volume 38, number 5
Temple UniversityFaculty Herald

Faculty Herald’s New Editor
Lewis Gordon, College of Liberal Arts

David Waldstreicher,
Professor of History,
College of Liberal Arts

The Faculty Senate Steering Committee voted unanimously for David Waldstreicher (CLA), Professor of History, to be the next editor of The Temple Faculty Herald as of July 1, 2008.


Says Frank Friedman (CST), Chairperson of the Herald’s Editorial Board:


“The Faculty Herald Advisory Board is extremely pleased to have a person of David’s background and experience as the new Editor of the Faculty Herald.”


Before joining Temple’s faculty, Waldstreicher taught history at Notre Dame University, American studies and history at Yale University, and was a member of the social sciences division at Bennington College.


Waldstreicher has received much acclaim for his scholarship.  His awards and fellowships include elected membership in the American Antiquarian Society, the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers Fellowship, the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, a Benjamin Franklin Grant from the American Philosophical Society, the Gilder Lerhman Fellowship, the Ralph D. Gray Prize for his article “Abraham Bishop’s Vocation” (1999), the Jamestown Foundation Prize for his book In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes: The Making of American Nationalism, 1776–1820 (1997), the Percy Prize for his article “Rites of Rebellion, Rites of Assent” (1995), the Leo Wassserman Foundation Prize of the American Jewish Historical Society, and an Andrew Mellon Fellowship.


In addition to In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes, Waldstreicher’s books include the critically acclaimed Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery, and the American Revolution (2004) and the anthologies Beyond the Founders: New Approaches to the Political History of the Early American Republic (2004), Notes on the State of Virginia by Thomas Jefferson with Related Documents (2002), and The Struggle Against Slavery: A History in Documents (2001).


Waldstreicher comes to the post with journalistic writing experience that includes book reviews for The Boston Globe, The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, and his research includes examination of journalism and its functions in American political life, and he also has experience editing a newspaper, The GESO Voice, the graduate students’ union paper during his student years at Yale.


Speaking of Philadelphia and his decision to come to Temple in 2004, Waldstreicher reflects, “I always liked Philadelphia—I had been coming through town occasionally to do research for about 15 years before I arrived permanently in 2004. It is a great place to do early American history.


“I was also raised to believe in public higher education: My father and uncle, the first in the family to go to college, attended Queens College of the City University of New York. They lived at home and worked their way through school and became professionals, something which would not have been likely had there not been publicly financed institutions without quotas like the CUNY system. My father graduated the same year as his youngest uncle, who had been going to school at night for a decade.”


Speaking of his plans for the Herald, Waldstreicher says, “I would like the Herald to nurture a sense of shared interest and experience on the part of the faculty. It should inform us of developments across the university and serve as a forum for informed discussion of issues that concern significant numbers of us.


“The Herald was one of the first things I read as a new faculty member. At a time when there are increasing numbers of new and relatively new faculty on campus, the Herald should help rookie and veteran faculty speak to each other about matters that affect us all, especially Temple’s traditions and its new departures.


“The role of the Herald played in the controversy over the Islamic Studies chair is just one example of the constructive, yet critical, role that a publication like this can play. In my view, web publication can enliven the public and interactive dimension of local journalism. I’m a believer in what they call public journalism: my job as editor is not only to spread information widely and accurately but also to encourage meaningful deliberation and exchange of views. The Herald’s public is the faculty.”


Waldstreicher’s interest in the Herald is connected to his wider hopes for Temple.  In his words,  “Temple needs to continue to be a place open to large numbers of people who wish to advance their education and careers; it also needs to raise standards and set an example of professionalism in all fields. My greatest hope is that these goals will not be mutually exclusive but rather, work to reinforce each other. We need to keep standards up, and rising, while insisting that it is in the long-term interests of all our students, our graduates, and the community to do so.


“I have met so many people in the Philadelphia area with a Temple connection and with Temple experiences. As Temple expands its reach nationally and globally, it has a mediating role to play between the people who live and work here and the larger world, and vice-versa: increasingly Temple will be a significant point of contact between the world and Philadelphia. We should embrace that mediating role, which in a sense has always been what makes universities special places—not, as their detractors have always said, provincial and academic, but rather urbane and cosmopolitan.”