AAUP Announces Winner of 2013 Sternberg Award
Dr. Janet Golden is the winner of the American Association of University Professors’ annual Marilyn Sternberg Award
Posted April 30, 2013 at http://www.aaup.org/news/aaup-announces-winner-2013-sternberg-award
This year’s Sternberg Award committee is pleased to announce Janet Golden of Rutgers University, Camden as the winner of the 2013 Marilyn Sternberg Award. The committee was especially impressed by Janet’s work on the campaign to “Save Rutgers Camden.” Her leadership and activism have been exemplary. Please join us in recognizing Janet at the AAUP-CBC’s Annual Meeting this June. Patrick Nowlan, Executive Director of the Rutgers Council of AAUP Chapters, writes the following tribute to her work:
On February 14, 2012, AAUP President Cary Nelson released a statement titled “It’s Not Much Fun to Lose Your Name.” He was of course referring to the infamous plan cooked up by politicians and political insiders to sever an entire campus from Rutgers University and award it to Rowan. But no one had expected that the campus—Rutgers-Camden—would fight back.
Janet Golden is a Professor of History at Rutgers-Camden and thought she had seen it all. But instead of shock, she and her colleagues jumped into action. She deftly coordinated a campaign that included faculty, students, staff, alumni, administrators, governing boards and community. The only campaign that could have won given the political odds.
The campaign turned editorial and public opinion against the takeover. It stiffened political will in a democratic party that was fractured. It unified a three-campus university to speak with one voice in support of Rutgers-Camden.
That faculty activism that we all long for in our toughest battles came together in a seemingly effortless manner. But the effort was real and Janet coordinated it all. The law school faculty did the legal research on the merger/takeover. The Business school faculty did the financial research and helped with the media strategy that drew from History, English, Business and Law.
Janet coordinated the local activism and kept the union fully informed as a member of its Executive Council. She drew on union resources when needed for legal and financial research as well as media strategy and direct negotiations with the Legislature.
A critical contribution was her regular communication with her campus administrators and with the university governing boards. Her relationships bound the entire campaign together and has strengthened our local union in an unimaginable way. Her success is shared by all and is the inspiration for all of our future work.
Dr. Wayne Glasker is honored by the NAACP’s Camden County East Chapter
From Rutgers-Camden News Now: Wayne Glasker, an associate professor of history at Rutgers–Camden, was honored with a Visionary Leader Award from the Camden County East chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) at the chapter’s Freedom Fund Awards ceremony held on April 20.
The award was accompanied by a joint legislative commendation from New Jersey’s Fifth Legislative District, as well as a proclamation from Freeholder Louis Cappelli Jr. and the Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Freedom Fund Awards are bestowed to individuals who have made a positive impact in their community by taking a stand and supporting equality, righteousness and a sense of community. Glasker was recognized for excellence in teaching and leadership in education.
“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by the NAACP,” says Glasker, adding that he was nominated by former Rutgers–Camden students who are today leaders in their respective fields.
A member of the history department at Rutgers–Camden since 1991, Glasker served as the director of the African American Studies Program from 1998 to 2011. His scholarship focuses on African American and 20th century U.S. history, specializing in the subjects of slavery, the Harlem Renaissance, race and ethnicity, and the civil rights movement. He currently teaches a graduate colloquium.
A prolific writer, Glasker is the author of Black Students in the Ivory Tower: African American Student Activism at the University of Pennsylvania, 1967-1990. He is also a contributor to The Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance, and a frequent reviewer for Choice Magazine. He is currently working on a new book about Malcolm X and James Baldwin, and their impact on the civil rights movement.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Glasker currently resides in Lansdowne, Pa. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a dual bachelor’s degree in history and sociology in 1980 and a Ph.D. in American studies in 1995.
Dr. Janet Golden’s latest book is the subject of this article by Nicholas Day in Slate (April 17, 2013).
“The First Baby Blogs, Over 100 Years Ago”
Illustration by Robert Neubecker
In 1914, a baby named Charlie Flood was born, and if you do not know his name, it is not because his infancy was uneventful: It is reported that, at the very least, some quicklime burned his face and a buttonhook snagged on his tongue.
