Cliopatria: A Group Blog
Aaron Bady (∞); Chris Bray (∞); Brett Holman (∞); Jonathan Jarrett (∞); Robert KC Johnson (∞); Rachel Leow (∞); Ralph E. Luker (∞); Scott McLemee (∞); Claire B. Potter (∞); Jonathan T. Reynolds (∞)
-- History News Network's Rick Shenkman has a new book out, Just How Stupid Are We? This week, Rick appeared on Jon Stewart's"The Daily Show." In case you missed it, the show is here. Rick appears at 14:29. Or, you can just look here.
Progressive Historians is sponsoring a summer symposium:"What is a Historian?" The details are here.
Sarah Churchwell,"America: the missing years," Guardian, 7 June, reviews Tony Horwitz's A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World.
Barry Gewen,"In Postwar Britain, the Grim Face of Victory," NYT, 12 June, reviews David Kynaston's Austerity Britain: 1945-1951.
In February 1930, Bela Lam, his wife, Rose Meadows, and their granddaughter, Arlene Lam, are in front of the farmhouse porch on Bull Yearling Run near McMullen in Greene County, Virginia. (A commenter says:"Notice Bela's banjo roll: a triplet with fingers 1-2-3 up-picked on strings 3-2-1, then a quarter-note thumb on string 4, then a quarter-note up-pick of strings 3-2-1 simultaneously. Gives a nice light bounce to a 6/8 song. I think of that sound as older than that of the Carter Family.") Nevertheless, their maudlin song,"Poor Little Benny," with its shape note harmonies, isn't recommended for Father's Day.
Three months later, Whistler's Jug Band sang and played ragtime rhythms,"Foldin' Bed" (sometimes known as"Tear It Down" or"Bed Slats ‘n All"). (Nathanael Robinson points out that at the back left of this clip, you'll see a"now rare banjo-mandolin (mandolin scale and stringing with a banjo body)." Jug bands originated in Louisville, Kentucky, and became popular entertainment in Derby season. Whistler's band may here have been recorded at Churchill Downs.
Claire was still up on the table when I left. I was more than anxious as to how she would get down, because I know I wouldn't be able to get down from a high table with my knees in the shape they are, so I beetled off to the Town Hall Beer garden with my entourage instead and left the worrying to others.
After dinner, there was a plenary on"The Changing (?) Status of Women in the Historical Profession." Can we say"glass ceiling?" I won't recount the details, but suffice to say that the Radical ran into the author of the AHA's Lunbeck report at registration earlier in the day, and she didn't plan to report good developments in the three years since her findings were published. And I am not so sure that the issue is entirely a question of women being hired, but rather what the conditions of labor are after you are hired. Practically every woman I talked to over the age of 45 -- including the author of the Lunbeck Report -- was either serving as a department chair, or getting ready to serve as a chair, or doing some other administrative job.
But there is some good news, news that I have known about for a while. A group of scholars associated with the Berkshire Conference have organized in the past several months to collect a rather large sum of money to endow an article prize named for Mary Maples Dunn, godmother to the Radical (true), colonial historian and authority on William Penn, former professor of History at Bryn Mawr College, former President of Smith, former Director of the Schlesinger Library, former acting Dean of the Radcliffe Institute, and -- with her husband Richard Dunn -- former co-executive officer of the American Philosophical Society. The endowment was announced at the end of the panel and -- astonishingly, since it was all over the internet and many people had given money, including my mother, who was Mary's grad school roommate at Bryn Mawr, hence the godmother thing) -- the secret had been successfully kept from Mary! This is because, as she explained to me, she does not spend her time reading everything available on her computer screen as I do. The fundraisers were all over the various early American listserves and networks so the jig would have been up if Mary were a blogger. At the dessert reception afterwards (co-sponsored by the Berks, the Coordinating Council of Women Historians, the National Collaborative for Women's History Sites, and the Western Association of Women's Historians) she was still a little bowled over, and very happy.
Finally -- before bed -- because an old graduate school buddy is running that committee, I also know who won the Berks annual article prize. But that would be telling, wouldn't it? Come to the opening ceremony and keynote tomorrow at Ted Mann Concert Hall to find out.
Crossposted at Tenured Radical.
But where are the historians at SSRN?
Although one might legitimately dispute whether history is a social science (I prefer to think of it as an interdisciplinary field rather than a discipline myself), history is not represented on the site's index as a searchable network, although historians may be hiding in some of the other categories. English and American literature, Classics and Philosophy are represented, however, and they are not social sciences at all.
