Intelligencer is a blog featuring teaching and research essays as well as news about the organization and its members.

To submit member news or suggest a blog topic, contact Intelligencer editor Melony Shemberger.

PDFs of the Intelligencer in its previous newsletter form can be found at the Intelligencer archive. Visit the News page for press releases on the organization's activities.

  • 27 Apr 2018 12:49 PM | Dane Claussen

    The American Journalism Historians Association invites paper entries, panel proposals, and abstracts of research in progress on any facet of media history for its 37th annual convention to be held Oct. 4-6 in Salt Lake City.

    The deadline for all submissions is June 1, 2018. Authors may submit only one research paper, as well as a single research in progress about a significantly different topic. Authors are also eligible to participate in a single research panel. Research paper entries must be no longer than 25 pages of text, double-spaced, in 12-point type, not including notes. The Chicago Manual of Style is recommended but not required.

    The Research in Progress category is for work that will not be completed before the conference. For research in progress submissions, authors should send a blind abstract of the study. The abstract should include a clear purpose statement as well as a brief description of your primary sources. Abstracts must be no longer than two pages of text, double-spaced, in 12-point type, with 1-inch margins, excluding notes. Primary sources should be described in detail in another double-spaced page.

    Preference will be given to panel proposals that involve the audience and panelists in meaningful discussion or debate on original topics relevant to journalism history. Preference also will be given to panels that present diverse perspectives on their topics. Panel entries must be no longer than three pages of text, double-spaced, in 12-point type, with one-inch margins. Authors of accepted papers and research in progress, as well as panel participants, must register for the convention and attend in order to present their research.

    Research papers should be emailed to, panel proposals to, and research in progress proposals to Full details of all convention competitions can be found at

  • 26 Apr 2018 11:55 AM | Dane Claussen

  • 20 Apr 2018 11:57 AM | Dane Claussen

    American Journalism, the official journal of the American Journalism Historians Association, announced Wednesday that it is seeking applications for the annual Rising Scholar Award.

    The award is intended to provide research assistance of up to $2,000 for a junior faculty member who has not yet achieved tenure. The proposed research project must be related to media history, but all methodological approaches are welcome. Applicants must be current AJHA members at the time the proposal is submitted. Proposals may be for sole-authored or co-authored work. If two or more individuals apply together, the award amount will be shared. The award is not intended for dissertation completion research, and undergraduate and graduate students are not eligible.

    To be considered, applicants must submit:

    • A cover letter with name and contact information for applicant(s).

    • A three-to-five-page prospectus of the project that describes the topic and justifies its contribution to the historiography of the mass media.

    • An itemized budget of no more than one page. This budget should include what, if any, additional funding sources will be used.

    • If appropriate, the applicant should include the Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from the university.

    • A list of possible publication venues for the finished project.

    • A letter of support from the applicant’s department chair or dean.

    • A curriculum vitae of no more than three pages.

    The application deadline is June 1, and proposals should be submitted to Vanessa Murphree, School of Mass Communication and Journalism, 105-C College Hall, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406; or via e-mail to

  • 19 Apr 2018 7:08 PM | Dane Claussen

    We are excited to announce our 2018 offering in our advanced online oral history workshop series, Sharpen Your Skills: Advanced E-Workshops. “Digital Tools for Oral History” will focus on a selection of innovative options and applications available to the twenty-first century oral historian. BUIOH Director Stephen Sloan and Senior Editor/Collection Manager Steven Sielaff will discuss software and web platforms (most of which are free/open source!) that will enable you to accomplish and enhance your project goals of preservation, access, curation, and dissemination. This workshop is be a single three-hour session on May 23 from 10:00am to 1:00pm CDT and costs $75.

    To register for this workshop, follow this link:

    Contact Info: Stephen Sloan, Institute for Oral History, Baylor University

    Contact Email:


  • 19 Apr 2018 7:05 PM | Dane Claussen

    We invite presentation proposals for The Fifties and Pop/Visual Culture: Film, Television and Beyond Conference, to be held at Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, Texas) November 9-10, 2018.

    The conference organizers are seeking historically and theoretically intriguing contributions that explore any noteworthy aspect(s) of popular and/or visual culture during the 1950s, whether in the United States or elsewhere, in relation to cinematic, televisual, and other types of media offerings.

