Experience” or could use the time to develop their Honors project necessary for their Honors degree.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Native American History Course Fall 2018

On a frigid day in December of 1890, Sitting Bull, the famous Sioux chief and warrior, was murdered outside his home on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota during a failed attempt to arrest him. The culprits, Sioux policemen employed by U.S. Indian Bureau agents, then mutilated his body and executed his fourteen-year-old son in cold blood. The order to arrest Sitting Bull came from an Indian Bureau agent named James McLaughlin. McLaughlin falsely believed the Sioux chief instigated and led a nonviolent but anti-white movement called the Ghost Dance but others within the bureau ridiculed McLaughlin's paranoia. Distrust and fear created the conditions for Sitting Bull’s murder – fear of the culturally mysterious Ghost Dance and distrust of Sitting Bull, the man who helped defeat General George Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876 and evaded capture by the U.S. Calvary for five years after. This same distrust and fear led to the massacre of roughly 146 Lakota Sioux, mostly unarmed men, women, and children, at Wounded Knee two weeks after Sitting Bull’s murder. The massacre at Wounded Knee marked the end of the Indian Wars, the culmination of almost three hundred years of conflict on the North American continent. Why? Why did Sitting Bull and many of his people at Wounded Knee meet such a horrible end in 1890? How did the relationship between Europeans/Americans and various Native American tribes deteriorate over time and result in violence? Could other paths have been taken?

These are some questions we will seek to answer when I teach Native American History this Fall 2018 semester. We will explore why interactions between Europeans/Americans and Native Americans often ended in violence, even though people on both sides often tried to navigate a middle ground. The course will begin with an examination of pre-contact Native American societies in North America and conclude with an analysis of present-day issues facing Native American tribes in the United States. We will cover topics ranging from cultural exchange, nonviolent interactions, and trade to disease, warfare, atrocities, and environmental degradation. The course will pay particular attention to the history of the Iroquois Nation and the Seneca Tribe to take full advantage of local resources like the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum in Salamanca. In the process, we will also analyze the historical relationship between the Seneca Tribe and St. Bonaventure University.    

Bibliography and Some other Incredible (not too academic) Books on Native American History:

Brown, Dee, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West (New York: Henry Hold and Co., 1970)
Cozzens, Peter, The Earth is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016)
Lipman, Andrew, The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015)
Merrell, James H., Into the American Woods:  Negotiators on the Pennsylvania Frontier (New York, 1999)
Richter, Daniel K., Ordeal of the Longhouse: The Peoples of the Iroquois League in the Era of European Colonization (Chapel Hill: Omohundro Institute and University of North Carolina Press, 1992)
Richter, Daniel K., Facing East from Indian Country:  A Native History of Early America (Cambridge, Mass., 2001)
Usner, Daniel H. Jr., Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in a Frontier Exchange Economy:  The Lower Mississippi Valley Before 1783 (Chapel Hill, 1992)
White, Richard, The Middle Ground:  Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815 (New York, 1991)

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Pirates and Samari

We've got a couple of ongoing and new initiatives in the department.  This spring Chris Dalton is teaching Way of the Warrior that explores the place of warriors in China and Japan.  Steve Pitt exploring piracy in a special topics course.  Over in the Digital History course, students are looking at how mobile technology and apps are changing the practice of history. 

We're planning the fall schedule.  Among other courses, we will be offering courses on World War II, Native American history, and Sports in American Society.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Carter Bunce's Project on Prohibition

Carter Bunce made a fine web page about Prohibition for History 407:  Twentieth Century United States History.  Check it out.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Digital History and Jobs Skills

Worried about Robots Taking Your Job?  Learn Spreadsheets” in Wired is about a Brookings Institution study looking at the increasing importance of digital skills in the workplace from 2002 to 2016.  To summarize, the movement to have everyone learn to code is sexy but folks need to understand and use basid digital tools such as Microsoft Office and other software in a modern workplace.  Students who took Digital History and Archival Practices have been hearing this song for years.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

THATCamp location

The THATCamp is meeting in Murphy 104.

If we need them for breakout sessions, we also have Murphy 106 and 102 reserved.