How do we know these things a century later? From his baby blog. Wait—I mean, his baby book. A new accoutrement of parenthood, coming into existence just a few decades before Charlie Flood himself, baby books were where mothers—and they were almost always mothers—recorded the mundane, wondrous details of infancy. These books didn’t just prefigure the modern baby mania of the Internet, they also marked a significant moment: For likely the first time in history, it became common for a whole population to write down their random thoughts about their babies. The baby books, like baby blogs today, were a new genre that encouraged parents to pay more attention to every tiny detail of infancy.
“They are really early baby blogs,” says Janet Golden, a historian at Rutgers-Camden, who read the baby book of Charlie Flood and those of countless other babies in her research on the history of babies in modern America. Sometimes fancy bound volumes, often cheap, thin-papered pamphlets, baby books went mass market in America beginning in the 1910s, and only became more popular over the succeeding decades.
It’s not as if no one had taken notes on a baby before, of course. Some scientifically-minded parents (mostly fathers this time, including Darwin) kept detailed accounts. And the child study movement encouraged mothers, for the sake of scientific progress, to bloodlessly record every nervous twitch and bowel movement. But the parents who kept baby books were not doing research or refining the science of child care. They simply wanted to remember these wondrous beings in their midst.
Why did baby books appear around the turn of the 20th century? Well, partly because parents could finally count on their babies surviving. Sanitation improved, medicine got a (small) clue, and infant mortality rates dipped sharply. Not long before, many parents had set aside money in case they needed a postmortem baby picture. Now parents were taking photos of their very much alive babies with Kodak Brownie cameras. “It’s a sign that, yes, they expect the baby to live,” Golden says. And so expectations shifted. “People become very concerned with education and the future,” Golden says. Incredibly, there are advertisements about saving for college as early as the 1920s.
These advertisements are the other reason for the appearance of baby books. The books began as a way for the upper class to record gifts of gold jewelry and silk dresses. But they were quickly down-marketed: Businesses discovered that babies are a wonderful excuse for consumption, and they helpfully padded the pages of baby books with advertisements for all manner of things that that no baby should be without. The buy-baby-buy phenomenon of modern consumer culture is not actually modern. It worked back then, too. The cheap-to-print baby books demonstrate, Golden says, “just how remarkably effective manufacturers, advertisers, insurance companies are in getting their brand names out there. Even poor families give the brand names: the Borden’s milk, the Carnation milk. They go out and buy baby clothes, because they’re ‘hygienic’ and ‘sterilized.’ You really bring people into consumer culture.”
As you see parents learning to parrot the language of expertise, you can observe the origins of how we think about babies today. The earliest baby books were obsessed with metrics: A good mother was supposed to measure and weigh her child constantly. “Baby books have advertisements for renting baby scales,” Golden says. “Or people go into town and borrow the butter scale and put the baby on it.” It was only after World War II that parents paid less attention to raw numbers and more attention to when their children point for the first time. Guided by the advice of Arnold Gesell, and then Spock, they unconsciously began to think in developmental terms, like us.
And they slowly became more safety-conscious, more paranoid. “There are some wonderful accounts in those early baby books of babies having accidents and getting injured, which parents in the pre-war period find very amusing,” Golden says. (See, epically, Charlie Flood.) In the post-war era, those vanished. “I’m not convinced that babies stopped bumped their heads, or falling out of high chairs, but culturally you’ve learned that you don’t record that—that becomes evidence of abuse.” Physical discipline was once so prominent that baby books had headings for “My First Discipline.” In 1908, a mother wrote of her month-old infant: “Baby received some discipline this morning. She refused to go to sleep before breakfast and also refused to be good.” By the post-war period, these entries also vanished.
You can also see the origins of the contemporary germophobic parent in early baby books. Advertisers were happy to inform mothers of the new and improved products to make mothering safer, cleaner, more sanitary. Parents could buy bibs that read, “Don’t Kiss Me.” Kissing, needless to say, spread germs.
