Category Archives: Archives

May 25, 2014, 1:04 am

Berks Day 3: Is The Book Dead? (Uh, No)

books1When I wasn’t selling memberships to the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians (you can buy one here, or outside the book exhibit tomorrow), or announcing the new Berks website launching in beta this summer, I was on a panel about the future of publishing. It was packed. Thanks to Paul Eprile (also in charge of the book exhibit) for organizing it; and Jean Quataert, Melissa Pitts and Lois Banner for a great conversation.

My opening remarks had the intentionally provocative title: “Should Historians Write Books? How the Digital World is Changing Your Career.” And without further ado:

Two years ago, I was on a plenary session at the American Historical Association, during which environmental historian Bill Cronon, the President of the AHA announced that he no longer owned any books. Downsizing from a house to an apartment, he had sold everything and replaced all his books with…

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April 18, 2014, 10:41 am

Chicano/a History Is Also Feminist History

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The grape boycott became an important model for later radical feminist boycotts of media companies like Warner Brothers.

Yale #Twitterstorian Stephen Pitti has tweeted the news that the University of California-San Diego has unveiled a new collection in a digital archive that documents the United Farm Workers Movement. Part of the Farmworker Documentation Project, the collection was curated by citizen archivist LeRoy Chatfield, who began putting his collection online in 2004 with the help of Jennifer Szabo.

And here’s a little hint for the historians of United States second wave feminism out there: we need to focus in on the links between the farm worker’s movement and West Coast radical/lesbian feminism. Interracialism and cross-class organizing in second wave feminism is as under explored on the West Coast …

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April 15, 2014, 9:23 am

Kiss A Librarian This Week — It’s a Radical Act

2dced43c88608180873454e6de2da7a9Remember when everything on the interwebz was supposed to be free? Just like a public library? Well, that ended fast, and even getting into a public library can be a challenge in this era of budget cuts. However this week, some things are still free. In celebration of National Library week in the United States, Oxford University Press is offering up its dazzling collection of online resources — for free! Go here for details. And have fun.

Now that we are talking about librarians and how much we love them: take a moment this week to think about all the things in your professional life that are facilitated by the library and the wonderful, knowledgeable people who work there. Librarians are the heartbeat of our universities. When we give students an assignment, it’s the librarians who often help them focus their topics, get them to the sources they need, and show them how to use the on…

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February 18, 2014, 11:19 am

Dear Mr. Kristof: A Letter from a Public Intellectual

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The word you were looking for was WTF

Over the weekend, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof got an earful when he bewailed the absence of academics writing for a broad audience (“Professors, We Need You!”, February 15, 2014.) Much gnashing of teeth ensued. I left an extended comment over at Corey Robin’s blog; Corey’s post is full of great links to other public intellectuals.  And can we give three cheers to our colleagues at UIC, intellectuals out in public who are walking the picket line today and tomorrow?

I was also lucky enough to receive a guest post over the transom from an old friend, Carol Emberton, a professor of American history at SUNY-Buffalo. Emberton is the author of Beyond Redemption: Race, Violence, and the American South after the Civil War (University of Chicago Press, 2013.) In a…

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February 16, 2014, 10:00 am

Tenured Radical, Live from the Cornell Sex Archive

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If that headline doesn’t grab your attention, what will?

The Human Sexuality Collection at Cornell University is celebrating its 25th Anniversary, reminding some of us that the history of sex has emerged as a field within our own lifetimes. The curator of the HSC, Head of Research Services Brenda Marston, has been leading out a celebration that includes Speaking of Sex, an exhibit at Cornell’s Carl A. Kroch Library, that opened last Friday February 14 and will be up until October 11, 2014. There is also a speaker’s series that kicks off with a reading by Jewelle Gomez at 4:30 on March 12 in Lewis Auditorium (Goldman Smith Hall). (more…)

February 11, 2014, 11:09 am

Links Before Lunch….

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For reasons I do not entirely understand, this image has been circulating on Facebook.

…Otherwise known as random bullets of cr^p. So without further ado:

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January 28, 2014, 10:31 am

There Are More Than Two Sides To Everything

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I welcome the broader observations about the current state of American Studies that Christopher Shea has made at the Chronicle of Higher Education (“Boycott Debate is Symptom of Broader Debate in American Studies,” 1/27/2014). However, I do regret the characterization of the ASA as split between, as he implies, progressive proponents of the boycott and “cultural conservatives.”

Why? In my view, this choice reinforces the views of the most vigorous participants in this conversation (including those who have become activist in their views that an academic organization has no business becoming activist) that there are only two “sides.” You can call them radical and conservative;  or perhaps you will want to characterize them as those whose faces are turned to an intellectual future and the angry traditionalists. In the dichotomies proposed, there is no middle ground, no place of in…

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January 26, 2014, 11:09 am

Weekend Link-A-Palooza: Writing in Public and Cleaning My Desk

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What if the writing were on the wall? Photo credit

School is starting most places, except at chez Radical, where we are actors in a movie sequel called “Sabbatical Part II: Producing the Manuscript.” Yep, it’s true. What LD Burnett began at the #GraftonLine, now a thriving enterprise with 142 members (10 newbies have joined in recent weeks), I would like to push to the next level with this new book blog, How Feminism Survived the Age of Reagan. It is hosted on my own web page, and I will provide links here on a regular basis. I have been toying with this idea for a while, since many writers develop a platform specifically for a work in progress. Based on the wide re-tweeting of this post, I thought: what would it look like to write a book more or less in public, and demonstrate the work that goes into producing …

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December 17, 2013, 12:33 pm

The Education of Henry Adams: A Review

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Henry and his book in fall, 2013 (Photo credit: Rachel Adams)

Rachel Adams, Raising Henry: A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability and Discovery (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013). 272 pp. $17.95.

Raising Henry begins with two images. The first is the photograph of author Rachel Adams and her son Henry on the front of the book. It is, Adams tells us, one of the few photographs of them together, since she is usually the one behind the camera. The second image is one she only describes in the opening paragraphs of the book: a cherished photograph of her mother, already dying of cancer in Rachel’s childhood.

These images combine to ask the reader: what does it mean, not only to focus on the disabled subject, but to expand our view and allow a disabled child’s mother, father or siblings to be “in the picture”…

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December 11, 2013, 10:03 am

Should a Grading Policy Be Absolute? No,No,No

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In the old days at Zenith, I had this sign hanging in my office, given to me as a Christmas present by a student.

OK, so there are some of your students who weren’t listening to Amy Winehouse this semester: too much shot glass, too little in class. Now is the time of year that the chickens come home to roost, don’t they? Their failures are our failures.

And it makes us so mad that we sometimes respond badly. I was privy to an interesting conversation yesterday about having policies that govern late papers, make up exams and whatnot.

The arguments about whether to enforce late paper policies strictly ranged from:

  • Do it: I’ve heard every excuse before; to
  • Don’t be an a$$hat. Give the kid a make up the exam.

I want to emphasize: there truly was a healthy range of views expressed on this issue, and …

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