Hurting for Healthcare: Veterans, the Elderly, & the Disabled in US Health Politics

military veteran va hospital

Every year, the sycophants of the mainstream media get to rub shoulders with famous attractive people (actors) and famous ugly people (politicians).  The White House Correspondents Dinner is an orgy of self-congratulatory back-patting, which attendees lovingly refer to as "nerd prom." Well, the biennial Policy History Conference is not exactly prom, but it is definitely the nerd equivalent of some kind of major social event.  Nerdstock? Wonkapalooza?  If tax policy or brownfield mitigation is your bag, then you will surely be making your way to Albany, Frankfort, or whichever button-down cowtown the conference happens to be held in that year.  This year Policy History rolled into the … [Read more...]

Incubating Scholarship and Smart Students: Teaching and Publishing at Community Colleges amidst the New Realities of Academia: Best of AHA 2014, Part 4


For Part 1 of ToM AHA 2014 coverage: Bed-Stuy, the Illuminati, and the Importance of Fungus Identification - click here For Part 2 of ToM AHA 2014 coverage: Transnational Protest, Media Bias, and Monopolized Airwaves - click here For Part 3 of ToM AHA 2014 coverage: Radical Politics, Disgruntled Veterans, Internment, and the Fear of Dependency: The Military and Social Welfare Reform - click here For coverage of other conferences like UHA 2010/2012, AHA 2012, and others -  click here. “It’s like explaining something to a bright ten year old,” Emily Tai, an Associate Professor of History at Queensborough Community College told the audience. Tai, speaking to fellow historians, and … [Read more...]

Radical Politics, Disgruntled Veterans, Internment, and the Fear of Dependency: The Military and Social Welfare Reform: Best of AHA 2014, Part 3


Over the past couple of decades, categorizations like “military history” have undergone numerous permutations. Georgia State’s John Southard ruminated on the state of the field for ToM in 2012 and ToM devotes an entire page to the subject. (There’s even something for the Civil War buffs. ToM has even posted some original research in the area of the military and postwar suburbanization.)  Historians like Roger Lotchin, Ann Markusen, Carol Lynn McKibben, and Andrew Myers have offered new insights into the ways military installations in the South and California have interacted politically, economically, and socially with local cities, towns, and suburbs in which they are located or abut. The … [Read more...]

Transnational Protest, Media Bias, and Monopolized Airwaves: Best of AHA 2014, Part 2


In part II of ToM’s AHA 2014 coverage our correspondents begin with papers on the efforts of Latin American students, workers, and rebels of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970 to use non-violent activism as a means to gain greater rights and autonomy in the face of increasingly repressive regimes.  We end with talks on media bias, conservatism, Rupert Murdoch/Fox News and the NAACP. What does it mean if we have more voices and greater diversity with those appearing in the media, but more and more of the airwaves under the control of fewer and fewer individuals? Remember, we went to the AHA so you didn’t have too.  For Part I of AHA 2014 - Bed-Stuy, The Illuminati, and the Importance of Fungus … [Read more...]

Bed-Stuy, the Illuminati, and the Importance of Fungus Identification: Best of AHA 2014, Part 1


Going to conferences is one of the great mixed blessings of the academic life.  On one hand, it offers the chance to get away (to New York or LA, or sometimes even exotic destinations like Richmond, VA) and travel, like an Actually Important Person (AIP), sometimes with your department or university picking up the tab.  We get to reconnect with old friends and have more than the appropriate number of drinks--on the pretext, of course, of "getting a feel for the city" (or in Richmond's case, not). On the other hand, there is the actual conference itself--a dreary procession of monotonously recited presentations, ranging from the navel-gazingly esoteric to the merely boring.  And if it's … [Read more...]

Debunking the Mythical Discourse Surrounding Public Housing: Part IV of the UHA 2012


In ToM's final installment of its 2012 UHA coverage, our correspondents present a detailed report regarding one of the conference's perpetually most popular subjects: public housing. With a packed house in attendance, the UHA’s six roundtable presenters provided a coherent and compelling argument against prevailing myths regarding public housing.  Considering the success of documentaries like The Pruitt Igoe myth in recent years, new interpretations of public housing’s legacy have come to the fore. Leading figures in urban housing including Kenneth Jackson and Alexander Von Hoffman among others attended, making for a lively post presentation discussion.   From Le Corbusier influenced … [Read more...]

Steel Towns, Motor Cities, and Cuban Refugees: Part III of the 2012 UHA Conference


Welcome to the third installment of ToM's four part coverage of the 2012 UHAs.  You'll detect a clear bias in favor of aged/renewed rust belt cities with a flourish of transnationalism at the end via the Cuban Revolution and post WWII Miami.  If you missed Part I click here and for Part II here. Panel – Rust Belt Cosmopolitanism Joshua Akers – Settling the City: Urban Homesteading and the Construction of Markets in Detroit “It stands out on the highway like a creature from another time/ It inspires the babies’ questions for their mothers as they ride/ But no one stopped to think about the babies or how they would survive/ We almost lost Detroit, this time.” - Dale … [Read more...]

Crime in the City and the Curious Case of Philadelphia: Part II of the 2012 UHA


"Is their such a thing as Philadelphia exceptionalism?" asked one observer at this year's UHA.  Undoubtedly, over the past two UHA's (2010, 2012), Philadelphia has enjoyed the attentions of more than a few historians. With this in mind, ToM correspondents provide a glimpse at some of the work being done on the City of Brotherly Love.  Crime and policing emerged as another area of increased interest at this year's conference.  San Francisco's Chinatown, New York's Washington Heights, and yes, West Philadelphia provide case studies focusing on crime's influence on political mobilization, urban renewal, race relations and community activism. For part I of ToM's 2012 UHA coverage click … [Read more...]

Impending Hurricanes, Alternative Sexualities, and Tourism: Part I of the 2012 UHA Conference

Mexico City circa 1925

Welcome to the 2012 Urban History Conference.  Hurricane Sandy loomed over the event like depression in a Tim Burton film, and ToM's editors and contributors send our best wishes to everyone on the Eastern seaboard. Much like our 2010 coverage, we did our best to cover an array of topics but inevitably the conference’s size and density placed limits on our correspondents. Nonetheless, ToM's endeavored to bring you several snapshots from the conference. Consider these imagistic academic instagrams rather than a comprehensive take on the event itself. Part I – Sex and the City   Panel - The Sexual City in the Americas: Tourism, Migration, and Race in Mexico City, Miami, and New York, … [Read more...]

Richmond City Nights: Part IV of the 2012 Policy History Conference

Overton Park Plans, circa 1901

Welcome to ToM’s final installment on the 2012 Policy History Conference.  The life of graduate students and professors means that our correspondents sometimes lag a bit, like so many things in academia.  For our fourth post, anti-freeway movements and the role of the university in the economy and public life serve as PHC standard bearers. If you missed our earlier installments they can be read here: Part I Part II Part III Margaret O’Mara, All the World’s a Campus: Master Planning, Politics, and the University as Model City, 1950-2012  In this fascinating paper, Margaret O’Mara attempts to reframe the history of the so-called entrepreneurial university.  In her view, the … [Read more...]


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