George Derek Musgrove, History, in the New York Times

On October 30, the New York Times published an article about the Washington, D.C. mayoral election and how changing demographics in the District could affect the race. The article notes that a surge of roughly 80,000 new voters in the District in recent years could make the election outcome less certain than many expect.

Derek Musgrove

George Derek Musgrove ’97, history, associate professor of history, was interviewed for the article. The excerpt from the story can be found below:

“This race has a fascinating set of circumstances,” said George Derek Musgrove, a historian at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, who is writing a book on race and democracy in the District of Columbia.

Chief among them, Professor Musgrove said, is the shrinking black population in this city of about 650,000 people. It declined 11 percent from 2001 to 2011, while the white population increased by 31 percent, and the Asian population increased, too.

“No one knows how many new residents will vote, or in what numbers,” Professor Musgrove said.

Further, he said, residents, particularly the poor, have looked at the record of the past three administrations on the key issues of education and affordable housing and seen little progress. “Folks don’t quite know if Muriel Bowser can deal with those two problems, so there is a critical mass of people who are willing to try something new.”

To read the complete article, click here.

Kate Brown, History, Wins the American Historical Association’s 2014 Albert J. Beveridge Award

History Professor Kate Brown has been selected as the winner of the American Historical Association’s 2014 Albert J. Beveridge Award for her book Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (Oxford University Press, 2013). The recognition marks the sixth award Brown has received for Plutopia. The annual Albert J. Beveridge Award honors a distinguished book in English on the history of the United States, Latin America, or Canada, from 1492 to the present.

plutopia

In a press release from the American Historical Association announcing the award, David Hollinger, the 2014 Beveridge Award Committee chair, commented that “[Brown’s book] counters dominant understandings of the Cold War couched in terms of divergent or separate paths. Deeply and multilingually researched in difficult conditions requiring perseverance in the face of official secrecy, courage in the face of personal exposure, and empathy in the presence of suffering, Plutopia adds to recent scholarship that emphasizes the costs of the Cold War in the places where it turned hot.”

The Albert J. Beveridge Award was initially established on a biennial basis in 1939, in honor of US Senator Albert J. Beveridge (Indiana, 1899-1911), a longtime member of the Association and an active supporter of history as both a lawyer and a senator. It has been awarded annually since 1945. The prize will be presented at the American Historical Association’s 129th Annual Meeting in New York City, January 2-5, 2015.

Brown’s new book, Disptaches from Dystopia: History of Places Not Yet Forgotten, will be published by University of Chicago Press in March 2015. For more information, click here.

For information on Brown’s prior awards, click below:
1.) Heldt Prize in the category of Best Book in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Studies from the Association for Women in Slavic Studies
2.) Western History Association’s Robert G. Athearn Prize
3.) Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians
4.) American Society for Environmental History George Perkins Marsh Prize
5.) Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize sponsored by the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies and the Center for Russian and East European Studies of Stanford University

George Derek Musgrove, History, in the Washington Post

Derek MusgroveAn article published October 18 in the Washington Post analyzed the Washington, D.C. mayoral election and the state of the race leading up to Election Day on November 4. Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) is running against council member David Catania (I-At Large) and early voting is underway.

George Derek Musgrove ’97, history, associate professor of history, is writing a book about race and democracy in the District and was interviewed for the article.

“There is not a great deal of policy difference between them,” said Musgrove when describing the two mayoral candidates. “They are, quite frankly, running on style,” Musgrove said. “Bowser is trying to portray Catania as a hothead, and Catania is trying to portray Bowser as a lightweight.”

To read the full article titled, “D.C. mayoral choice: Muriel Bowser’s caution or David Catania’s combativeness?” click here.

Scott Casper, CAHSS Dean, in Talking Points Memo

On October 9, Talking Points Memo (TPM) published a story analyzing the recent controversial College Board decision to release a revised framework on the way AP U.S. history is taught. Since the decision was released two years ago, it has drawn backlash from many who call the new framework unpatriotic and revisionist.