Which is not to say that the mothers in these books trembled before the experts. The popular 1930 Book of Baby Mine informed parents that “all young infants are extremely nervous so avoid exciting them, playing with them, or handling them too much.” But many mothers nonetheless wrote about playing with their babies—in direct contradiction to the advice given in the book they were writing in. Their disobedience is heartening. The history of child rearing tends to be written by the experts, but the baby books record the gap between what was prescribed and how mothers actually mothered. They’re not unlike blogs today: They let the writer express her defiance. As Golden says, “People will say, well, they say you shouldn’t spank your child, but I spank my child; they say you shouldn’t co-sleep but I co-sleep. Everyone has this sense that, yes, there’s an orthodoxy but I’m doing something a little different.”
They’re like blogs in another sense, too: They give us a record of the very first child. We know far less about the life of a second child; we know almost nothing about a third or fourth. Any parent today can identify with this problem; any iPhoto archive is evidence of it. As Golden says, “By the time the other ones come along, you just don’t have the energy. Rolling over just isn’t as exciting.”
Dr. Phil Scranton’s guest post, “Writing Reimagining Business History by reimagining writing,” on the Johns Hopkins University Press blog:
When a scholarly book is finished, and before readers and critics decide what it means and what use it might have, an author (or in this case, coauthor) mightwell ask what’s been learned in the process. Academics write to communicate with and influence others, to be sure, but “doing the writing” usually remains an intensely personal and private affair. Whatever my work may deliver, at base I write for an audience of one, me.
Perhaps, though, the preceding sentence should be recast in past tense. Why? Because in writing Reimagining Business History, I learned how to write for and with a colleague and friend. This was new and invigorating. And let me suggest that, when entering your mid-sixties, there’s not a lot that’s new and invigorating (rather than new and disconcerting).
In 2007, Patrick Fridenson and I outlined the forty-plus topics we imagined discussing, but we spent virtually no time devising the process that lay ahead. Like so many other team-built projects, we just sorted our subjects into piles: yours, mine, and ‘later.’ We thought he and I would individually draft some texts to share for revisions. ‘Later’ meant those sections about which we both knew something. These we’d write together – although we worked and lived 4,000 miles (6400 km) apart.
The ‘plan’ was a bit sketchy yet straightforward. We thought we could create some 43 ‘entries’ in two years, perhaps a bit longer. Of course, this was silly. After a shared 80 years doing academic research, we should have known that such planning was futile. Indeed, each of us wound up confronting unexpected challenges and demands in work and life, making forward movement impossible.
Then the penny dropped. About 2009, we realized that we needed to talk with each other in a sustained way, so as to develop the ideas first broached on a park bench in Umbria, as the book’s Preface notes. I had some research and travel funds annually from Rutgers, so we agreed that I would come to Paris periodically for a week or ten days. Patrick would clear his schedule as much as possible and we would explore what we were doing and how best to attempt it.
These one-on-one seminars, mornings and afternoons, day after day, with a fine Parisian lunch in between, provided the most intellectually exciting experiences of our professional lives. In the first two series, we outlined each of the pieces in a very rough fashion, listing key concepts and questions, noting possible secondary works, identifying blank spots where we needed to read and digest new materials. I took voluminous notes and copied them to Patrick.
With these jointly created outlines, writing began to move along, not least because we knew that we each were writing for the other. Patrick’s schedule at EHESS, however, intensified, then the Ecole moved house from Boulevard Raspail to Avenue de France, and finally, his aged aunt, for whom he was the only surviving relative, grew ill and ever more frail. Given this squeeze, we recognized that the only way to complete the entries was to write them jointly, again in Paris.
Thus we convened a second series of face-to-face sessions, this time sitting together in Patrick’s office, writing section after section, before and after our proper lunches (though some featured the Ecole’s cafeteria, not a nearby bistro). This process involved intense and sustained improvisation and speculation, rapid on-line fact-checking, and far more laughter than I recollect from any other scholarly enterprise. In these weeks I learned how to write with a spontaneity I still treasure and which rarely had surfaced in earlier projects.
