Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa Conference

Passing along information that I received in my email.

Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa

The upcoming Sixth Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA), Appropriately titled Tides of Change: Looking Back and Forging Ahead in the Middle East & Africa, will take place in Washington, D.C. on November 21-23, 2013.

As in years past, the conference is an excellent opportunity for scholars and students to hear from leading thinkers on critical issues affecting the regions. The keynote address will be given by Michael Young, the opinion editor at the Daily Star newspaper in Beirut, and H.E. Mohamed Bin Abdulla Al-Rumaihi, Ambassador of the State of Qatar, has been invited to deliver remarks at the opening reception.

In addition, more than 100 papers will be presented on scholarly topics from Middle Eastern and African studies, and related disciplines.  The conference line-up will also include policy round tables on “Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Region, and Beyond,” “Great Power Involvement in the Arab Upheavals,” and “Revolution, Revolt, and Reform in North Africa” as well as film screenings, book displays of the latest academic titles, and much more.

You can register for the conference or get more information here.  If you have any further questions about ASMEA or the Annual Conference, please do not hesitate to contact the organization at 202-429-8860 or


History Harvest: Community Collectives

New York TimesThe January 2013 issue of the Perspectives on History highlighted a project of the students and faculty of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln called History Harvest.  The article called to me about a way to collect the information that is most often lost- that of the community in which we all live.  Everyone has those personal historical documents tucked away in a closet, attic, or basement that we think about rarely (or sometimes often).  These documents have a personal value, but also a historical value regarding culture and social of our given communities.  It’s a shame to let those documents sit, forgotten, tucked away when they could be digitized for use by historians and students.

The co-directors William G. Thomas and Patrick D. Jones started this project “to create a popular movement to democratize and open American history by utilizing digital technologies to share the experiences and artifacts of everyday people and local historical institutions.”  People from the community are invited to these harvest gatherings with their personal items and histories to have them digitized with photographs and digital stories.  Local organizations, museums, and others are also welcome to bring items to be digitized.

Students are heavily involved, creating, planning, and advertising for their harvest.  Its an excellent hands on experience for the students to learn what history means to people in their community and how everyone can contribute in some way.  It’s a fascinating project that begs for duplication in communities across the United States and the world.

Needless to say, I would be highly interested in starting my own “History Harvest” in my community with students.  If you would be too, you can contact the co-directors via the links on their names above or contacting them through their website at:

LOC Call for Teacher-In-Residence Applications

An awesome opportunity just popped into my inbox and unfortunately I cannot take part so I wanted to pass it along in case any of my followers can!

The Library of Congress (LOC) has opened the application process for their Teacher-In-Residence.  Visit their website here for more information.

2013 Annual Conference of the Western Society for French History Call for Papers

I received this in an email today so I thought I’d pass it along to anyone who was interested:

The 2013 Annual Conference of the Western Society for French History will be held October 24-27 in Atlanta, Georgia,  hosted by Georgia State University.  The conference theme, “In Motion: The Circulation of People, Commodities, and Ideas,” was inspired by Atlanta’s history as a major transportation hub in the southeast U.S. and its contemporary status as a global city with the world’s busiest airport.  The metro area is home to many people from francophone regions – Haiti, West Africa, Southeast Asia, and now New Orleans.

The main venue is the Atlanta Renaissance, a new hotel in midtown Atlanta with dozens of restaurants within walking distance.  The Renaissance is near the historic Fox Theater, the Woodruff Arts Center, and the High Museum of Art.  Some events will take place on the bustling downtown campus of Georgia State University, which is located about a mile from the hotel.

Keynote addresses will be given by Lynn Hunt, Eugen Weber Professor of History, University of California, Los Angeles (“Global France:  What is gained and what is lost”); and Emmanuelle Sibeud, Maîtresse de Conférence, Université de Paris VIII, Vincennes-St. Denis (“Des ministres aux colonies. Enjeux et logiques des voyages des ministres des colonies en Afrique occidentale française entre 1897 et 1921”).

The WSFH encourages interdisciplinary scholarship and the participation of advanced graduate students by awarding prizes for outstanding papers presented at the conference in the following areas:  the best interdisciplinary paper; the best paper presented by a graduate student on French history after 1800; the best paper presented by a graduate student on the history of France and/or connections between France and the wider world before 1800.