    Participants are encouraged to interpret the conference theme quite broadly and innovatively. Possible topics may include (but are certainly not limited to) advertising images and strategies, atomic age depictions, Beat writers, changing traditions and value structures, CinemaScope, cold war culture, containment strategies, desegregation, Elvis Presley, ethnic sitcoms, fashion trends, films noir, James Dean, juvenile delinquency, Levittowns, Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe, McCarthyism, men in gray flannel suits, mid-century icons and stars, normative gender roles and expectations, the nuclear family, science fiction movies, the studio system, technological innovations, television’s early years, variety shows, UFO scares, and saying what couldn’t be said.

    We encourage submissions from scholars, educators, and students at all levels, and from disciplines including art, communication, cultural studies, film and video studies, history, journalism, LGBTQ studies, literature, media studies, music, political science, popular culture, sociology, television studies, and women’s studies, among others.

    Given adequate participant interest and high-quality submissions, we are hoping to publish selected papers (with author’s permission) in a special collection of essays pertaining to the conference theme.

    Please e-mail presentation proposals containing (a) a one-page abstract with complete contact information (name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address, and contact telephone number) and (b) a one-paragraph author biography to Professor Kylo-Patrick Hart ( on or before Friday, August 3, 2018.

    Decisions regarding the status of submitted proposals will be made and communicated as quickly as possible following the submission deadline, and certainly no later than August 17, 2018.  For specific inquiries prior to submitting a proposal, please contact Dr. Hart at your convenience by e-mail (

    Contact Info: Kylo-Patrick R. Hart, Department of Film, Television and Digital Media, Texas Christian University

    Contact Email:

  • 19 Apr 2018 7:02 PM | Dane Claussen

    (Rutgers University; New Brunswick, NJ, October 4-5)

    War as memory. The fear of war. War as experience. How does culture mark its relationship to organized violent conflict? 

    In 2018, Rutgers’ Nineteenth Century Workshop will address the long-lasting effects of war on nineteenth-century literature and culture. It is a topic we take to be both urgent and of particular scholarly interest to students of the era.

    This year marks the anniversary of the end of the war to end all wars, an epochal struggle with relatively little presence in current popular memory. But this is just one instance where the preoccupation with a military conflict, like its neglect, is in itself a complex cultural matter. The recent and ongoing controversy over the fate of memorials dedicated to the losing side in the American Civil war, the paucity of discussion of the continuing military engagements involved in what has been called the war on terror, and the recent re-awakening of structures of thought and behavior reminiscent of the Cold War—all of these phenomena remind us that what we call victory, loss, and the commemoration of state violence are seldom settled matters.

    The military struggles that define the nineteenth century as a period—the revolutionary violence in America, France, and the Caribbean in the late 18th century and the first global conflagration in the early 20th— are at once political events establishing new social arrangements, and cultural ones provoking reflection, memory, and debate.

    And yet, the place of military conflict in the cultural imagination varies strikingly depending on specific national traditions. European wars look different from the vantage point of the far reaches of Empire, as does the struggle over New World territory from the perspective of the enslaved or the newly emancipated. The nationalisms that emerged all over the world in the period bore a complex relationship to both colonial expansion and domestic revolt. As none of England’s many nineteenth-century wars took place on its soil, the involvement of the general population was intermittent and highly mediated. By contrast, a civil war that caused the death of more Americans than any foreign struggle explicitly structures the study of nineteenth-century American literature and culture, installing a sharp break in the middle of the century and recasting narratives of national and regional belonging on either side of this divide.

    We welcome papers from all humanistic disciplines that address how war has shaped our understanding of the nineteenth century and its legacy. Topics may include: the feelings of war; the role of knowledge, information, and ignorance in shaping the experience and memory of war; the ethics of violence; the language of conflict; the temporality of war; and the politics of remembrance. We are also interested in the role of military conflict in shaping the experience of peace, including questions of complicity and resistance.

    Essays will be circulated in advance to all participants; the workshop format will permit the focused discussion of these essays across two days of convivial conversation. Workshop participants will include nineteenth-century scholars from various fields—history, art history, the history of philosophy, and a broad range of modern literatures—at Rutgers and in the greater NY/NJ area.  The workshop will cover the travel and housing expenses of those chosen to present their work.

