Category Archives: Travel Improves The Mind

January 1, 2014, 11:06 am

What to Pack — And What Not To Pack — For #AHA2014

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For some of you it is just New Year’s Day, but for those of us with workshops and panels tomorrow, Day 1 of the American Historical Association Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., it’s travel day. After hemming and hawing about the wisdom of getting up at 4 a.m. tomorrow to catch a shuttle, I capitulated and made plane reservations for late this afternoon. Bad news? Missing a long, leisurely day at home filing the rest of my health care receipts for 2013, finishing up the hardback book that is too heavy to carry, and watching football. Good news? Not being exhausted in my morning workshop, and not worrying that this incoming weather system is going to lock me down in New York so long that I miss my second panel too. (Bonus points for flying in and out of handy Reagan National which is usually clogged with Congressmen and lobbyists.)

Fans of both the Radical and my blogpal

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March 22, 2013, 12:50 pm

While The Mice Play: What We Are Reading on Vacation

book-sunglasses-beach_h528Even Radicals must rest someday, although like all academics, for this household going on vacation generally means finding another, nicer, place to sit down and read.  Hence, we have removed ourselves to the island where Christopher Columbus, that murderous wretch, first set foot in the Americas in 1492. So what are we reading here in the land formerly occupied by the Taíno people

Well of course, we are obviously still online:

  • Mandy Berry, who has raised Facebook to an art form, comes out about the Grumpy Cat March Madness Tournament, organized and orchestrated by Mandy Berry herself. I managed to get in by insinuating myself shamelessly, bumping aside an actual friend of Berry’s in the process, following a Facebook announcement that there was only one spot left in the Grumpy Cat Bracket. But hello? I picked Harvard over Arizona Mandy Berry. Why I picked Harvard do not…

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April 23, 2012, 3:26 pm

OAH Roundup: Meating and Greeting in the Beer City

"Well, I got a proposal but it's still pretty durn rough."

The Organization of American Historians meeting, from whence I last posted, is at the absolutely worst time of year. I always begin the following week feeling less like a teacher than like a circus performer shot out of a cannon. So why is it that I also enjoy the OAH more than any other academic meeting? Here are some thoughts on that topic.

Location, location, location. This year’s hotspot, Milwaukee, was a mystery pick. I don’t know anyone in the East who wasn’t groaning about making this trip.  Two big problems emerged during the planning phase for those of us who don’t have access to an airline hub: expensive fares and the lack of direct flights.  And then — what’s in Milwaukee? Why did they pick it? No one knew.  Friends would say he…

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June 22, 2011, 5:52 pm

It’s Moving Day: Tenured Radical Migrates To The Chronicle Of Higher Education

Yesterday around cocktail hour the sun was slipping over the virtual mountains when we at Tenured Radical heard the sound of galloping pony hooves.  Sitting on our front porch, surrounded by boxes and half-full L.L. Bean sail bags, we squinted into the  glare and saw that it was Historiann.  “Hellzapoppin!” she yelled, in that instantly recognizable voice that is a cross between Dale Evans and Mary Maples Dunn.  She swung handily over the pommel, skirt barely in place as usual, and dropped her reins (we were impressed to see that cow pony come to an immediate halt, like they do in the movies.)  “I’m getting crazy numbers of  pings from your blog!” she said, as we put a bourbon and branch in her hand.  “When in ‘tarnation were you going to tell me that you were moving?”

Oops.  There is so much going on at chez Radical we had neglected to announce that we are migrating from…

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August 6, 2010, 12:23 am

Oh That Liberia! Or, Why Every Supermodel Needs A Liberal Arts Education

Diamonds are not always a girl’s best friend. At least, not when they are given to her by agents of a head of state who is supporting a criminal insurgency; when she has gone and lost them; and when an international criminal court wants to know what she was doing with uncut, contraband stones in the first place.

Life as an international supermodel is, of course, super-full of important commitments — beside which investigating rape, murder, slavery and impressing children as soldiers in a civil war surely pales. After reminding the judge that “it was a big inconvenience” for her to appear at the war crimes tribunal at the Hague, where a UN special court is trying former Liberian president Charles Taylor, supermodel Naomi Campbell admitted that she she had received a bag of “dirty pebbles” at 1:30 A.M. after having dinner with Taylor at South African President Nelson Mandela’s house …

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November 18, 2009, 8:44 am

And Now For Something Completely Different: A Journey To South Africa

Over the next two months, I will be writing you from the other side of the world: the Radical family has decamped to South Africa. It’s what we call travel, as opposed to vacation: a working trip, where time is set aside for study, learning, and writing, as well as relaxation and seeing some sights. For several weeks we will be in the Western Cape, mostly in and around Cape Town. In December, we will head up to the Johannesburg area to work for a few weeks, and then circle back down along the southern coast (what is called “The Garden Route.” ) We will return to Cape Town for several weeks prior to our return to the United States. We will be in South Africa for a total of two months.

In this initial post, and in those to follow, I am trying to guard against sweeping statements and observations. Because I am an academic, and trained to do precisely that, I am sure that I will fail. …

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September 13, 2009, 1:11 am

Professor Radical Goes To Washington To Preview The Apocalypse

Today the Radical got up at dawn, took a cab to Teenie Airport and came to our nation’s capital on behalf of an American Historical Association book prize committee. But I was also in for a nice surprise. Because I do not travel in the Right circles, until I checked my Twitter account I had not had it on my radar that the Teabag people were marching on Washington today.

Hence, I got to see history in the making. The hotel where the committee was meeting is right near the Mall, so that when I checked in with half an hour to spare, I rushed back onto the street to begin documenting the event. That’s when I ran into the gentlemen in the photo on the left. I saw their flag swirling about and asked them if they would pose. They were happy to do so, but asked me to wait until they could stretch it out completely. “We don’t want you to just take a picture that makes everyone think it’s a…

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May 24, 2009, 8:35 pm

Radical Commencement Address

Dear Graduates of Zenith:

You are done, God bless you. The clouds cleared, the sun shined, and we all sat out there and baked. Except it was more like being poached, really. Between last night’s rain and today’s sunshine, we the faculty, deans and administration cooked slowly, draped in various fabrics, wearing black velvet hats, listening to all the same speeches you heard. And they were very good speeches: (Not So) New President made a big statement about the proliferation of handgun violence and violence against women; Anna Quindlen suggested that you take a crack at fixing the world since everyone older than you hasn’t really made much of a go of it. A community organizer from Middletown read a sweet passage from E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web that made me tear up. And then you threw your hats in the air, and we all marched away. The woman I was sitting next to pointed to a line …

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