Panels may address any topic of interest to our scholarly community, but the program committee especially encourages panels that address issues and topics of significance to French history across a wide chronological span, from medieval to contemporary periods.  Please do not send proposals for papers that have already been presented or that are scheduled for presentation at other conferences, or that have already been published.

All conference participants must be WSFH members in good standing at the time of the conference.  RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP at

SEND PROPOSALS for panels or individual papers as Microsoft Word attachments to Jennifer Popiel, WSFH President and Program Committee Chair (
Proposals, ideally submitted as a complete session, should include the following items, integrated into a single document:  an abstract (no more than one page) for each presenter; a CV including contact information (no more than one page) for each presenter; name, affiliation, and e-mail address for the proposed chair and commentator.



Everyone was doing it and I just did not understand the whole magic of Pinterest and why it was such a wonderful thing.  Then, someone explained it to me and I figured out how to use it.  You have to click on the image, and then click on the link or double click the picture to bring you to the subject matter.  It’s like a digital bulletin board of the most random things in life.  I am now officially hooked.  The second night after my cumulative exam I successfully spent three hours doing nothing but browsing the site and “pinning” things.

But its not only fun, but functional for historians and teachers.  I have two boards myself, one full of historical images that I look forward to using in powerpoints for my students.  Images are powerful educational tools.  I’m sure that they will come up on exams, assignments, DBQs, and many other places as well. You can check out (and follow if you like) my “Teaching History” board here: .

The second functional part is the different teaching tools, techniques, organizational ideas, and disciplinary tactics that are shared on Pinterest.  They not only inspire you to inspire your students, but can give you a different way of approaching a subject or topic in the classroom or with a particular student who has been struggling.  Plus, it helps to know that you’re not alone in this struggle of teaching.  You can view my “For Teaching” board here:

There are also fantastic DIY ideas and recipes and numerous quotes and humor boards to keep you entertained for hours.  I know this is probably not new information for most of you, but I wanted to share the awesome educational abilities of a popular website.  Check it out:

Day Two: One Simple Wish

I have a friend who spent a large part of her childhood homeless.  She says it was not so much the fact that they were homeless, because they lived in their car so they could stay out of the weather and had help from local shelters and organizations for food, but it was that she never was able to believe in Santa Claus because there she didn’t have a Christmas.  Thousands of kids every year go without a single present- either at Christmas, Hannukah, birthdays, or any other “holiday.”  Its not necessarily the giving of the present that matters, its the idea of someone cares enough to think about you on a special day.

One Simple WishThus, for this post, I’m highlighting One Simple Wish.  The organization has several programs that benefit foster children and families fallen on rough times, including Wish Granting, The Ohana Project, Wish to Work, and Project Prom.  These programs give free prom dresses to teens in need, help in gaining job skills for kids who age out of foster care, provide basic supplies like baby care items to foster kids and families, and grant the needs of kids and families.  To read more about these programs, see their website here.

The best part about this organization is that you don’t necessarily One Simple Wishhave to give money.  You can simply grant a wish that has been posted on their website, which include music lessons, basic school supplies, a tutor, or a simple experience (like a ride along with a police officer), donate a prom dress because who wears that more than once, really?  There are simple things you can offer for just a few minutes and a couple bucks to mail something or an hour or two worth of time to make someone’s day or even life.  Who knows how much of an impact you could make on someone’s like, especially a child who lacks in even the basics that we take for granted every day?

Their work extends throughout the United States, to date touching over 5,000 kids in 30 states.  In my own experience with foster kids, their families, the system, and knowing the statistics (see numbers here and more info here, the stories are heartbreaking.  From the outside it seems like there is no way their lives could be real, but sadly, they lived through it and re-live through it every day in memory day and night.

The following is an endorsement of One Simple Wish from their website.  You can read more endorsements here.

Graduation photos. A trip to the movies. A double-dutch jump rope. Many kids could simply ask their parents to buy these items, and they will do so without hesitation. But many families our agency PEI Kids serve cannot afford these purchases as they worry about necessities like food and shelter. The children and the families we serve have faced horrible situations – child sexual abuse, abandonment, trauma and loss. Many of these children have stopped wishing for things they know they cannot have. There are no fairy tales with happy endings in their worlds. Because of One Simple Wish, children in our programs are having happy endings. I have seen firsthand in the eyes of the children we serve the joy and happiness this organization has given them. And it is not just the gift itself. Many of these children have been hurt and disappointed by the people in their lives who are supposed to love and care for them. To have a complete stranger purchase a gift for them helps restore their faith in humankind. -Nicole Cody Communications & Outreach Associate, PEI Kids

So, check out their website ( and share this post with someone.

