Comments Policy: There will be no purely personal attacks, no using the comments section to tease someone else relentlessly, and no derailing the comments thread into personal hobbyhorses. Violators will be dealt with politely and swiftly.
Contributors to this collection, edited by Claire Potter and Renee Romano, consider the wide range of challenges the practice of contemporary history poses. These essays address sources like television and video games, the ethics of writing about living subjects, questions of privacy and copyright law, and the possibilities that new technologies offer for writing history. Doing Recent History offers guidance and insight to any researcher considering tackling the not-so-distant past. Buy the Book
- Academic Cog
- Bully Bloggers
- Center of Gravitas (GayProf)
- Chapati Mystery
- Confessions of a Community College Dean
- Constitutionally Speaking
- Corey Robin
- Crooked Timber
- Dame Eleanor Hull
- Easily Distracted
- The Edge of the American West
- Ferule & Fescue
- Joe. My. God.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money
- Legal History Blog
- Madwoman With a Laptop
- New Deal 2.0
- New Kid on the Hallway
- Nursing Clio
- Pat Griffin's LGBT Sport Blog
- Reassigned Time 2.0
- Religion in American History
- University Diaries
- We Are Respectable Negroes
- American Historical Association Blog
- Chronicle of Higher Education
- Inside Higher Ed
- Juan Cole's Informed Comment
- Ms. Magazine
- National Public Radio
- New York Times
- States of Devotion
- Ta-Nehisi Coates/ The Atlantic
- The Book (The New Republic)
- The Book Bench
- The Daily Kos
- The Nation
The Chronicle Blog Network, a digital salon sponsored by The Chronicle of Higher Education, features leading bloggers from all corners of academe. Content is not edited, solicited, or necessarily endorsed by The Chronicle. More on the Network...
Claire Potter's is the first book to look at the structural, legal, and cultural aspects of J. Edgar Hoover's war on crime in the 1930s, a New Deal campaign which forged new links between citizenship, federal policing, and the ideal of centralized government.
War on Crime reminds us of how and why our worship of violent celebrity hero G-men and gangsters came about and how we now are reaping the results.Buy the Book
Category Archives: cultural studies
March 14, 2012, 1:38 pm
If there is anything better than spring break, it’s spring break in a warm place. And if there is anything better than shaking off the gloom of our Northeastern non-winter with a little southern sunshine, it is visiting places that you have imagined through the study of literature and history.
Wait — being an adult means not being dragged around to museums, national landmark homes and other edifying places whenever you go on vacation? Aw, c’mon.
This year’s break is in the Florida Keys, where I have never been but have always wanted to go as I am a fan of Everything Ernest Hemingway. For those of you who have only gone to resort-y places in Florida, or whose visits are confined to relatives living in planned communities, it is a truly…
February 18, 2012, 6:39 pm
M.G. Lord, The Accidental Feminist: How Elizabeth Taylor Raised Our Consciousness (and We Were Too Distracted By Her Beauty to Notice). New York: Walker Publishing Company, 2012. 211 pp. Index. 23.00, hardbound.
It is inevitable that Elizabeth Taylor’s death, almost a year ago this March, will bring us a number of books reconsidering her legacy. I’m glad to say that one of the first out of the gate is M.G. Lord’s The Accidental Feminist, a brief interpretive account of Taylor’s cultural and political significance. As the title promises, it gives us not new facts about Taylor — it has got to be too soon for that — but a different way to think about an actress who was celebrated for her beauty and for her numerous trips to the altar (eight husbands, if you count Richard Burton twice.)
Marrying seven different men is not a quality you associate with a feminist? Well, think a…
January 25, 2012, 4:52 pm
I know that, as a feminist, I am not supposed to like Caitlin Flanagan because she has made gender essentialism fashionable again. But honestly? I don’t think this makes her a bad person. She is an intellectual who has a keen eye for the role the gender binary plays in our culture, and then — her flaw is that sometimes she stops there when she should push a little harder. When she does go for the take down, she is ruthless in ways I appreciate and admire.
I first encountered Flanagan (before I knew I wasn’t supposed to like her) when she published “The Price of Paradise” in The New Yorker (January 3 2005). This is a priceless piece about the horrors of resort-style family vacations designed for couples who have little children. It’s an article that (more…)
January 15, 2012, 2:29 pm
Last week I was writing a chapter of my new book about radical feminism and decided to begin with the 1968 Miss America Protest organized and executed by New York Radical Women. I may ditch this opening: the more I dig back into the secondary material on women’s liberation, the more I see it turning up as a hook. However, as a result of pursuing this narrative strategy I did something last night that I haven’t done in decades.
I watched the Miss America Pageant.