So what's the deal history colleagues? It's rare that we find ourselves to be outpaced by Philosophy and Classics in the creation of audiences -- and by our friends in English Departments too! Despite the claims of conservative pundits that literary scholars are rotting the academy from inside out while the rest of us stand helplessly by and watch, they have a harder time getting published, finding full-time employment, and being taken as seriously as they should be as public intellectuals than virtually any other category of scholar (except perhaps philosophers and classicists -- new translation of the Iliad, anyone?)
Other than the fact that these three fields are under siege and have nothing to lose (as well as everything to gain) by trying to reach a mass audience, my favorite theory as to why we historians have fallen behind in seeking out a broader readership is that historians have a particularly vexed relationship to the popular. On the one hand, the masses as well as the classes often pursue history as a leisure activity and a hobby, which makes it possible for a few historians to distribute their work far more broadly than other scholars can. David McCullough, Jill Lepore, and Jonathan Spence, for example, reach a national market with their scholarship, in part because educated readers love history and in part because they are great writers with an eye for a story that needs to be told. On the other hand, how many times, dear history colleagues, have you seen a group of otherwise sensible people turn up their noses at the information that a forthcoming scholarly work will appear under the imprint of a quality commercial publisher that most authors -- nay, those with the upturned noses -- would kill to have a contract, much less a check and marketing plan, from? Vile commerce is perceived by us as inherently suspect, and we ensure scholarly virtue through a refereeing process that controls distribution of work, delays projects for years and ensures that the manuscript will only speak to a narrow audience. An insistence that the only good work has been heavily vetted through our current refereeing practices may be a mistake, much as soliciting the criticisms of others does contribute to producing good work (although it doesn't always, I'm afraid, as cases where flawed research has slipped through to publication or a prize demonstrates.) In its current form, it may be a fetish that is doing us more harm than good, and may be something that our professional associations need to review to take advantage of an atmosphere of intellectual vigor offered by electronic and other forms of mass publication.
Crossposted at Tenured Radical
Eric Ormsby,"Roots of Civilization," NY Sun, 11 June, reviews Robert Pogue Harrison's Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition.
William Dalrymple,"India: The Place of Sex," NYRB, 26 June, reviews Vidya Dehejia, ed., Chola: Sacred Bronzes of Southern India, James McConnachie's The Book of Love: The Story of the Kamasutra, Wendy Doniger's and Sudhir Kakar's Kamasutra: A New, Complete English Translation of the Sanskrit Text, and David Gordon White's Kiss of the Yogini:"Tantric Sex" in Its South Asian Contexts.
Clifford S. L. Davies,"The Tudor Delusion," TLS, 11 June, argues that"Tudor" was nearly unknown to the people who lived in"Tudor England."
Alfred W. Crosby,"Christopher Columbus and the Shape of Things to Come," NY Sun, 11 June, reviews Nicolás Wey Gómez's The Tropics of Empire.
Things Nearby (under the fold)
Jeremy Axelrod,"Milking History," NY Sun, 5 June, reviews David I. Kertzer's "Amalia's Tale", a story of syphilis and the law in late 19th century France and Italy.
Daniel Pick,"Analyzing Adolf," TLS, 21 May, reviews Mark Edmundson's The Death of Sigmund Freud: Fascism, psychoanalysis and the rise of fundamentalism.
Adam Kirsch sees in the publication of Nicholson Baker's Human Smoke and Patrick Buchanan's Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War in the same season"a clear demonstration of the way ideological extremes tend to converge." See also: John Lukacs,"Necessary Evil," American Conservative, 2 June, and Scott McConnell,"Buchanan, Lukacs, and TAC," ibid., 9 June.
James Campbell,"Richard Wright: black first," TLS, 11 June, reviews Hazel Rowley's Richard Wright: The Life and Times and Wright's Black Power and A Father's Law.
Jasper Griffin,"Mad about the Boy," NYRB, 9 June, reviews Richard Stoneman's Alexander the Great: A Life in Legend.
In Tyler Cowen,"Time travel back to 1000 A.D.: Survival tips," Marginal Revolution, 6 June, Cowen and his readers offer their best advice. Hat tip to Kottke, who says:"I side with the commenters who feel that the most likely outcome is death within a few days."
Errol Morris,"Play It Again, Sam (Re-enactments, Part One)," Zoom, 3 April; Morris,"Play It Again, Sam (Re-enactments, Part Two)," ibid., 10 April; and Morris,"Cartesian Blogging, Part Two," ibid., 9 June, are the most recent contribution by the winner of last year's Cliopatria Award for Best Series of Posts (scroll down).