    Applications should be addressed to Jonah Siegel and sent to by Tuesday, May 1; please use the subject line “Nineteenth-Century Workshop 2018” to ensure your application arrives at the proper destination. Applications should include a description of the proposed paper (1-2 pages) and a brief cv (no more than 3 pages); they will be evaluated by an interdisciplinary group of scholars. Applicants will be notified by mid-May if they will be included in the program

    Contact Info: 

    Proposals to:

    For information:

    Contact Email:


  • 19 Apr 2018 7:00 PM | Dane Claussen

    Tenth Anniversary Conference, National University of Ireland, Galway, 9-10 November 2018

    ‘The gallery in which the reporters sit has become the fourth estate of the realm’ wrote Thomas Babington Macaulay in 1843. The role of the press in informing or influencing, misleading or educating voters has been debated before and since Macaulay’s statement. In 2018 the question of the role and influence of the established press in referendums and elections is as relevant as ever. Marking the centenary of the 1918 general election in Britain and Ireland, 2018 presents a pertinent point to examine these questions.

    Held in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, the 1918 general election was the first under the Representation of the People Act where franchise, with some limitations, was extended to women over thirty and men over twenty-one. In Britain it was a successful election for the wartime coalition government and saw a significant increase in Labour’s share of the vote, though not seats. In Ireland there was a landslide victory for Sinn Féin, who largely wiped out the Irish Parliamentary Party, and went on to form the abstentionist First Dáil. It also saw the first election of a woman to the Westminster parliament, though as a Sinn Féin candidate Countess Markievicz did not take her seat. The parties and perspectives involved in the election all had their supporters and critics in the press: the establishment as represented by the coalition, the Labour movement, the spectrum of radical and socialist organisations, Irish nationalism and the women’s suffrage movement.

    The Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland (NPHFI) invites papers that interrogate the press and the vote from a range of disciplinary perspectives. The focus of papers should be on print media and / or its intersection and interaction with other forms of media insofar as they relate to the history of print.

    Papers are not required to specifically address Britain or Ireland, or the 1918 general election; they may address any historical period, up to and including the present day, and any geographical region or regions. Topics that may be addressed include, but are not limited to:

    • The press as an institution of electoral democracy.
    • The press and electoral propaganda and disinformation.
    • The press in landmark votes and referendums.
    • The press and post-war elections.
    • The press and the extension or restriction of franchise.
    • The press and women’s suffrage.
    • The Vote as an instrument of social change for the women’s suffragist and labour press.

    To submit a proposal please email an abstract of no more than 250 words to the NPHFI secretary, Dr James O’Donnell, at

    Abstracts must contain a clear title and present clearly the main thesis / argument proposed. Each abstract must also include name(s), affiliation, institutional address and email address(es) of the author(s).

    Deadline for submission of abstracts: 7 June 2018.

    The Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland seeks to achieve gender balance on its conference panels and welcomes proposals from researchers of all career stages working in academia, media, and in professional organisations.

    Hosted by the Moore Institute in association with the Centre for the Investigation of Transnational Encounters (CITE) and the Irish Centre for the Histories of labour and Class (ICHLC), and with thanks to the support of Gale Primary Sources.

  • 19 Apr 2018 6:55 PM | Dane Claussen

    Oral History Summer School was established in Hudson, New York, in 2012, as a rigorous training program to help students from varied fields––writers, social workers, radio producers, artists, teachers, human rights workers––make use of oral history as an ethical interview practice in their lives and work. OHSS has two workshop this spring/summer which are now accepting applications. 

    Full information about OHSS and the workshops can be found, below: 

    Oral History Summer School is a cross-disciplinary program in Hudson, New York that offers training in oral history methodologies and documentary approaches. We host foundational workshops as well as advanced training on focused topics such as memory loss, mixed ability interviewing, song collection, family history, and trauma narratives/testimony. Oral History Summer School is offering two new workshops in Upstate New York (Hudson), this spring/summer.

    Experimental Ethnographies: Oral History Remixed (May 15-24, 2018) 

    Instructors: Suzanne Snider (Oral History Summer School), Todd Shalom (Elastic City), Michael Garofalo (Storycorps), LJ Amsterdam (Ruckus Society)

    Oral History Intensive + Oral History & Care (June 18-29, 2018) 

    Instructors: Suzanne Snider (Oral History Summer School), Ry Garcia-Sampson (Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University), Daniel Cogan (NP, Aspire Health)

    Additional workshop details and application forms can be found, here


    *Because summer is a busy season, upstate, OHSS has reserved a number of housing options well below market rate; early applicants will have widest range of affordable options.

