Archived News

JPASS Benefit
JPASS: A New Benefit for NCIS Members

The National Coalition of Independent Scholars (NCIS) is pleased to offer a 50% discount on JPASS –JSTOR’s individual access plans.

JSTOR is one of the most heavily used research and teaching platform for academic libraries. Scholars use JSTOR to discover, read, and build upon a wide range of academic journals that are archived from the very first issue published.

For the first time, JPASS connects unaffiliated scholars—independent researchers, faculty with limited JSTOR access, and anyone working outside the academy—to the 1,600+ scholarly journals in the JSTOR archive on a monthly or annual basis. Designed specifically for those with limited or no JSTOR access,  JPASS acts as your “personal library card” where you pay a fee and get unlimited reading and limited downloading to JSTOR’s rich digital library.

NCIS members can access the annual JPASS for $99—a 50% discount off what others will pay.  A $19.50 monthly plan is also available to those seeking short term JSTOR access.

You can register for your JPASS account in the members only area of this site. Logon to your account first, then go to http://ncis.org/members-only/jpass-access.

You can also view the full title list and learn more about JPASS here:  http://jpass.jstor.org/collections. Please note that this custom link will expire 12/31/2014.  To renew your JPASS for next year, we will furnish a new link to guarantee your member discount rate.  Please contact support@jstor.org with any questions.

Amendment to the Bylaws Passed
As of its meeting of April 16, 2014, the Executive Committee recommended to the Board an amendment to the Bylaws for immediate action. On April 19, the Board completed its voting, which was unanimous.  Members submitted their votes on May 25, 2013 and the amendment was passed.

As NCIS grows and changes, the need for new executive positions grows as well. With the participation of the voting membership who approved a new amendment to the Bylaws, NCIS has created its first Membership Officer.

THE TEXT OF THE AMENDMENT READS:

"The Board shall from time to time create a new officer position as needed."

OFFICER, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Every Officer, either appointed or elected, is a member of the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee is the leadership group that manages the daily activities and business of NCIS between Board meetings.

Officers and Board Members comprise the Board of Directors.

REASONS FOR THIS PROPOSAL

The Membership Chair is one of the most important positions that any Board member can hold. Currently the position is managed by a Board member. We feel it is important to elevate the position of Membership Chair to that of Membership Officer, a position on the Executive Committee. This is a position that now exists broadly throughout the nonprofit sector. The Membership Officer would, by default, chair the Membership Committee.

The Membership Officer would work on issues and policies that affect NCIS and would be in charge of membership recruitment and retention. In addition, and just as important, this officer would be working closely with the Communications Officer and continue to collaborate with the Benefits Committee and other committees, as needed.

Membership Officers are far more important positions today than in the past when their responsibilities were far fewer and their positions of seemingly lesser importance. That has changed, and we need to move forward with an outreach campaign to grow the numbers of NCIS members.

The Board needs the Membership Chair to play an important role in the management of the daily activities of NCIS, one whose overall responsibility will be the membership, work to spearhead the outreach, and work collegially with the Board to accomplish our very needed expansion.

We have reached the point where we require such an officer for the present and future growth of NCIS.

NCIS Nominating Committee Seeks Nominations for the Board of Directors
The Nominating Committee is now accepting nominations for Board candidates. Our Bylaws state:

“Candidates shall be selected by a Nominating Committee from a pool of NCIS Members by operation of one of the following:

a) proposed by members of the Nominating Committee
b) self-proposed
c) proposed by other NCIS Members.”

We have several open seats on the Board for appointment and one seat for election in November. You may volunteer yourself, and/or you may propose another NCIS Member. Please check first with the persons you want to nominate that they are wiling to have their names put forward.

Nominees will be contacted personally and we will explain the nomination process and discuss what Board service entails.