Day 1: Donors Choose

I’m a little behind in this!  Argh this holiday season is not as smooth sailing as I want it to be!  In light of the recent tragedy in Newtown, CT, I want to highlight what all our public schools are doing for our children.  Every day teachers around the country walk into amazing classrooms, filled with up to date technology and state of the art, brand new textbooks and every supply they need.  However, some others walk into classrooms that have outdate textbooks, no technology, and crayons, markers, and other supplies that they have spent their own money on just so their children can have the simple items.  As a fifth grade teacher, I went into a classroom that very much resembled one from my own elementary school in the early 80s… and it was 2005.

Donors ChooseThus, the first charity I want to highlight is   Their mission is to “engage the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity. We envision a nation where children in every community have the tools and experiences needed for an excellent education.”  This website lets you pick a specific project in individual classrooms to donate money towards.  Teachers from across the nation can post their desires for items for projects or simple things like markers for their classrooms.  The best part is that you can give any amount that you want towards a project, from just a single dollar to funding the whole project.  The money goes to the organization who purchases the products and sends them directly to the teacher.

If the project doesn’t reach the goal, the money gets sent back to the donater as an account credit and you can then choose a different project to fund or send the teacher a Donors Choose gift card.

Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.orgCheck out this fascinating timeline here from their website on the success of their charity.  I admit, there were a few times when I teared up, especially when a tornado struck Joplin, MO in August 2011 and 260 Joplin teachers posted to to rebuild their classrooms and all of the projects were funded.  No country bonds together like the United States when in crisis.  The best part is that it was created by a history teacher, Charles Best (pictured above).

If you want to know more about their financials and legal aspects of the company, they post it on their website here.  So go check out their website and browse around.  Even if you can’t or don’t donate any money, it’s fun to look at the different projects going on around the country in our local schools and just how much our teachers care about our children and the development of their young minds.

Projects website:

I’m sure that you are with me when I say our thoughts and prayers are with those who are suffering across the globe from gun violence, but especially the families in Newtown, CT.  May we find a way to help the people who need it so more tragedies like this do not occur.  In this time, its more important than ever to let our teachers know how much we value them.  Find a project within your local community and help a teacher.

New Years Resolution- Early!

Taken from:,r:1,s:100,i:7I’ve been thinking about my New Years resolution (NYR).  Every year I vow to learn some new skill that will ultimately push me farther and make me a better person.  Last year my NYR was to finish grad school.  I’m almost there!  Now I feel like I want to change it up a little bit and learn more about myself and expand my skills through what I can do for others.  There are lots of countdowns to Christmas or New Years going on out there so I’m going to throw this blog into the countdown ring and starting on December 15th, I’ll have my 15 top “charities” or places that do good in the community that accept donations.  Then, be thinking because on December 31st I will be asking you what your NYR are!  So check back later this month and pick one or more charities to donate to, do something good with, or tell me about one that is special to you! 

Secret City Symposium, a National Archives Atlanta FREE special event!

Good Monday morning all!  I received this in my email this morning so I thought I’d pass along the information!  How often do you get a free event that is just so awesome?!  I was just in Atlanta and these Archives are actually fairly easy to get to, though parking may be slightly expensive if you’re not from a big city.  I was amazing that we had to pay $10 for parking, but what do I know? Also, just an FYI, beginning October 1, 2012, these archives were opened for public research Monday through Friday and the third Saturday of the month.  For more information on the National Archives at Atlanta, please visit .  Now onward to the Secret City Symposium!

The National Archives at Atlanta is hosting the symposium Secret City in the Tennessee Hills: From Dogpatch to Nuclear Power on Saturday, September 15.   The purpose of this symposium is to promote research in our historically rich records dealing with the Manhattan Engineering District and the Atomic Energy Commission and highlight scholarly works based on these holdings.  Pre-registration is required and limited to 200.   There is no cost to attend. 

For more information on the symposium access the National Archives web link