  • 19 Apr 2018 6:53 PM | Dane Claussen

    The Indiana University Media School is organizing a symposium around the launch of the fully digitized collection in IU’s Roy W. Howard Archive. This influential journalist and newspaper publisher ran the United Press and the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain in the first half of the twentieth century, and IU has housed a substantial collection of his papers since 1983. The collection is being digitized and will be available for online viewing and research this year.

    To celebrate this rich resource, the Media School will host a symposium for researchers, archivists, journalists and others interested in Howard’s legacy, the broader history of twentieth century journalism, and the increasing availability of digitized archival sources for historical research.

    The symposium will be in October 2018 on IU’s beautiful Bloomington, Indiana, campus and will feature paper sessions, a roundtable discussion on archives and digitization, and a showcase panel of senior scholars who have used the Howard Archive. The symposium is funded by generous support from the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Howard family.

    Read the full paper call and other details at the symposium website:

  • 12 Apr 2018 8:12 PM | Dane Claussen

    By Will Mari, Northwest University 

    On a warm June morning in 2017, I found myself standing in a small classroom in the green foothills of Kigali, Rwanda, teaching students about American journalism history. 

    I got there partially thanks to the AJHA's generous Joseph McKerns Research Grant, which I received in the fall of 2016. It helped to subsidize what had originally been intended as a fact-finding trip for a research project. That project was supposed to have been an oral-history of the English-speaking newspapers in the land-locked, mountainous east African country. 

    When I arrived in mid-May, however, I quickly realized that the very large scope of my project, and the political sensitivities of conducting it before the country’s upcoming elections, made my first idea unlikely, and looked for other ways to spend my time there. 

    Fortunately, I was soon contacted through a close colleague, about a summer teaching opportunity for Ejo Youth Echo (EYE), a nonprofit that trains high-school and college students in media work. EYE receives both local, regional and some international funding, including from the German government, and produces programs for the Voice of America. The Cold War history of this latter organization is something I’m intrigued by, especially its role in American media engagement in the developing world during that era, and its connections to local broadcasters and producers such as EYE. 

    When the volunteers at EYE asked me to co-teach a summer class on the history of American journalism, and a parallel class on media writing, the timing and connection to my own interest thus worked out well. 

    As EYE is also interested in cultivating critical-thinking and media-literacy skills, I focused on retooling my courses in these topics for Rwandan students. I taught about 10-12 students three times a week in the mornings, at EYE’s studio in Kigali, for a month beginning in early June. 

    The students, who ranged in age from their late teens through their mid-twenties, about half men and half women, were attentive and engaged, especially with the history part of the class. Several were studying journalism at local colleges and universities. Most of them were also actively volunteering to produce radio content for EYE. 

    Truthfully, I learned as much from them as they did from me, if not more. While at first shy, they soon opened up and asked me and my fellow instructor to coffee after we were finished around noon each day, and liked to ask questions about how journalism works, or doesn’t work, in the U.S. We, in turn, asked them about their lives and aspirations, and about how journalism functions in Rwanda and East Africa. As I rode the back of a moto (motorcycle taxi) to the nonprofit’s house-classroom in the mornings, and then in the afternoons afterward, I felt at turns excited and intimidated: teaching students in another culture and through a language barrier helped me learn to slow things down, provide more context, and listen better (something I’m still working on). 

    The second half of the course, on the basics of media-writing and AP style, was more challenging. We had the students write basic news and features stories, and practice interviewing techniques. Because many of them were working or attending other classes, or just weren’t used to some of my presumptions about length and number of sources, for example, the results were uneven. If I was to teach the class again, I might either spend more time on shorter, in-class assignments to prepare them for the longer stories, or double-down on the media-law and history-side of the course. I’d also assign more videos to watch, or shorter reading assignments. 

    Ultimately, however, I am grateful for the opportunity the McKerns Grant provided: to learn more about how other places “do” their journalism and teach it to the next generation. I also made some valuable future connections for what I hope to be a history of the VOA in the developing world. I should thank Michael Fuhlhage, the AJHA's research chair, for his encouragement to pursue this alternative path for the grant, and the AJHA itself, for affirming the role of media-history and journalism-education around the world.


    Will Mari is an assistant professor at Northwest University (Kirkland, Wash.) and AJHA's Membership co-chair and social-media coordinator

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