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Tag: popular history

Am I a Historian?

The question “am I a historian?” first bothered me after reading a blog post written by colleague Jason Heppler, in which he writes: I am a young historian — heck, I barely even qualify for that title when I have no book to my name and don’t hold a PhD yet. But as a researcher very early in my career… In fairness to Jason, I talked with him about it and he backs off of calling himself a historian in this post as more of a rhetorical device. However, when Sara Mayeux did the essentially the same thing, tweeting I’m…

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Blogging and Freedom

Last week’s guest post on the digital humanities and the classics really got me thinking about academic outreach (both from inside academia to those outside and spreading information about digital tools and projects within academia). Dan Cohen furthered my thinking with a good post about blogging as a medium and the resistance of blogging academics to take on the blogger moniker. While these posts encourage academics to venture into the “public sphere,” one recent news item (William Cronon and the Wisconsin GOP’s inquiry into his emails) highlights the dangers of academics moving outside the ivory tower and the importance of…

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Could DH save the Classics?

[Editor’s Note: This week’s post comes from my good friend Bill Briggs. Bill majored in Latin at the University of Michigan before moving onto law school, also at the University of Michigan. As someone not completely isolated within the ivory tower of graduate school and with experiences outside of history, I thought Bill could bring a new perspective, which I think he does quite nicely. To the chagrin of some, I will return to writing next week.] Could Better Utilization of the Digital Humanities save the Classics? Full disclosure: I know very little about the Digital Humanities. In fact, my…

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My View on Historical Reenactments

I’ll just admit it up front: I’m not a big fan of historical reenactments. I always tend to look at them the way this Monty Python sketch portrays them. That being said, reenactments are not innately bad, just very hard to do well. In a pure sense, reenactments are another attempt at understanding the world of the past, just as academic scholarship should attempt to do. The problem seems to be in execution. Bad reenactments can innocently allow specific details, like clothing, to overtake the importance of understanding the meanings of the event being reenacted or, more sinisterly, whitewash history…


Civil War Reenactments

Here’s a good piece on Civil War Reenactments in Texas. It’s well timed too, since my Monday post will be on historical reenactments. The Texas Observer: Here in Texas, it’s becoming popular to celebrate the war as the opening salvo in the conservative campaign for states’ rights. Neo-Confederate organizations and pro-secessionists are among the leading groups in organizing Texas’ commemorative events. Their version of history downplays the role of slavery in the Civil War and encourages anti-federal government political ideology. They make no bones about it: They’d be happy to see Texas secede again …. “The Sons of Confederate Veterans…

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Wikipedia Gender Gap Follow Up

Shane Landrum: After positive feedback on my earlier post about Wikipedia, including a nice post by Knitting Clio, I’ve just started a formal WikiProject to work on improving Wikipedia coverage of women’s history. It’s called WikiProject Women’s History, also accessible by the shortcut WP:WMNHIST. Anyone can participate, but I’d particularly love to see more professional scholars get involved. I know that there’s significant opposition to Wikipedia in some academic quarters, but I think that the information there isn’t going to get better unless people who actually know this stuff start pitching in. I’d really like WikiProject Women’s History to deploy…

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