Scott Casper

Scott Casper, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of History, was quoted extensively in the story and commented on recent shifts in American history education. Casper, who edits the “Textbooks and Teaching” section of the Journal of American History, said the debate isn’t exactly new. He said the new framework reflects a shift in teaching history in that more colleges and high schools are emphasizing “historical thinking skills.” He also noted there’s been a shift in topics covered, including incorporating the stories of women, African-Americans and immigrants to a greater extent.

Commenting on the concept of revisionist history, Casper said: “Those who criticize the teaching of what they call revisionist history are certainly part of a long tradition because every time we learn more about the past, we are revising our understanding of the past,” he said. “So in a sense, history is always revisionist.”

To read the full article, click here.

George Derek Musgrove, History, on WAMU’s Metro Connection

On Friday, September 26, WAMU, the NPR affiliate in Washington, D.C., aired a discussion on the history of gentrification and political representation in the nation’s capital. The segment ran on Metro Connection, a weekly news magazine program.

Derek Musgrove

George Derek Musgrove ’97, history, associate professor of history, was interviewed for the story and provided historical context and analysis of gentrification in Washington. Musgrove discussed “The Plan,” a concept that newspaper columnist Lillian Wiggins wrote about in the 1970s and believed would transform the city.

“She believed that whites in D.C. had a plan to come back and take over the city — both its real estate, its physical space, and its politics,” Musgrove said during the segment. He added that it’s important to look more deeply at what Wiggins was describing given the demographics of the city at the time: “I think there were a number of things that caused people to look at The Plan as a viable explanation for what was happening around them,” he said. A major factor, he explained, was “our lack of statehood, and Congress’s ability to meddle in the city’s affairs.”

In a separate segment, Musgrove noted that, “D.C. has had a post-industrial economy for its entire history.” He identified four waves of gentrification in D.C., each lining up with expansion of the federal government. In the 1970s and 80s, there was a burst of development in what had become very poor inner city neighborhoods.

“The rate of displacement in places like Adams Morgan, Logan Circle, Columbia Heights, was astonishing. I mean absolutely astonishing. Developers would buy up in certain cases whole streets, and send out notices: ‘Please get out in the next month, we’re going to be fixing these places up.’ And renters, by the year 1978 just revolted.”

To listen to the full segments, click below:
Is Gentrification in D.C. Going According to “The Plan?”
Why Did African Americans Leave Georgetown?

Anne Sarah Rubin, History, in the Washington Post

Through the Heart of DixieAn article published September 13 in the Washington Post examines the legacy of Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea during the Civil War. Anne Sarah Rubin, an associate professor of history, was interviewed for the article and provided insight on Sherman’s strategy.

“It’s very much about saying, ‘Here’s the power of the Union army,’ ” said Rubin. Sherman’s purpose, she said, was to convey to the South that “you cannot stop us. You cannot resist us. You just need to give up.” She also commented on Sherman’s background, saying he was “a far cry from any kind of abolitionist.” To read the full article, click here.

Rubin is author of, Through the Heart of Dixie: Sherman’s March and American Memory (UNC Press 2014). In the book, Rubin analyzes stories and myths about Sherman’s March as a lens for examining how Americans’ ways of thinking about the Civil War have changed over time. For more information, click here.

Kate Brown, History, Wins Heldt Prize and Western History Association’s Robert G. Athearn Prize

History Professor Kate Brown has won two additional awards for her book, Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (Oxford University Press 2013).

Kate Brown

Brown has been awarded the Heldt Prize in the category of Best Book in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Studies from the Association for Women in Slavic Studies. More information about the award, including prior winners, can be found here. Brown won the same prize for her first book, A Biography of No Place: From Ethnic Borderland to Soviet Heartland (Harvard 2004). The prize will be awarded in November.

In addition, Brown is the 2014 recipient of the Western History Association’s Robert G. Athearn Prize for her book Plutopia. This award is given biennially for the best published book on the twentieth century American West. On October 16, Brown is presenting the Robert. G Athearn Lecture at the University of Colorado, Boulder. More information can be found here.

Earlier this year, Brown was awarded the 2014 Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians (OAH) for the best book-length historical study of the political economy, politics, or institutions of the United States, in its domestic or international affairs, from the Civil War to the present. She also received the American Society for Environmental History’s George Perkins Marsh Prize for the best book in environmental history.