Learning Innovation and the Future of Higher Education: Q&A with authors Joshua Kim and Edward Maloney

by eea | Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 12:00 PM

“We wrote this book to open up a conversation about how colleges and universities might evolve their institutions to better align teaching practices with the emerging science of learning.”

That sentence is from our recently published book, Learning Innovation and the Future of Higher Education (Feb. 11, 2020). If you’ve read any of our articles over the past six months, you probably have noticed us referencing the book. You wouldn’t have to look too hard – we’re pretty excited about it and hope, as we say, that it will open up a conversation about the future of higher education.

To get this conversation going, our publisher, Johns Hopkins University Press, has generously provided us with six questions.

Why did you write the book?

To elaborate a bit more on the first sentence of our book, we wrote Learning Innovation and the Future of Higher Education for three big reasons. Our first motivation was to mark what we are calling a turn to learning in higher education . We looked around at our own work at Georgetown and Dartmouth – and what we have...Read More

Project Paperclip Was Stranger Than Fiction

by eea | Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 4:00 PM

I could not be happier with the critical reception of Our Germans: Project Paperclip and the National Security State since its release in early 2018. Reviews in the Journal of American History , American Historical Review , Intelligence and National Security , and Isis: A Journal of the History of Science Society praise the book’s integration of new research, measured analysis and argumentation, and accessible style. What struck me these past few years doing interviews and speaking to audiences about Our Germans is just how much our perception of Paperclip is shaped by its representation in popular culture. Moreover, Paperclip enjoys a prominent place among conspiracy theorists (several of whom contact me on a regular basis) who see the controversial intelligence program as either part of a secret alien agenda or the foundation of a neo-Nazi Fourth Reich hiding in the shadows. On the one hand, I certainly understand why the complex operation responsible for bringing over approximately 1,500 German and Austrian scientists, engineers, and technicians to the US for “long term exploitation” is fertile ground for popular culture. On the other hand, as I demonstrate in Our...Read More

To form “a more-perfect-though-never-actually-perfect union”: An interview with historian Jane Kamensky

by may | Friday, February 14, 2020 - 9:54 AM

The Athenaeum Portrait of George Washington

The September 2019 issue of Reviews in American History introduced readers to a new and unique feature. Although RAH is a book review journal, “Process Stories” presents essays that do not review a specific title, but instead look more personally and concretely at how historiography shapes the way scholars teach, theorize, write, and/or serve. The first “Process Story” is Jane Kamensky’s Two Cheers for the Nation: An American Revolution for the Revolting United States . We took some time with Harvard Professor Kamensky to find out more about her work as a historian, and her essay - a thoughtful reflection on her challenges as an educator to teach our nation’s complex history critically while keeping students energized and civically engaged.

How did your essay become the first Process Story ?

I've been really impressed with what Ari Kelman and his board are doing with RAH , so I reached out to him with a draft of "Two Cheers," which started as a talk for a workshop in Melbourne in late 2018. The talk was an odd genre: part historiography, part pedagogy,...Read More

Discover Plant Communities of the Adirondacks

by eea | Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 4:00 PM

After walking through woods and wetlands many times one notices that certain wildflower species occur together, and with particular species of trees, shrubs, and other plant species within a region. This unique assemblage of rather predictable plant species is known as a plant community. A plant community can be either natural (like mixed hardwood or spruce-fir forests) or anthropogenic (“man-derived”; like old fields, ditches, wastelands) in origin. Wildflower guides usually include a few words about the community in which each species occurs but they do not adequately define nor emphasize the importance of that community, nor list all of the species that are expected together there. And most wildflower guides highlight the species that occur in natural upland areas, excluding wetlands and anthropogenic communities. Yet many of the wildflowers of open wetlands and old fields are among our most important insect-pollinated plants, and without them, pollinating insects would suffer. Wildflowers of the Adirondacks begins by describing over twenty plant communities in the Adirondacks and the wildflower species expected in each. So besides better understanding the many wildflower species in the Adirondacks, we hope readers will gain an appreciation for the natural assemblages of these species and...Read More

It's About the Regions

by eea | Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 3:30 PM

Writing a book that is designed to be both a textbook and a reference volume requires a strong bridge between the two objectives. For Across This Land the bridge is regional geography, which is basically an orderly way of keeping track of things geographically. In writing history, the ordering is chronological, with geography in second place among the subheadings. When the purpose is geographical—as here, to cover the broad expanse of the United States and Canada in a single volume—history still determines the ordering even though eons of geologic time and the events of human history both must be accommodated.

For these reasons and more, the book begins with Newfoundland. It is where the sun rises, where the Vikings made landfall, and where the Appalachians first emerged. Newfoundland has these claims to priority, and it was an easy choice to be the first chapter in Across This Land . But Newfoundland is only vaguely known to most people, which makes it seem like an odd place to start. A friend who read the first few chapters when I began writing the book asked, "are all of the chapters going to have so...Read More