Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tree Carnage on Campus

Ok, this doesn't have anything directly to do with the study of History or Politics, except perhaps in the sense that "everything is history," but we couldn't help notice that a lot of trees are coming down at AU.  Here is the view looking North from Founder's Hall.  If you look closely, you can see 7 stumps, including the large one that has been standing for a couple of weeks to the left of the arch. I think we lost a couple of Catawbas, an elegant old pine, and two or three oaks.  On the bright side, Eagle Walk is finally starting to recover from the loss of a whole row of shade trees last summer: several new picnic tables have been installed, each with two or three trees around them. AU's campus is almost an arboretum, so let's hope these trees are replaced with something equally attractive.
Dr. Duncan Jamieson's review of An Alternative History of Bicycles and Motorcycles: Two-Wheeled Transportation and Material Culture appears in the November issue of Choice.  An excerpt of the review is below. 
Authors Alford and Ferriss demonstrate the connections between material culture, society and freedom/independence through a history of two-wheeled transportation. Beginning with the premise that tinkerers often create new technological developments which are not linear but result in social change. New materials (cotton which provides new clothing options, steel tubing developed for armaments, but light and strong enough for frames), and the human need for alternative, independent transportation blend the road, the machine and the rider into a continuum.

Both safety bicycles and motorcycles (a diamond frame bicycle with a motor) appear in 1885; while the bicycle is generally seen as positive and benign the motorcycle has an outlaw image that solidifies in the 1940s and 50s. The introduction of Japanese motorcycles in the 1960s creates the dual image that exists today.

Both machines invoke freedom; not only the ability to go where and when one wants (both on and off road) but also freedom from governmental and social conformity. While bicycling is seen as a choice, motorcycling represents an identity. Both bicycles and motorcycles are actants that influence and change the rider, and society, in subtle but important ways.

Dr. Jamieson is a Professor of History at Ashland University. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Doubts about Data-Driven Assessment Efforts

Inside Higher Education has just released the results of its 2016 Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology.  One interesting finding of the survey of 1,671 faculty members and 69 administrators who oversee academic technology relates to the efficacy of data-driven assessment efforts:  
Only about one-quarter of faculty members (27 percent) and one-third (34 percent) of administrators said the efforts have improved the quality of teaching and learning at their institutions. Similar proportions of respondents said the same about the impact on degree completion rates. In comparison, nearly two-thirds of faculty members (65 percent) and about half of administrators (46 percent) said the efforts are meant to placate outside groups such as accreditors and politicians. 
There is probably more nuance in the details of the survey, but those numbers reflect a very low level of support for this approach to improving the quality of teaching and learning in our institutions of higher education.  Half or more of those directly involved think this approach is a response to outside or political pressure, and more than two thirds of those most directly involved in the actual business of teaching do not think it has improved either teaching or learning. After ten or more years of this approach, it is probably time that assessment was seriously assessed for its effectiveness.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dr. Jamieson's Reviews Recently Published

The Self-Propelled Voyager, written by Dr. Duncan Jamieson, Professor of History at Ashland University, was recently reviewed by Bill Sund, Professor Emeritus of History at Stockholm University. The review is available on the Nordic Sport Science Forum, an open access web journal that publishes articles on sport studies and sport science research primarily within the social sciences and the humanities.

Dr. Jamieson's reviews of cycling-related works were also published recently.  His review of Elizabeth Robins and Joseph Pennell's A Canterbury Pilgrimage and An Italian Pilgrimage, edited by Dave Buchanan, appeared on the Sport Literature Association's website earlier this month. 

His reviews of Culture on Two Wheels The Bicycle in Literature and Film, edited by Jeremy Withers and Daniel Shea, and his review of Sarah Hallenbeck, Claiming the Bicycle: Women, Rhetoric and Technology in Nineteenth-Century America, appeared in October and September issues of Choice.  

Innovation in History (and elsewhere)

The Provost, Dr. Eun-Woo Chang, has just announce the winners of the first Innovation Grants.  As you can see, Dr. Moser in History was one of the winners:

1. The Center for Teaching Excellence, Shawn Orr

2. Engaging Students and Citizen Scientists at the Black Fork Wetlands, Dr. Jenna Dolhi

3. The Game-Based Learning Initiative, Dr. John Moser

4. The Food Truck Experience, Dr. Lance Kaltenbaugh and Dr. Dan Fox

5. Improving Critical Thinking and Clinical Reasoning for Nursing Students, Lisa Young

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Talk on Korean Wave Culture

The Department of Global Education is sponsoring a presentation by Dr. Young-Hwan Park on "Cultural Innovation and the Identity of China and Eastern Asian Culture, with a focus on Korean Wave Culture."  
Since the late 1990s, Korean Wave Culture has become widely popular in such Eastern Asian countries as China, Japan, and Taiwan.  Learn about how this has impacted Asian cultures and spread across the globe.
The talk will be held on October 17th @3:00pm in the Student Center Auditorium 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Brexit and the Crisis of Globalism

Dr. Gerard Alexander from the University of Virginia, and Dr. Rene Paddags from AU, will be debating "Brexit and the Crisis of Globalism" in an Alexander Hamilton Society event on Thursday, October 6th, from 5-6:30pm in the Ashbrook Center.  Oh, pizza and drinks are provided.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

AU in Germany - Information Meetings

The AU in Germany program dates for summer 2017 are May 8-June 11.  To learn more about this great opportunity to take AU Core courses in Germany (from AU profs), come to an information meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 11th or Wednesday Oct. 12th 4:00pm in Bixler 209.   Here are the courses offered: 

BIO 111: Wetlands and Waterways
Natural Science
Dr. Patricia Saunders
POLSC 3SG: Contemporary Germany
Social Sciences
Dr. Rene Paddags
REL 3SLG: Luther & the German Reformation
Dr. David Aune
BUS 439: Business Internship
Business Majors Only,
BUS 339 is a prerequisite

Dr. Khush Pittenger

· Program = CCI “Course with Study Away”
· Summer Stafford Loan Money Available
   Includes: 6 AU Credits, Flight, Housing, Excursions, and More