Jonathan Rowe's post on the posthumous Christianizing (or make that orthodox-izing...) of George Washington reminded me of the early 19th-c. British equivalent: the posthumous, but not altogether successful, Christianizing of William Pitt the Younger. George Rose, whom I'm quoting in my title, did his best to help this process along, although the main responsibility devolved on Pitt's former tutor, the Bishop of Lincoln, George Pretyman Tomline, and Pitt's old friend, the Tory author and editor William Gifford. Not all devout Protestants were particularly impressed by the end result, however. Pitt's niece, Lady Hester Stanhope, did much to knock the legend on its head, thanks to her memoirizing physician, Charles Lewis Meryon. Similarly, the evangelical William Wilberforce, a great friend of Pitt's, had to admit that the religion of Pitt and his associates was not what it could have been (in fact, Wilberforce had compassionate, but sterner, things to say). For a brief summing-up of Pitt's beliefs, or lack thereof, see the third volume of John Ehrman's standard biography (826-29).
First, a lot of very smart people are thinking very hard about how best to apply the tools of the digital world to history and the humanities. It's actually not an obvious or an easy question to answer, and I have to say I don't think we as a community have entirely cracked it yet. There seemed to be more exciting and promising tools at the conference than there were obvious problems to apply them to. That's not a dismissal. I think"more tools than problems" is a great position to be in. I just thought many sessions were stronger on"here's what you can do with these tools" than on"here's why you'll want to do it." Case in point: the NEH's Office of Digital Humanities is seeking ideas for humanities supercomputing. Supercomputing! They want to give historians and other humanists access to supercomputers! But there's an unfortunate dearth of historians who need a trillion calculations done in one second. This is what I really want and need to put my brain to. Not supercomputing, but the whole"OK, so what should we do with these tools" question. We really need some canonical projects that anybody can point to and say,"oh, so that's why this stuff is valuable to the humanities." It's going to happen soon--like I said, there are some very smart people thinking very hard about it. Once it does, we'll probably stop calling this endeavor"digital history" at all. It will just be"history", part of how it's done.
Second, there's money in them there digital hills. If you're a history or humanities graduate student looking to set yourself apart from the crowd, I strongly suggest thinking about getting involved in digital research. I'm afraid I don't just mean a blog about robots. Demonstrate some programming chops along with your humanities education and there ought to be people who'll want very much to hire you. (Edit: See? Here's some THATCampers wondering where to find programmers.) Better yet, come up with some answers to the questions in my last paragraph. You don't need a compsci degree, and you don't need to be a math whiz. But you can't be scared of your computer, and you do need to put in some time.
Third, I really like these people, the ones tearing down walls between the two Cold War cultures of science and the humanities. You could say there's an element of preaching to the choir at any meeting like this. Nobody at THATCamp was unsympathetic to the project of digital humanities. But so what? Choirs need to get together, to practice and to sing. A big reason to go to any conference is for validation--the formation in physical space of a community linked more by outlook and interest than geography. As I said before, these people feel like my tribe. So even if I don't crack the digital humanities riddle, I'm going to keep turning up for things like THATCamp as long as they'll have me.
If you'd like to read more specifics about the conference, I've posted notes on all the sessions I went to back at my other blog, along with links to many of the shiny gewgaws that were demoed and displayed.
Oxoniensis, Mercurius Rusticus, and Edward Vallance discuss a recent decision that the British Library will no longer microfilm UK theses. Students will be asked to submit electronic copies of their thesis to their home institution, which will decide the conditions under which it will be made available to other readers. There's disagreement about whether this is a step forward or backward.
Mary Beard reports that the BBC's Reith Lectures aren't what they used to be. In 1948, Bertrand Russell launched them with 54 minutes per lecture. This year, Yale's Jonathan Spence had only 20 minutes to say something intelligent about Confucianism. The rest of his time was given to answering questions from illustrious guests, like the archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster. Incidentally, Wikipedia reports that"Jonathan Spence was prime minister of the American Historical Association for the 2004-2005 term."*
*Update: The sentence is now corrected.
Botany is National Destiny: Andrea Wulf,"The politics of botany," TLS, 30 May, reviews Philip J. Pauly's Fruits and Plains: The horticultural transformation of America. Jennifer Potter,"People, plants and the British psyche," TLS, 4 June, reviews Mary and John Gribbin's Flower Hunters and Andrea Wulf's The Brother Gardners: Botany, Empire and the birth of an obsession.
Frank McLynn,"Spartans of the Plain," Literary Review, nd, reviews Pekka Hämäläinen's The Comanche Empire.
Finally, OTR.Network Library is a free resource for over 12,000 vintage radio programs. Alas, I remember most of them. Elsewhere, I listened to an episode of"Land of the Lost," a Saturday morning program for children. Red Lantern, the talking fish, gives Billy and Isabel the magic seaweed that lets them follow him to adventures at the bottom of the sea. I suppose you had to be there.