If memory serves, we undertook three sets of writing boot camp two-a-days, each a week or longer, separated by months in which we reframed drafts, filled in holes, and exchanged notes on sources and questions. In sum, the process by which we got this book to the JHU Press and to readers was more than memorable. Those Paris collaborations remind me of the tension and the joy that practicing for performance brings, and of the rich creativity that arises when gifted composers and lyricists, playwrights and directors, complete something that neither could achieve without the other. Would that there could be more of this in the practice of history.
From the Rutgers University website: our very own women historians
Dr. Kate Epstein
We just got word that Dr. Kate Epstein is the recipient of the Ohio Academy of History‘s 2013 Dissertation Award for her excellent “Inventing the Military-Industrial Complex.” Soon appearing with Harvard University Press (perhaps even soon to be a motion picture), Torpedo will no doubt hit its mark many times over.
Dr. Charlene Mires
From Press of Atlantic City on Sunday, March 17, 2013:
By VINCENT JACKSON, Staff Writer
If officials in the 1940s in Brigantine or Cape May had their way, people would have had to travel to one of their communities to visit the United Nations instead of New York City.
This month, Charlene Mires released a book, “Capital of the World: The Race to Host the United Nations,” through New York University Press.
In Mires’ book, it is revealed that Atlantic City campaigned to have Brigantine be the U.N.’s permanent site and have the city serve as an interim site for the United Nations. Brigantine and Cape May officials made their own separate invitations to have the United Nations built in each of their municipalities.
Mires’ research uncovered there were suggestions, invitations or campaigns from 40 of the then 48 states to host the United Nations.
“In 1945, the United Nations was viewed by most people as being desirable and even essential,” said Mires, an associate professor of history at Rutgers University in Camden. “What you have to consider is the world had just been through a terrible war, which had ended with the atomic bomb, and so, there was a great concern about creating and securing peace and not having that experience repeated, and the United Nations was seen as the vehicle for that.”
Mires, of Philadelphia, made a trip to the Atlantic City Free Public Library to research articles published in The Press in January 1946, which she credits in her book.
People who read her book will learn or be reminded that in December 1945 the executive secretary of the New Jersey Invitation Committee to the United Nations traveled to London to extol the virtues of Atlantic City to a preparatory commission of the United Nations.
One of the more bizarre stories in the book featured the site inspectors touring the city’s famed Boardwalk and residential areas in January 1946 .
“At the behest of their hosts, Stoyan Gavrilovic – the diplomat guiding the search for the Capital of the World – removed his shoes, stood on a chair, and watched while a hotel manager emptied an envelope of local sand into his footwear,” wrote Mires, who added the United Nations headquarters complex was completed in New York City in 1953.
Then Brigantine mayor Paul Burgess promised diplomats could occupy up to two square miles of undeveloped land without disturbing the island’s 500 residents, according to information Mires found in the United Nations Archives in New York and in the now defunct Philadelphia Record newspaper.
“They flew over to London and everything to try to make the deal. They thought they had the deal,” said former Brigantine Mayor John Rogge, 92, who with his father spent years selling the thousands of lots that were going to be used for the United Nations.
Grant Scott, the Cape May commissioner of public safety, promoted “this historic seashore community” for its available land, scenic beauty and reputation as a resort retreat for presidents and other government officials, according to information Mires found in the United Nations Archives.
“I admire the creativity and the inspiration of somebody to try to do that,” said Cape May Mayor Ed Mahaney about Scott’s UN invitation.
From The New York Times on Sunday, March 10, 2013:
In “Capital of the World: The Race to Host the United Nations” (New York University Press, $29.95), Professor Mires recounts the intense competition among 248 localities vying for the honor. Her detailed narrative is surprisingly accessible — even droll. After the Security Council convened at the Bronx campus of Hunter College (now Lehman College), James J. Lyons, the borough president, crowed: “History will record that the Bronx was the first capital of the world.”
Suburban hopes to host the headquarters were not helped when diplomats got lost on their way to the Rockefeller estate near Tarrytown, N.Y. “Looking back,” she writes, “if it all seems a bit crazy, then we have lost touch with the atmosphere of determination, hope and anxiety that characterized American society at the end of the Second World War.”
Dr. Mires has been in the news lately! For the Rutgers University interview, go to http://news.rutgers.edu/medrel/camden/historians-book-reco-20130221 and/or https://www.camden.rutgers.edu/news/historians-book-recounts-race-become-world-capital.