Please respond to:
Janet Wasserman
Chair, Nominating Committee
Secretary, NCIS
secretary@ncis.org
 

Recent Events: Neil B. Dukas

  • Thurs, November 13, 2014 - Staff Walk (Battlefield Study): The Battle of Nu‘uanu, 1795, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Corps Base Hawaii
  • Tues, November 18, 2014 – Lecture/Presentation: Ashford & Ashford: How two brothers (lawyers) from Canada came to influence the fate of a nation, King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center , Honolulu , HI
  • Wed, November 19, 2014 – Lecture/Presentation: Uniforms and Court Costume of the Hawaiian Kingdom , ‘ Iolani Palace Docent Program, Honolulu , HI
  • Sun, January 4, 2015 – Paper: The Independent Historian and the Question of “Academic” Rigor, NCIS/AHA Professional Division co-sponsored session, American Historical Association Annual Meeting, New York City , NY

American Historical Association 2015
Sunday, January 4, 2015: 2:30 PM-4:30 PM

Chair: Susan R. Breitzer, National Coalition of Independent Scholars

The Rights and Responsibilities of Equity: Independent Scholars, Professional Standards, and the National Coalition of Independent Scholars

The Independent Historian and the Question of “Academic” Rigor

Neil B. Dukas, National Coalition of Independent Scholars

Beyond the Academy: History Employment and Scholarly Professionalism

Ray F. Kibler III, National Coalition of Independent Scholars

Session Abstract

In recent times, the number of historians practicing history off off  the tenure track has become an increasingly acknowledged reality. Whether this “independent” status is by choice or by circumstance, this increase partially reflects the much-discussed decline in the availability of tenure-track academic positions in the history profession. Therefore, the National Coalition of Independent Scholars is co-sponsoring a roundtable to address this growing reality from the perspectives of a few of the organization’s members. While this roundtable does not intend to offer solutions, it will provide important perspectives on how individual independent scholars have adapted, and what role NCIS  and other learned societies, can play in making independent scholarship an economically and professionally viable option.

Jonathan Moore, a Ph. D. candidate who has had previous experience in the world of business and real estate,  approaches the issue from the perspective of an aspiring historian with an abiding passion for the field balanced with an awareness of the realities of the job market. In his talk, he emphasizes preparing for a career in his field while simultaneously preparing to practice history as an independent scholar who supports himself with his previous day job. The advice he concludes with for all prospective and currently practicing historians is to “control the controllables,” and worry less about what is beyond one’s control.

Susan Breitzer, in her presentation, addresses the issue from the perspective of a recent Ph. D. who has worked as an adjunct instructor and writer for hire, as well as a Board member of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars. In it, she shifts the focus to the issue of the “rights and responsibilities” of independent scholars, specifically addressing the interrelated problems of lack of professional structure and professional support. She also examines the idea of “equivalent standards” and shaping decisions to  pursue research ideas “because you think you can” to one's advantage.

Neil Dukas, an established independent scholar and the author of three books further develops Breitzer’s focus by speaking to the issue of “independent historian” equaling “amateur historian” in the public perception, and how this perception is sometimes exacerbated by the unconventional subject matter that independent historians frequently write about. While Dukas allows that there are challenges to producing quality scholarship without support, he also emphasizes that the scholar who is not answerable to an institution can more credibly claim an “aura” of unbiased research.

Finally, Ray Kibler, a minister and church historian by training, addresses an area that is sometimes glossed over in the academic versus independent historian dichotomies—that historians who work in nonacademic history-related are just as much “employed” historians as their academic colleagues. Kibler therefore calls upon the AHA and similar learned societies to do a better job “affirming and promoting” these historians within the organization. Kibler also brings out the possibilities for older scholars who have spent most of their adult lives in professional careers fields “harvest the fruits of their life-long learning” as independent scholars.