Early Modern Notes
Roy Booth,"The Folly of Thomas Appletree, 1579," Early Modern Whale, 30 May, discusses the accidental shooting of one of Queen Elizabeth's watermen.
Gavin Robinson,"Social-Political Animals: Humans and Non-Humans in Early Modern Society," Investigations of a Dog, 30 May, is the paper he gave two days earlier at Nottingham Trent University's Forward Symposium.
Nick,"The Mowing-Devil," Mercurius Politicus, 7 June, looks at a 1678 pamphlet that appealed to rural communities and dealt with the power relationships between middling landowners, who had broken the communities' moral economy, and their labourers.
Edward Vallance,"The Captivity of James II: Gestures of Loyalty and Disloyalty in Seventeenth-Century England," is the paper he gave at the Institute of Historical Research last week. Thanks to Christopher Thompson for the tip.
American Notes after the jump:
Adam Kirsch,"The Battle Cry of Freedom," NY Sun, 4 June, reviews Andrew Ward's The Slaves' War.
Joshua Kucera,"Rand's R and D (and secrecy)," SF Chronicle, reviews Alex Arbella's Soldiers of Reason: The RAND Corporation and the Rise of the American Empire.
Jeff Stein,"Collateral Damage," NYT, 8 June, reviews Eric Lichtblau's Bush's Law: The Remaking of American Justice. Thanks to Mary Dudziak for the tip.
Dan Eggen,"Citing History, Bush Suggests His Policies Will One Day Be Vindicated," Washington Post, 9 June, finds an unpopular president increasingly appealing to historical analogies as his term draws to a close.
Dan Eggen,"Citing History, Bush Suggests His Policies Will One Day Be Vindicated," Washington Post, 9 June, finds an unpopular president increasingly appealing to historical analogies as his term draws to a close.
Brian Selznick and David Serlin,"A Buried History of Paleontology," Cabinet, Winter, revisits the 19th century paleontologists who had no complete fossilized skeletons, but worked from teeth and ribs to build"dinosaurs" of brick and mortar.
David Greenberg's"The Other Woman," NYT, 8 June, argues that Joseph Persico's Franklin and Lucy: President Roosevelt, Mrs. Rutherfurd, and the Other Remarkable Women in His Life offers little insight into Roosevelt's life and times, other than personal information.
George Loomis,"State of the Art," Moscow Times, 6 June, reviews Solomon Volkov's The Magical Chorus: A History of Russian Culture from Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn.
“But I am a woman, and like millions of women I know there are still barriers and biases out there, often unconscious, and I want to build an America that embraces and respects the potential of every last one of us.”
The idea that sexism played a role in Clinton’s defeat has been a high-profile storyline coming from the Clinton campaign and its allies (Ellen Malcolm, Gloria Steinem) in recent weeks. With this type of remark, the Clinton campaign ends its effort true to form—making an assertion, not an argument. In fact, the assertion of sexism as a contributing factor for Clinton’s defeat is one for which very little evidence exists.
Take, for instance, the three states in whose primaries Clinton had the biggest victories—Arkansas, West Virginia, and Kentucky. The exit polls for all three states indicated that bias played a role in the outcome—but not gender bias. In Arkansas, 19 percent of voters said the gender of the candidate was important to them; they voted 71-23 for Clinton. In West Virginia, the 18 percent of voters who said the candidate’s gender was important voted 75-19 for Clinton. In Kentucky, 16 percent of voters said the gender of the candidate was important to them—they broke 79-19 for Clinton.
The bias appeared on the question of race, not gender. Eighteen percent of Arkansas voters said the race of the candidate was important to them: their margin was 68-24 for Clinton. For the 22 percent of West Virginians who said the candidate’s race affected their vote, the breakdown was 82-12 for Clinton. And in Kentucky, 21 percent of the voters said Obama’s and Clinton’s race mattered: they fell 81-16 for Clinton.
What about big Obama states? The lack of any evidence of sexism here is even more apparent. In Vermont, Obama won by 20 points. But among the 17 percent of voters who said gender was important to them, 67 percent voted for Clinton. And in Wisconsin, Obama won by 19 points. Yet of the 15 percent of voters who said the candidate's gender mattered, Clinton easily carried the day, 63-37.
Perhaps, it could be argued, subtle gender biases affected voting. But here, too, little evidence exists. The ABC cumulative exit poll was published today; it excluded some of Obama’s best caucus states (Washington, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota) but otherwise was comprehensive. Its findings? In the Democratic primaries, 57 percent of the voters were women. (They went 52-43 for Clinton.) It’s true that Obama carried the male vote (50-43), but the breakdown in both genders was far greater on racial and generational lines.
So who were these hidden sexists, swinging the margin of victory to Obama? The Clinton campaign has never quite said.
