American Social History Project/Center for Media & Learning, CUNY

American Social History Project/Center for Media & Learning, CUNY Bringing the history of ordinary people into the classroom We are dedicated to renewing interest in history by challenging traditional ways that people learn about the past.

Based at the City University of New York Graduate Center, we produce print, visual, and multimedia materials that explore the richly diverse social and cultural history of the United States. We also lead professional development seminars that help teachers to use the latest scholarship, technology, and active learning methods in their classrooms.

Operating as usual

On June 28, 1970, LGBTQ+ activists in New York organized Christopher Street Liberation Day, commemorating the resistance...
06/22/2021
Teaching and Learning LGBTQ+ History of the United States | ASHP/CML

On June 28, 1970, LGBTQ+ activists in New York organized Christopher Street Liberation Day, commemorating the resistance of q***r and trans people after a police raid at the Stonewall Inn a year earlier. For the past fifty years, LGBTQ+ people have continued this tradition. At Pride parades and other activities, they have gathered to make their presence visible, to protest injustices and express demands for political and legal change, to revel in a sense of community, and to challenge forces that have sought to ignore, silence, or oppress them.

This year, Pride Month is tempered by a wave of local and state attempts -- many successful -- to roll back hard-won gains that affect the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ people and those who love them. Numerous states have proposed or passed “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, amounting to government-sanctioned acts of censorship in K-12 public schools in order to deny LGBTQ+ people’s historical agency and contributions.

Not only do we think LGBTQ+ history should be taught, we don’t think it should be relegated to June only! To that end, we have assembled a selective list of resources for educators, students, and others looking for sources for teaching and learning about a variety of topics related to LGBTQ+ experiences in the past. Link below!

https://ashp.cuny.edu/teaching-and-learning-lgbtq-history-united-states

On June 28, 1970, LGBTQ+ activists in New York organized Christopher Street Liberation Day, commemorating the resistance of q***r and trans people after a police raid at the Stonewall Inn a year earlier. For the past fifty years, LGBTQ+ people have continued this tradition. At Pride parades and othe...

Excited to have our award-winning documentary about the Great Uprising of 1877 featured in this year's Workers Unite! Fi...
05/05/2021
1877: The Grand Army of Starvation | Haymarket: The Bomb, The Anarchists, The Labor Struggle and Short | Workers Unite Film Festival 2021

Excited to have our award-winning documentary about the Great Uprising of 1877 featured in this year's Workers Unite! Film Festival!

Narrated by the great James Earl Jones, the documentary follows the nationwide rebellion of eighty thousand railroad workers, joined by hundreds of thousands of Americans outraged by the excesses of the railroad companies and the misery of a four-year economic depression. Police, state militia, and federal troops clashed with strikers and sympathizers, leaving more than one hundred dead and thousands injured.

The film is available to stream for free from May 7 to May 12, available here: https://watch.eventive.org/workersunitefilmfest2021/play/6075b5b2ea0517007104100d.

A nationwide rebellion brought the U.S. to a standstill in 1877 as 80,000 railroad workers walked out on strike and clashed with police and state militia.

This just in—a new newsletter from ASHP/CML! Click below to read what we've been up to these past months. Some highlight...
02/01/2021
February 2021 Newsletter from ASHP/CML

This just in—a new newsletter from ASHP/CML! Click below to read what we've been up to these past months.

Some highlights: we received funding from Humanities New York and the Metropolitan Library Council of New York to develop a podcast series and cultivate the CUNY Digital History Archive, we continue our work with the NYC Department of Education in creating online resources for history teachers, and we seek applicants for our upcoming National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute on the Visual Culture of the American Civil War.

And please, be sure to subscribe!

We are pleased to announce that Humanities New York has awarded ASHP/CML a grant of $5,000 for Spaces, Places, and Faces: Exploring Q***r Public History. The grant will be used to research and develop a podcast series that looks at how the work of historians, activists, educators, and archivists...