Upcoming Events with Neil B. Dukas
http://www.dukas.org

  • Thurs, November 13, 2014 - Staff Walk (Battlefield Study): The Battle of Nu‘uanu, 1795, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Corps Base Hawaii
  • Tues, November 18, 2014 – Lecture/Presentation: Ashford & Ashford: How two brothers (lawyers) from Canada came to influence the fate of a nation, King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center , Honolulu , HI
  • Wed, November 19, 2014 – Lecture/Presentation: Uniforms and Court Costume of the Hawaiian Kingdom , ‘ Iolani Palace Docent Program, Honolulu , HI
  • Sun, January 4, 2015 – Paper: The Independent Historian and the Question of “Academic” Rigor, NCIS/AHA Professional Division co-sponsored session, American Historical Association Annual Meeting, New York City , NY
  • Also, The Battle of Nu'uanu, 1795 : An Illustrated Pocket Guide to the O'ahu Battlefield (Mutual Publishing, Honolulu ) is now in its second printing. 

 

NCIS Roundtable Discussion at AHA 2015
From Surviving to Thriving:  The Challenges and Awards of Practicing History as an Independent Scholar

Sunday, January 4, 2015: 2:30 PM-4:30 PM

Chair: Susan R. Breitzer, National Coalition of Independent Scholars

The Rights and Responsibilities of Equity: Independent Scholars, Professional Standards, and the National Coalition of Independent Scholars

The Independent Historian and the Question of “Academic” Rigor

Neil B. Dukas, National Coalition of Independent Scholars

Beyond the Academy: History Employment and Scholarly Professionalism

Ray F. Kibler III, National Coalition of Independent Scholars

Session Abstract

In recent times, the number of historians practicing history off off  the tenure track has become an increasingly acknowledged reality. Whether this “independent” status is by choice or by circumstance, this increase partially reflects the much-discussed decline in the availability of tenure-track academic positions in the history profession. Therefore, the National Coalition of Independent Scholars is co-sponsoring a roundtable to address this growing reality from the perspectives of a few of the organization’s members. While this roundtable does not intend to offer solutions, it will provide important perspectives on how individual independent scholars have adapted, and what role NCIS  and other learned societies, can play in making independent scholarship an economically and professionally viable option.

Jonathan Moore, a Ph. D. candidate who has had previous experience in the world of business and real estate,  approaches the issue from the perspective of an aspiring historian with an abiding passion for the field balanced with an awareness of the realities of the job market. In his talk, he emphasizes preparing for a career in his field while simultaneously preparing to practice history as an independent scholar who supports himself with his previous day job. The advice he concludes with for all prospective and currently practicing historians is to “control the controllables,” and worry less about what is beyond one’s control.

Susan Breitzer, in her presentation, addresses the issue from the perspective of a recent Ph. D. who has worked as an adjunct instructor and writer for hire, as well as a Board member of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars. In it, she shifts the focus to the issue of the “rights and responsibilities” of independent scholars, specifically addressing the interrelated problems of lack of professional structure and professional support. She also examines the idea of “equivalent standards” and shaping decisions to  pursue research ideas “because you think you can” to one's advantage.

Neil Dukas, an established independent scholar and the author of three books further develops Breitzer’s focus by speaking to the issue of “independent historian” equaling “amateur historian” in the public perception, and how this perception is sometimes exacerbated by the unconventional subject matter that independent historians frequently write about. While Dukas allows that there are challenges to producing quality scholarship without support, he also emphasizes that the scholar who is not answerable to an institution can more credibly claim an “aura” of unbiased research.
Finally, Ray Kibler, a minister and church historian by training, addresses an area that is sometimes glossed over in the academic versus independent historian dichotomies—that historians who work in nonacademic history-related are just as much “employed” historians as their academic colleagues. Kibler therefore calls upon the AHA and similar learned societies to do a better job “affirming and promoting” these historians within the organization. Kibler also brings out the possibilities for older scholars who have spent most of their adult lives in professional careers fields “harvest the fruits of their life-long learning” as independent scholars.