A case for sexism affecting the Clinton campaign does exist--but one the campaign never raises. In 2002, Clinton and her advisors very well could have believed that the country never would elect a woman who voted against a war, perhaps explaining her Iraq war vote. Had she cast a vote against the war, there probably would have been no opening for the Obama campaign. But, it seems to me, the Clinton campaign can hardly blame others for their own (erroneous, as it turned out) expectation of voters' sexist stereotypes.
Clinton, of course, did confront instances of overt sexism on the campaign trail (though, it seems, far less often than the overt racism Obama confronted, which his campaign did its best not to stress). And she occasionally attracted clearly sexist comments from journalists who would never have dared utter an implicitly racist comment about Obama. But—as her New Hampshire victory implied—whenever these obvious or even not-so-obvious instances of sexism occurred, Clinton benefited, as would be expected in a Democratic electorate that was almost 3-to-2 female.
The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza picked up on another item from the Clinton address:
She added that while her campaign had failed to break the final—and highest—glass ceiling, that it had still managed to put “about 18 millions cracks in it,” a reference to the votes she won during the entirety of the presidential primary fight.
Since the onset of popular election of senators, the United States has elected three African-Americans (Ed Brooke, Carole Moseley-Braun, and Obama) to the upper chamber. In the current Senate alone, 16 of the members are women. There’s no doubt that—all other things being equal—it’s harder for a white woman to be elected President than for a white man. But the suggestion that it’s harder for a woman than a minority candidate to win a presidential (or a statewide) election is absurd.
Clinton ends, then, true to form. Sexism somehow hurt her campaign—just like earlier claims: she had a chance of catching Barack Obama in the delegate race after Wisconsin; the party trying to ensure that Florida and Michigan followed the rules was comparable to the rigged election in Zimbabwe; a sizeable bloc of undeclared superdelegates was willing to award the nomination to the second-place finisher in the delegate race.
Hopefully, as Andrew Sullivan has argued, the campaign, with its concluding claim of sexism, represented the last gasp of identity politics.
An AP story this morning featured former DNC chairman (and aggressive Clinton supporter) Steve Grossman asking current DNC chairman Howard Dean to relay “how very focused [Clinton fundraisers] are on Hillary being on the ticket.” The Grossman overture came after even blunter demands from Clinton allies Bob Johnson, Lanny Davis, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and Stephanie Tubbs Jones. (It’s unclear why the Obama campaign would in any way welcome messages from the above quintet, who regularly criticized Obama during the primary.) While Clinton issued a statement yesterday seeming to distance herself from these demands, the Grossman item casts some doubt on the senator’s sincerity.
Candidates don’t usually launch a public campaign for the vice presidency, and certainly not in as stark terms as we’ve seen from the Clinton Team. But one candidate did so. In 1964, Robert Kennedy allowed his name to be entered on the New Hampshire ballot (for vice president). A DNC employee (and strong Kennedy backer), Paul Corbin, headed to the Granite State to coordinate the Kennedy effort. Kennedy allies in Congress championed the idea. In the months after the assassination, RFK vacillated on the bid. In more realistic moments, he seemed to realize that serving as LBJ’s vice president would not be a good idea for him. On other occasions, however, he told associates that he might use the office to rally sympathetic figures in the bureaucracy and keep alive the New Frontier.
In late June, Kennedy gave a frank interview to Newsweek’s Ben Bradlee. “I’d be the last man in the world he would want because my name is Kennedy, because he wants a Johnson administration with no Kennedys in it.” Nonetheless, “most of the major political leaders in the North want me. All of them, really.”
The article appeared while the Attorney General was visiting Poland. But Johnson and Kennedy had a tense conversation about Bradlee’s piece as soon as the AG was back in the United States, and Johnson made clear his disdain for Kennedy’s remarks.
The next day, in a conversation with Texas governor John Connally, the President continued to fret.
A few days later, after yet another article touting Kennedy appeared (in the New York Daily News), Johnson sounded out Chicago mayor Richard Daley about the possibility of immediately excluding RFK from the position. Daley, however, was uncertain, and worried that preemptively and publicly eliminating RFK might hurt Johnson in the fall campaign.
By July 29, however, Johnson had had enough. He called Kennedy in to say that the Attorney General wouldn’t be the nominee, citing a memorandum prepared by advisor Clark Clifford on the need for a VP candidate who could contest the “battleground” states in the Midwest. In a rambling call with Clifford right after Kennedy left the Oval Office, Johnson recounted the meeting.
The next day, with Kennedy reneging on an agreement to announce his withdrawal from the race, Johnson issued a statement on the question. But he didn’t want to single out the Attorney General, and so ruled out all members of the Cabinet. The President and aide Jack Valenti prepared the statement, with Valenti joking that the President had wiped out the whole slate of possible candidates with his Cabinet exclusion.
