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Amplified Initiative

Jan 9, 2019

Today’s episode is the presentation of an exciting project for anyone interested in teaching or learning about history. The OAH panel “Democratizing the American History Textbook: Mass Collaboration and The American Yawp” describes a year-long collaboration of more than 350 historians to produce The American Yawp (, a free and online, open-source American history Textbook.

This is an episode of the Amplified Initiative, a project of the Organization of American Historians ( and presented by the Oral History Association ( This project from the Organization of American Historians aims to broaden the impact of the OAH’s 2018 conference by asking partner organizations to develop material, based on the conference panels, that will be shared with each partner’s specific audience.

Launched as a radical experiment in mass collaboration and institution-free pedagogy the Yawp was only a logical extension of the democratic promise that history can be open source.

Panelists discuss how scholars can collaborate across institutions, the future of the textbook in teh digital age, the role of the university press in balancing access with professional standards, and other questions.

Chair: Kathryn Tomasek, Wheaton College, Massachusetts


• Ben Wright, University of Texas at Dallas
• Joseph Locke, University of Houston–Victoria
• Margo Irvin, Stanford University Press
• Angela Esco Elder, Converse College

You can listen to the full version of this panel, as well as other presentations that didn’t make into the podcast, at