Every election is consequential and determining who has the right to vote has been a struggle since the founding of the ...
10/15/2020
Understanding Elections in U.S. History | ASHP/CML

Every election is consequential and determining who has the right to vote has been a struggle since the founding of the nation. Over the course of U.S. history, the stakes of some elections have been higher than others, especially in times of a national political, social, economic, or health crisis. Elections can also indicate the vitality of democracy itself, testing the structures of government as well as the public’s embrace of democratic principles. For those wanting to better understand this history, we have gathered a number of documents and teaching resources related to elections in the United States.

Some of the collected materials describe the efforts of men and women to expand voting rights in order to realize the nation’s ideals of freedom and democracy, for example, the campaign to win women’s suffrage. The movement to secure voting rights for African American and Mexican American residents showed the bravery, tenacity and patriotism of activists. All of these voting rights campaigns also reveal persistent efforts to constrict the electorate in order to maintain white supremacy and keep political power in the hands of those with race and economic privilege.

Other materials focus specifically on past elections, highlighting moments when the media and political campaigns developed new ways to persuade voters or to forecast election outcomes.

Finally, given the contentious 2020 Supreme Court confirmation process, a section addresses the issue of Supreme Court nominations and how the composition of the Court became politicized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in an attempt to advance the New Deal. At the bottom of the page, we share links to other digital archives and resources that examine these, and many other issues, in more depth.

Follow the link for more: http://ashpc.ml/8h4f6v

Every election is consequential and determining who has the right to vote has been a struggle since the founding of the nation. Over the course of U.S. history, the stakes of some elections have been higher than others, especially in times of a national political, social, economic, or health crisis....

Interested in graphic novels, Indigenous history, and decolonization of the Colonial U.S. past? Join Weshoyot Alvitre, L...
09/28/2020
Ghost River: Decolonization through Artistic Reinterpretation

Interested in graphic novels, Indigenous history, and decolonization of the Colonial U.S. past?

Join Weshoyot Alvitre, Lee Francis IV, and Will Fenton as they discuss "Ghost River: The Fall and Rise of the Conestoga" (Red Planet Books & Comics), a graphic novel that tells the story of Indigenous victims, survivors, and kin of the Paxton massacres in 1763.

Their conversation will explore how artistic reinterpretation of colonial records enabled the team to create imagine a narrative that re-centers the Indigenous past and present in studies of colonial America. Free and open to all, RSVP here: https://publicslab.gc.cuny.edu/events/ghost-river-decolonization-through-artistic-reinterpretation/.

Hosted by the Publics Lab at the The Graduate Center, CUNY, co-sponsored by ASHP/CML.

Co-sponsored by the American Social History Project. Ghost River: The Fall and Rise of the Conestoga (Red Planet Books and Comics, 2019) is a graphic novel about the Paxton massacres of 1763. Howev…

From our home offices in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, the staff of ASHP have watched the protests following ...
06/11/2020
Historicizing Black Resistance in the U.S. | ASHP/CML

From our home offices in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, the staff of ASHP have watched the protests following the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, with outrage and sorrow, as well as admiration at the determination of tens of thousands calling for justice and change. At times, we have joined the protests and supported them in other ways. As educators and scholars, we recognize the power of history to provide an understanding of the past that can help transform our present lives and shape our future.

For that purpose, we want to share with you some resources (https://ashp.cuny.edu/historicizing-black-resistance-us) that we have compiled for those who want to better understand the history of both black oppression and black resistance that make up the U.S. story. This very selective compilation highlights materials drawn from our own collections, plus links to other freely accessible documents, collections, lesson plans, and items suitable for students, teachers, researchers, public historians, and the interested public. We hope you will share this site widely, and check back as we plan to update and expand the collection.

#BlackLivesMatter

The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and the sustained protests across the U.S. that have followed have taken many Americans by surprise. For others -- especially those who are black, indigenous, and people of color -- these tragic deaths at the hands of police (or....

The American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning at the City University of New York Graduate Center wil...
02/25/2020
The Visual Culture of the American Civil War and Its Aftermath | ASHP/CML

The American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning at the City University of New York Graduate Center will host a two-week NEH Summer Institute for college and university faculty in July 2020 on the Visual Culture of the American Civil War and Its Aftermath. Applications to participate will be accepted via mail, e-mail, and our online application system until March 1, 2020 (postal mail must be postmarked by March 1).