Barack Obama probably will be able to come up with a less transparent excuse for excluding Clinton—perhaps citing Bill Clinton’s likely refusal to submit to a full vetting process. But, in the end, he’s likely to come to the same decision that Johnson did in 1964: the nominee won’t be pressured into choosing a running mate he would prefer to do without.
Manan Ahmed, Cliopatria*
Leslie M. Alexander, Ohio State University
Shawn Leigh Alexander, University of Kansas
Catherine Allgor, University of California, Riverside
Laura Anker, SUNY, Old Westbury
Joyce Appleby, University of California, Los Angeles
Ray Arsenault, University of South Florida
Andrew Bacevich, Boston University
Robert Baker, Georgia State University
Lewis V. Baldwin, Vanderbilt University
Christopher Bates, California State Polytechnic, Pomona
Rosalyn Baxandall, SUNY/Old Westbury
Robert L. Beisner, American University
Doron Ben-Atar, Fordham University
Jonathan P. Berkey, Davidson College
William C. Berman, University of Toronto
David Blight, Yale University
Ruth Bloch, University of California, Los Angeles
Daniel Bluestone, University of Virginia
Edward J. Blum, San Diego State University
Matt Bokovoy, University of Nebraska Press
Kevin Boyle, Ohio State University
John L. Brooke, Ohio State University
Carolyn A. Brown, Rutgers University
Mari Jo Buhle, Brown University
Paul Buhle, Brown University
Jodi Campbell, Texas Christian University
Randolph Campbell, University of North Texas
Gregg Cantrell, Texas Christian University
Charles Capper, Boston University
Clayborne Carson, Stanford University
Derek Catsam, University of Texas, Permian Basin
Herrick Chapman, New York University
John Chavez, Southern Methodist University
Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University
William Cohen, Hope College
Dennis Cordell, Southern Methodist University
Mary F. Corey, University of California, Los Angeles
George Cotkin, California Polytechnic Institute
Edward Countryman, Southern Methodist University
Daniel W. Crofts, The College of New Jersey
Kenneth Cuno, University of Illinois
Adam Davis, Denison University
David Brion Davis, Yale University
Jared N. Day, Carnegie Mellon University
David De Leon, Howard University
John d'Entremont, Randolph College
Dennis C. Dickerson, Vanderbilt University
Jacob H. Dorn, Wright State University
Bruce Dorsey, Swarthmore College
David Doyle, Jr., Southern Methodist University
David V. Du Fault, San Diego State University
W. Marvin Dulaney, College of Charleston
Gretchen Cassel Eick, Friends University
Carolyn Eisenberg, Hofstra University
J. Michael Farmer, University of Texas, Dallas
Michael Fellman, Simon Fraser University
Antonio Feros, University of Pennsylvania
Peter Filene, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Kenneth Fones-Wolf, University of West Virginia
William E. Forbath, University of Texas, Austin
Shannon Frystak, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
Matthew Gabriele, Virginia Tech
Lloyd Gardner, Rutgers University
Sheldon Garon, Princeton University
David Gellman, DePauw University
James Gilbert, University of Maryland
Mark T. Gilderhus, Texas Christian University
Toni Gilpin, Chicago, Illinois
Rebecca A. Goetz, Rice University
David Goldfrank, Georgetown University
Warren Goldstein, University of Hartford
Linda Gordon, New York University
Anthony T. Grafton, Princeton University
Will Gravely, University of Denver
George N. Green, University of Texas, Arlington
James Green, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Sara M. Gregg, Iowa State University
Robert Griffith, American University
Michael Grossberg, Indiana University
James Grossman, Newberry Library
Carol S. Gruber, William Paterson University
Joshua Guild, Princeton University
Roland L. Guyotte, University of Minnesota, Morris
Steven Hahn, University of Pennsylvania
David Hall, Harvard University
Kenneth Hamilton, Southern Methodist University
J. William Harris, University of New Hampshire
Paul Harvey, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Sam W. Haynes, University of Texas, Arlington
Nancy A. Hewitt, Rutgers University
Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Harvard University
Joan Hoff, University of Montana
Jonathan Holloway, Yale University
Jeffrey Houghtby, Iowa State University
Tera W. Hunter, Princeton University
Harold Hyman, Rice University
Charles F. Irons, Elon University
Maurice Jackson, Georgetown University
Thomas F. Jackson, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
Lisa Jacobson, University of California, Santa Barbara
Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Ohio State University
Randal Jelks, Calvin College
John Jentz, Marquette University
Benjamin H. Johnson, Southern Methodist University
David A. Johnson, Portland State University
Robert KC Johnson, Brooklyn College
Jennifer M. Jones, Rutgers University
Patrick D. Jones, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Peniel E. Joseph, Brandeis University
Esther Katz, New York University