I didn’t intend to watch it — in fact, it took me by surprise, since for many years the pageant was a summer event. However, the show I really wanted to watch (a complex legal drama called The Firm that seems to have several plots running at once and involves the witness…
November 15, 2011, 3:47 pm
Rejoining the Parts: A Conversation with Jane Lazarre About Race, Fiction, American History and Her New Novel, Inheritance
Jane Lazarre is a writer of fiction, memoir and poetry who has published many books, beginning with her memoir, The Mother Knot (1976; reissued in 1997 by Duke University Press) and most recently, Inheritance, A Novel (Hamilton Stone Editions, 2011). She has taught writing and literature at New York’s City College and at Yale University; and for many years directed and taught in the undergraduate writing program at Eugene Lang College at the New School.
Tenured Radical: The title of the book — Inheritance — asks the reader to think about what is passed down, generation to generation. But in the first chapter we are confronted with Sam’s frustration and anger that, as a young woman with a white and a black parent, she knows so little of her family history. We come to understand that our historical “inheritance” not only can’t be taken for granted and but also sometimes requires a…
November 4, 2011, 6:12 pm
Who has time to read journals in November, you ask? Sometimes you just have to stop and do it: it is so much easier to neglect journal-reading now that many of us access them electronically. Remember? They used to pile up next to the desk until either vacation would come, or you would clear the decks for three intense days of reading and throwing them away.
In any case, take the time now for one issue. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies vol. 17 no. 4 (2011) has devoted a special section to the memory of literary critic, poet, feminist and queer studies scholar Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (May 2 1950 – April 12 2009). It includes an essay on James Merrill by Sedgwick, introduced by her husband Hal, followed by reflections on Sedgwick and her work by Henry Abelove, Michael Moon, Kathryn Kent and Neil Hertz. (more…)
October 27, 2011, 11:05 pm
Today I reset my RSS feed for the Republican primary season. You know what the keywords are: “Mitt Romney,” “Michelle Bachmann,” “polygamy.” Since the political news in the mainstream is usually a version of what I heard on NPR earlier in the day, I set the feed for blogs and — lo! What should come up but The Edge of the American West, one of the smartest and most fun history blogs around, but that ditched out on us last spring. A group effort coordinated by Eric Rauchway and Ari Kelman of UC-Davis, EotAW put itself into hiatus on May 10 2011. I used to check every once in a while to see if they had reconsidered, but eventually stopped because it made me blue that they seemed to be gone forever. So imagine my delight when I saw a series of bright…
October 20, 2011, 3:32 pm
Long-time readers of the Radical know that I rarely write about my own institution. There are good reasons for this, other than getting raked over the coals by the National Review Online, which can really bump readership big time. But today I want to stand up for a student who did kind of a dumb thing. Since this was an entirely public thing, is all over the interwebz, and the student is not my student, it falls well within the boundaries of Good Taste to comment on This Bad Thing.
Yesterday a friend posted this piece about single-sex education published at Jezebel to my Face Book page. With a zinger headline you couldn’t resist, “Women’s Colleges Promote Sweatpants & Poor Tampon Hygiene, Says Wesleyan Student,” (October 18 2011), blogger Margaret Hartmann, a Wellesley grad, takes on Zenith soph Vicky Chu. A Zenith transfer student, Chu trashes the single-sex school where she …
October 7, 2011, 3:18 pm
Is Steve Jobs’ Life An Inspiration To All Of Us? A Meditation On The Difference Between Having A Life And A Lifestyle
Great minds so think alike. Following the death of Steve Jobs, Historiann asks whether the outpouring of grief over the death of this brilliant and peculiar man is yet another symptom of anxiety over national decline. Oh yes — and, since our friend brings up the exploitation of Chinese labor by Apple — I would add that Apple is a potent nexus for the ambivalent historical relationship that American politicians and manufacturers have with China. Apple products are one of the very few consumer objects that people around the world seem to crave, much as American merchants have craved unfettered access to Chinese consumers since the 1870s. Simultaneously, Chinese consumers have craved the American consumer culture that is shamelessly knocked off there and sold to billions of people from Beijing to Times Square. An iPhone also closes the circle between a Cold War capitalist model and 2…
September 20, 2011, 3:39 pm
I got out of the salt mines early today, and the first thing I did was read Historiann, who made a great catch on Nora Ephron’s response to the new Mad Men rip-off, The Playboy Club (stay tuned for Pan Am, premiering on ABC September 25.)
The second thing I did was microwave some lunch and settle down in front of the DVR to watch me some Bunnies.
The verdict? It’s bad television, not because it celebrates sexism (which it does) but because it does so in a way that does not permit a transgressive identification, or perhaps any identification, with any character in the show. Now, I would disagree with at least one of the points that Ephron makes about The Playboy Club: “Trust me, no one wanted to be a Bunny.” No one wants to take comprehensive doctoral exams either, but that’s hardly the point. Even though most committees don’t make you wear skin-tight sateen, spike heels and…