The Institute will focus on the era's array of visual media--including the fine arts, ephemera, and photography--to examine how information and opinion about the war were recorded and disseminated, and the ways visual media expressed and shaped Americans' understanding on both sides of the conflict. Guided by a team of three faculty that represents the range of work in the field, Institute participants will hear daily lectures and presentations by noted historians, art historians, and archivists; and take part in hands-on sessions in significant museums and archival collections. These Institute activities will introduce participants to the rich body of scholarship that addresses or incorporates Civil War era visual culture, encourage them to explore avenues for further research in the field, and assist them in developing their own research and/or teaching projects. Full details and application information are available on the ASHP/CML Institute website at http://ashp.cuny.edu/nehinstitute/

The American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning at the City University of New York Graduate Center will host a two-week summer institute in July 2020 for 25 college and university teachers to study the visual culture of the American Civil War and its aftermath. The institute will f...

APPLY NOW! NEH Summer Institute, The Visual Culture of the American Civil War and Its Aftermath (July 2020 in New York C...
01/07/2020
The Visual Culture of the American Civil War and Its Aftermath | ASHP/CML

APPLY NOW! NEH Summer Institute, The Visual Culture of the American Civil War and Its Aftermath (July 2020 in New York City) -- March 1st deadline. ashpc.ml/8fwzv6

The American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning at the City University of New York Graduate Center will host a two-week summer institute in July 2020 for 25 college and university teachers to study the visual culture of the American Civil War and its aftermath. The institute will f...

New from The Gotham Center for New York City History and the CUNY Digital History Archive: in April 1969, Black and Puer...
06/18/2019
From the CUNY Digital History Archive: The Five Demands and the University of Harlem

New from The Gotham Center for New York City History and the CUNY Digital History Archive: in April 1969, Black and Puerto Rican students at City College challenged the school's admissions policies that heavily favor white students.

Read more about their "Five Demands" below!

https://www.gothamcenter.org/blog/from-the-cuny-digital-history-archive-the-five-demands-and-the-university-of-harlem

By Chloe Smolarski

Happy #MayDay! Reflect on this #InternationalWorkersDay by diving into its history with a quick article, courtesy of Ste...
05/01/2019
Why We Celebrate May Day as a Workers’ Holiday | SLU Blog

Happy #MayDay! Reflect on this #InternationalWorkersDay by diving into its history with a quick article, courtesy of Steve Brier: http://ashpc.ml/rh68cc.

Home, Labor Studies Why We Celebrate May Day as a Workers’ Holiday April 30, 2014 Murphy Institute By Steve Brier One of the great ironies is that workers all over the world celebrate Labor Day on May 1st, not the first Monday in September, the way we do in the U.S. Most people assume the choice o...

New on our podcast! Deirdre Cooper Owens, Harriet Senie, artist Francheska Alcantara, and Marina Ortiz of East Harlem Pr...
11/12/2018
Monuments As: History, Art, Power | ASHP/CML

New on our podcast! Deirdre Cooper Owens, Harriet Senie, artist Francheska Alcantara, and Marina Ortiz of East Harlem Preservation delve into the histories and stakes of public monuments and memorials in NYC.

This program is part one in our three part series, “Difficult Histories/Public Spaces: The Challenge of Monuments in New York City and the Nation,” hosted with The Gotham Center for New York City History and the CUNY Public History Collective.

Available to stream on Apple Podcasts, or directly on our site: http://ashpc.ml/gwcvxs .

In this four-speaker panel, professors, artists, and activists delve into the ongoing re-evaluation of public monuments and memorials, particularly those in New York City (NYC). Dr. Harriet Senie, professor of art history at The Graduate Center CUNY, offers insights into the decision making process....