Michael Katz, University of Pennsylvania
Michael Kazin, Georgetown University
Barry Keenan, Denison University
Evelyn Fox Keller, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ari Kelman, University of California, Davis
Stephen Kern, Ohio State University
Richard H. King, University of Nottingham
Tracy E. K'Meyer, University of Louisville
Sarah Knott, Indiana University
Gary Kornblith, Oberlin College
Carol Lasser, Oberlin College
Melinda Lawson, Union College
Steven Lawson, Rutgers University
Jackson Lears, Rutgers University
Alan Lessoff, Illinois State University
James M. Lindgren, SUNY, Plattsburgh
Edward T. Linenthal, Indiana University
William A. Link, University of Florida
Leon Litwack, University of California, Berkeley
James Livingston, Rutgers University
Paul K. Longmore, San Francisco State University
Ralph E. Luker, Cliopatria
J. Fred MacDonald, Northeastern Illinois University
Chandra Manning, Georgetown University
Norman Markowitz, Rutgers University
Jill Massino, Oberlin College
Kevin Mattson, Ohio University
Jaclyn Maxwell, Ohio University
Martha May, Western Connecticut State University
Timothy Patrick McCarthy, Harvard University
Joseph A. McCartin, Georgetown University
Robert S. McElvaine, Millsaps College
Marjorie McLellan, Wright State University
Sally G. McMillen, Davidson College
James McPherson, Princeton University
Edward D. Melillo, Oberlin College
John Merriman, Yale University
Tony Michels, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Christopher Morris, University of Texas, Arlington
Walter Moss, Eastern Michigan University
Todd Moye, University of North Texas
Mark Naison, Fordham University
Joan Neuberger, University of Texas, Austin
Serena L. Newman, Bay Path College
Michelle Nickerson, University of Texas, Dallas
David O'Brien, College of the Holy Cross
Leslie S. Offutt, Vassar College
William L. O'Neill, Rutgers University
Jeff Pasley, University of Missouri, Columbia
William A. Pencak, Pennsylvania State University
Claire Potter, Wesleyan University
Gyan Prakash, Princeton University
Michael Punke, University of Montana
David Quigley, Boston College
John W. Quist, Shippensburg University
Stephen G. Rabe, University of Texas, Dallas
Albert J. Raboteau, Princeton University
Monica A. Rankin, University of Texas, Dallas
Marci Reaven, New York City
Jonathan Rees, Colorado State University, Pueblo
Janice Reiff, University of California, Los Angeles
Steven G. Reinhardt, University of Texas, Arlington
Kimberly Reiter, Stetson University
Leo Ribuffo, George Washington University
Natalie J. Ring, University of Texas, Dallas
Samuel Roberts, Columbia University
Jerry Rodnitzky, Texas Christian University
Ruth Rosen, University of California, Berkeley
Peter Rothstein, Juniata College
Edward B. Rugemer, Yale University
Douglas C. Sackman, University of Puget Sound
Leonard J. Sadosky, Iowa State University
Nick Salvatore, Cornell University
Brian Sandberg, Northern Illinois University
John Savage, Lehigh University
Martha Saxton, Amherst College
Ellen W. Schrecker, Yeshiva University
Michael J. Schroeder, Eastern Michigan University
Daryl M. Scott, Howard University
Rachel F. Seidman, Duke University
Gunja SenGupta, Brooklyn College
Brett L. Shadle, Virginia Tech
Rebecca Sharpless, Texas Christian University
James Sidbury, University of Texas at Austin
Daniel J. Singal, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Manisha Sinha, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Harvard Sitkoff, University of New Hampshire
Gene Allen Smith, Texas Christian University
Daniel Soyer, Fordham University
Paul Spickard, University of California, Santa Barbara
Brian Steele, University of Alabama, Birmingham
James Brewer Stewart, Macalester College
Jeffrey Stewart, George Mason University
Mary Stroll, University of California, San Diego
David Thelen, Indiana University
Patricia Tilburg, Davidson College
Jeanne Maddox Toungara, Howard University
Jeffrey Trask, New York University
Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs, Helena, Montana
Elizabeth Hayes Turner, University of North Texas
Bruce M. Tyler, University of Louisville
Kevin Uhalde, Ohio University
Siva Vaidhyanathan, University of Virginia
Kara Dixon Vuic, Bridgewater College
David J. Weber, Southern Methodist University
Barbara Weinstein, New York University
Richard Weiss, University of California, Los Angeles
Kathleen Wellman, Southern Methodist University
Daniel Wickberg, University of Texas, Dallas
Craig Steven Wilder, Dartmouth College
Margaret Williams, William Patterson University
R. Hal Williams, Southern Methodist University
David W. Wills, Amherst College
Amy Woodson-Boulton, Loyola-Marymount University
Charters Wynn, University of Texas, Austin
Susan Yohn, Hofstra University
Eli Zaretsky, New School for Social Research
Michael Zuckerman, University of Pennsylvania
*Institutional affiliations are listed for identification purposes only and, of course, do not indicate an institutional endorsement.