You can also listen to a fabulous interview with Dr. Charlene Mires on Public Radio International (from PRI’s THE WORLD) recorded on February 13, 2013 about her new book.
You can view the transcript of the interview below.
Capital of the World: The Race to Host the United Nations
As the second world war shuddered to a close, the challenge was how to preserve a hard-won peace. A new body, the United Nations, was conceived.
The center of world power had shifted to the United States, so it would meet there.
But where in the US? Before New York got the nod, hundreds of other cities and towns vied for the honor of building a kind of ‘world capital’.
In fact, in the mid-1940s, the plan was anywhere but New York City. The Big Apple was too imposing. Too famous. And besides, putting the UN inside another city felt wrong: how could a new center for global diplomacy distinguish itself in the shadow of the world’s most famous skyline?
So, where else?
Anything You Can Do..
Post-war America wasn’t short on confidence. Songs like ‘Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better’ filled the airwaves. And so the idea of a meeting place for all the peoples of the globe captured people’s imagination.
Why shouldn’t it be built in Conway, New Hampshire? Or Pinehurst, North Carolina? Or Corpus Christi, Texas? In all, nearly two hundred and fifty towns, cities and communities across America expressed interest in hosting the United Nations.
Charlene Mires is the author of a new book about the race to host the UN is called ‘Capital of the World’.
“Wouldn’t it be most appropriate for the UN to be on an island at Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, where they could be surrounded by peaceful water?”
Towns made their pitches, Mires says.
“Or wouldn’t it be best for the UN to be in Tuscahoma, Oklahoma which had been the capital of the Choctaw Nation as a statement of justice for native peoples?”
The proposals weren’t exactly altruistic. Civic boosters were excited about the jobs and visitors the UN would bring.
Oz in South Dakota
Take Rapid City, in the Black Hills of South Dakota. In the 1940s, a local businessman tried to persuade the UN to make its home there, a stone’s throw from Mount Rushmore. The pitch included a set of fantastical architectural drawings.
“At its center a road begins as a spiral and moves outward and outward and outward”, says Charlene Mires.
“It reminds me of the Wizard of Oz, which would have been fairly current at that time. And the offices were spaced around [the spiral] and they would have put villages for each national delegation out in the hills. They also noted that the World Highway, which was envisioned as going right around the world, would go straight through the middle.”
Boosters could dream big that like. But the small group of international diplomats assigned to find an American home for the UN-to-be had to think beyond the fantasies of a world capital.
The west coast was deemed too far from Europe. The midwest had a reputation as being isolationist (not a good fit). And the south was ruled out over fears that non-white diplomats would feel unwelcome.
So the search committee focussed on America’s north east. And they found a place they really wanted: Greenwich, Connecticut. Only Greenwich, Connecticut didn’t want them.
The moderator of a key town meeting there was Prescott Bush, the father of one President Bush and the grandfather of another.
Mires says Bush wasn’t against the idea of the United Nations. But he made the case that, in Mires’ words, “this will change the character of our town too much. And furthermore, nobody asked us first.”
Greenwich wasn’t the only place to turn the UN down. It was embarrassing that the world’s new decision-making body couldn’t decide on a new home.
Soon only a few serious candidates remained, all of them in or near major cities. Among them were Boston and Philadelphia, which was offering a piece of parkland just outside the center of town. Philadelphia had the infrastructure, the cultural amenities and as the so-called ‘Cradle of Liberty’ a pretty good story too.
Winner Takes All
“Philadelphians were convinced they were going to win” says Mires. “The New York Times carried headlines saying the UN was about to anoint Philadelphia as the Capital of the World. What was not known was that in the final days behind the scenes the call had gone out to Nelson Rockefeller to help solve the problem and bring the prize home to New York.”
Rockefeller’s dad, John, offered $8.5 million to buy a plot of empty land on Manhattan, overlooking the East River. There were no residents to placate, no obstacles to overcome.
The power brokers of New York were offering the UN an easy solution.