Check out the latest podcast from ASHP/CML with labor historian Joshua Freeman on the rise and fall of factories around ...
09/05/2018
Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World | ASHP/CML

Check out the latest podcast from ASHP/CML with labor historian Joshua Freeman on the rise and fall of factories around the world. http://ashpc.ml/byyyh5

Joshua Freeman, professor of history at CUNY Graduate Center and Queens College and Steven Greenhouse, former labor reporter for the New York Times, discuss Freeman's recent book, Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World. From the origins of factories in the 1720s Englan...

Our latest podcast, with Professor Lori Flores of SUNY Stonybrook, explores shifting notions of Mexican/Mexican-American...
07/30/2018
Beyond Migrant workers: Mexican Communities & Complexities in The United States 1986-2016 | ASHP/CML

Our latest podcast, with Professor Lori Flores of SUNY Stonybrook, explores shifting notions of Mexican/Mexican-American identity. (Photo: MGNOnline)
ashpc.ml/ttwx3v

Lori Flores, History Professor at Stony Brook University, contextualizes Mexican immigration and identity and examines how shifting borders complicate Mexican American identities. Flores covers the tumultuous relationship between Mexican immigrants and the United States Government from World War 1 i...

Listen to the ASHP/CML podcast on Visualizing Emancipation and the Postwar South with art historian, Sarah Burns ashpc.m...
02/28/2018
Visualizing Emancipation and the Postwar South in the Popular and Fine Arts | ASHP/CML

Listen to the ASHP/CML podcast on Visualizing Emancipation and the Postwar South with art historian, Sarah Burns ashpc.ml/qsnv72.

Image: Sea Island School, no. 1 – St. Helena Island. Established April, 1862. Illus. in Education Among the Freedmen, published between 1866 and 1870. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c07754

In this discussion, Sarah Burns examines common Civil War narratives in fine arts in this period by examining the work of artists such as William Walker, Thomas Waterman, and Winslow Homer. Burns asks who created the pieces and for what audience and further questioning the works by examining portrai...

02/22/2016
Memory of the Civil War

1 week left to apply to our NEH Summer Institute, Visual Culture of the Civil War!! Check out a presentation from a previous Institute: http://ashp.cuny.edu/nehinstitute

Sarah Burns, the Ruth N. Halls Professor of the History of Art (emerita) at Indiana University, Joshua Brown, Executive Director of the American Social Histo...

Go to the ASHP website for one of our latest podcast -- Seeing the Civil War: Artists, the Public, and Pictorial News an...
01/14/2016
Illustrated Press - Visual Culture of the American Civil War

Go to the ASHP website for one of our latest podcast -- Seeing the Civil War: Artists, the Public, and Pictorial News and Views -- with historian Josh Brown.

Other resources are found on the Visual Culture of the American Civil War website, where you'll find a video presentation from our 2012 NEH Summer Institute, and primary sources, bibliography, and online materials on the illustrated press. ashpc.ml/6qnk6p

Joshua Brown, Executive Director of the American Social History Project and Professor of History at the Graduate Center, CUNY, discusses the pictorial journalism of the Civil War and the ways battlefront artists covered the conflict before photography could document warfare. This talk took place on…

Listen to our latest podcast with Harold Holzer, Chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, on the Iconogr...
12/01/2015
Harold Holzer: Iconography of Emancipation | ASHP/CML

Listen to our latest podcast with Harold Holzer, Chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, on the Iconography of Emancipation http://ashpc.ml/ymv5x9

Harold Holzer, chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation and the author of numerous books on Lincoln and the Civil War, talks about the visual representations of the emancipation proclamation as well as the images of Abraham Lincoln as emancipator. This talk took place on July 19, 2012…

Check out our latest podcast on Civil War graphic arts.  ashpc.ml/m926fq.
11/20/2015
Prints and Pictorial Ephemera at the Homefront during the Civil War | ASHP/CML

Check out our latest podcast on Civil War graphic arts. ashpc.ml/m926fq.

Georgia Barnhill, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts at the American Antiquarian Society, discusses the methods, meanings, and uses of various types of printed Civil War ephemera, and how they were used to document, memorialize and shape public opinion about the war on the home front. This tal…

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