James Wood,"Holiday in Hellmouth," New Yorker, 9 June, reviews Bart D. Ehrman's God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer our Most Important Question -- Why We Suffer.
Mark Falcoff,"Imperial Bedfellows," Commentary, June, reviews Arthur Herman's Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age.
Louis Menand,"The Pound Error," New Yorker, 9 June, reviews David Moody's Ezra Pound, Poet: A Portrait of the Man and His Work.
Michael Kazin,"Strange Alchemy," Nation, 3 June, reviews Daniel Flynn's A Conservative History of the American Left. A longer piece, Robin Corey's"Out of Place," Nation, 23 June, reviews Barry Goldwater's The Conscience of a Conservative, Bruce Shulman's and Julian Zelizer's Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s, and Jacob Heilbrunn's They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons.
Finally, r t crooks,"The 10 Oldest Bars in the United States," Sloshspot, 2 June, gets added to and corrected by readers' comments. Newport, Rhode Island's White Horse Tavern (est. 1673 CE) may actually be the oldest, but, of course, someone would point out that Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem pub at Nottingham, England, dates to 1189.
Michael Dirda reviews James McConnachie's The Book of Love: The Story of the Kamasutra for the Washington Post, 1 June.
Yale's distinguished historian of China, Jonathan Spence, will give the BBC's Reith Lectures, 2008. His subject: Chinese Vistas. Thanks to Manan Ahmed for the tip.
Charlotte Allen's"A Dark Age for Medievalists," Weekly Standard, 2 June, takes her shots at the International Congress on Medieval Studies (K'zoo, as it's affectionately known among medievalists). Richard Nokes at Unlocked Wordhoard and Another Damned Medievalist at Blogenspiel give Allen pieces of their minds.
Todd S. Purdum,"The Comeback Id," Vanity Fair, July, is an unflattering portrait of former President Bill Clinton.
Google Earth - the application which allows you to fly around the world and find oddities - is a case in point. Historians would be delighted to know that Google Earth has an amazing array of communities dedicated to charting out time and event in space. Take, for example, the battles and routes of Alexander the Great which includes his route, maps of cities and sites of battles. You can download the .kmz file (aka the Google Earth file) and open it up in your copy of Google Earth. Now you can fly like a bird alongside Alexander with notes and comments from the wikipedia, from the Google Earth community, from National Geographic and host of other sources. Surely, you can see the amazing opportunity that offers as an aid-in-teaching. Or, look at the Life of Muhammad which is incredibly detailed time and place map of the Prophet. Or, Paris in 1808. Or, footsteps of Buddha. You can find your own interest at the moderated History,Illustrated forum or the broader Educators forum. You can also simply search for keywords with .kmz extensions.
Going back to Mihm, these are more than collective applications of research or documentation; they allow us to present history in altogether new formats to our students. It grants a physicality to history that often has to struggle to be taken as"real" - separated as it is with time and distance from any typical classroom (yes, I wish I was teaching Civil War history in South Carolina or Muhammad b. Qasim in Thatta). This is not simply crowd-sourcing intelligence, it is re-illuminating our solo-sourced research with crowd-generated technology.
The recent news at Google I/O was that Google Earth is coming to the browser which opens up great possibilities of creating our own versions of digital archives that adhere to the geographical spaces.
[x-posted at CM]
Elisabetta Povoledo,"Michelangelo for Readers With Deep Pockets," NYT, 31 May, previews a book for people with more money than love of either Michelangelo or of books. Nonetheless, the photographs and website links are interesting.
Matt Taibbi,"Jesus Made Me Puke," Rolling Stone, 1 May, reports on Taibbi's experience at John Hagee's Cornerstone megachurch in the Texas hill country. It should be read in conjunction with Matthew Sutton's"McCain's Ministers of Doom," HNN, 2 June. Hat tip.
Anthony Gottlieb,"The Reach of an Ancient Greek," WSJ, 17 May, reviews Kitty Ferguson's The Music of Pythagorus.
Kevin Mattson,"Right Makes Might," BookForum, June/August, reviews Allan J. Lichtman's White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement, Joseph E. Lowndes's From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism, and William F. Buckley Jr.'s Flying High: Remembering Barry Goldwater.