“At the last minute it wasn’t about geopolitics” reflects Mires, “[and] it wasn’t about creating a Capital of the World.”
There was to be no Oz-like fantasy city for global diplomacy. Instead, there were to be headquarters: somewhere to make deals, not dreams.
- Capital of the World: The Race to Host the United Nations (blog)
- Capital of the World: The Race to Host the United Nations (NYU Press 2013)
Dr. Charlene Mires
And more news about Dr. Mires! As director of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities, she is among the curators of the current exhibition (January 14-March 1, 2013) at the RU Camden Stedman Gallery for the Arts.
“Visions of Camden” includes artifacts, paintings, photographs, and other materials relevant to the city’s rich history.
Dr. Kate Epstein
Professor Katherine Epstein’s image recently (2/12/13) graced an article about the revitalization of Camden on the Flying Kite website. In the article, author Tara Nurin describes how Dr. Epstein’s activism to prevent the 2012 proposed “merger” with Roman University made her ‘the bravest woman in New Jersey.’
Dr. Andrew Shankman
Professor Andrew Shankman’s Crucible of American Democracy: The Struggle to Fuse Egalitarianism and Capitalism in Jeffersonian Pennsylvania earned praise from Sharon Murphy, the 2012 Hagley Prize winner for the best book in business history and a faculty member at Providence College. According to Murphy, in tandem with Stephen Mihm’s A Nation of Counterfeiters, Shankman’s work demonstrates that “to write good business history, you first have to be a good historian, firmly embedding the topic in the relevant political, legal, social, and cultural contexts of the period.”
Dr. Philip Scranton
For an article honoring Dr. Philip Scranton for his 21 years as director of the Hagley Museum’s Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society, go to this site: Hagley Library and Archives News (January 2, 2013)
Phil Scranton displaying a framed picture presented by the Hagley Museum & Library to recognize his many accomplishments in 21 years.
Dr. Charlene Mires
With great pride, we would like to announce that Charlene Mires, associate professor of history and director of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH), just received a two-year $81,000 grant from the William Penn Foundation for her online Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. From the Encyclopedia’s press release: “The grant will allow us to enhance the Encyclopedia’s digital platform by adding photo galleries of material artifacts; place-mapping; new text about Philadelphia’s history; links between history and the news; and more. We look forward to working with our civic partners as well as the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University in developing these new features.
“The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, works to close the achievement gap for low-income children, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region. With assets of nearly $2 billion, the Foundation distributes approximately $80 million in grants annually. Learn more about the Foundation at http://www.williampennfoundation.org.”
Dr. Janet Golden
Just announced! Janet Golden will be honored with the 2012 American Association for the History of Nursing’s Mary Adelaide Nutting Award for Exemplary Historical Research and Writing. With co-authors Cynthia Connolly and Benjamin Schneider, Dr. Golden published “‘A Startling New Chemotherapy Agent’: Pediatric Infectious Disease and the Introduction of Sulfonamides at Baltimore’s Syndenham Hospital” in Bulletin of the History of Medicine v. 86, #21 (Spring 2012): 66-93.
From the abstract for the article: “Using pediatric patient records from Baltimore’s Sydenham Hospital, this article explores the adoption of sulfa drugs in pediatrics. It discusses how clinicians dealt with questions of dosing and side effects and the impact of the sulfonamides on two diagnoses in children: meningococcal meningitis and pneumonia. The care of infants and children with infectious diseases made demands on physicians and nurses that differed from those facing clinicians treating adult patients. The article demonstrates the need to distinguish between pediatric and adult medical history. It suggests that the new therapeutics demanded more intense bedside care and enhanced laboratory facilities, and as a result paved the way for the adoption of penicillin. Finally, it argues that patient records and the published medical literature must be examined together in order to gain a full understanding of how transformations in medical practice and therapeutics occur.”
According to the awards committee, this “creative study of the intertwining of medicine, therapeutic science, and bedside nursing involved in the introduction of sulfa, the first antimicrobial agent used in the treatment of children with infections, was unique and insightful.” The authors’ analysis of children’s hospital records “aided readers in their ability to understand how the efficacy of this drug was established and how this work set the stage for the future of penicillin….”