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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
- Crooked Timber
- Dame Eleanor Hull
- Chapati Mystery
- Easily Distracted
- The Edge of the American West
- Ferule & Fescue
- Grow & Resist
- 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: writing
July 26, 2012, 3:44 pm
My recent post about icky academic theory-speak stirred the writing pot big time. It prompted a vigorous on-line debate about my unwillingness to name the author/book that triggered my eruption about the unreadability of some theory. My argument that many books would do a better job of illuminating the subject at hand if they were freed from jargon and grammatical circumlocution received less attention.
I am interested in this question because I write, but also because I edit academic book projects and try to take them from good to great, great to fabulous. I meet them at the proposal stage and live with them until they are handed off to the author’s best friend, the copyeditor.
July 11, 2012, 3:00 pm
Over at HASTAC, where there are always a ton of great ideas for the digitally inclined, writing prof Teresa Narey highlights the question of whether young people will continue to learn handwriting skills. Given the shift to using computers in secondary school, and curricula geared to a techie world, will subsequent generations even need to learn to write legibly? Cursive writing, she argues in this post, “is becoming an outdated skill.”
Secondary schools are apparently divided on this issue: some still teach handwriting and some do not. Some schools teach handwriting out of tradition, without any real conviction that it is a skill worth having. “Contrastingly,” Narey writes, “many Catholic schools continue to make…
April 20, 2011, 4:24 pm
At the newly redesigned History News Network, Cornell Historian Mary Beth Norton gives great advice on “How To Write A Trilogy Without Really Trying.” What’s her secret? Don’t tell anyone that you’re doing it. After publishing your prize-winning first book, jump into a new field (in Norton’s case, women’s history) that’s raising a lot of important questions, then publish a second book that turns Early American history on its head. Realize that you aren’t done, and over the course of the next thirty years turn out volumes two and three (in reverse order, no less!), as well as numerous other books, articles and a widely-used textbook. Easy-peasy!
As usual, Norton has chosen a great title for a great blog past that actually explains how an entire intellectual career has unfolded up to this point. Why is it a great title, other than the obvious allusion? Because no one who knows her…
January 30, 2011, 7:47 pm
A while back, I assigned two papers in one of my classes. In the first, I gave a straightforward “assignment” that asked students to think more deeply about the reading they had done up to that point and use what they had learned to analyze a primary document. In the scale of things, this is a standard history assignment. I gave the class three documents to choose from, and awaited the papers. When I began to read them, one thought came to mind:
Now, let me emphasize: they weren’t bad papers. Many of them were A-worthy; only a few received grades thought ought to have been worrisome to the recipients. And yet, as I paged thorugh them, I dreaded grading them. Why? They were dull.
Subsequently, I did a little informal research among the students, and most of them admitted that they, had been uninspired and uncertain about the point of the paper. …
December 17, 2010, 10:28 pm
Yesterday I passed two milestones: I went to BJ’s Wholesale for the first time, and I finally bought an iPad. As I was driving home, the Sister of the Radical (SORor) called, and I asked her if I was the last person on earth to discover BJ’s. “Yes,” she said, not unkindly. Well, so be it. I was late to the game on Deadwood too, but caught up eventually.
BJ’s had been recommended to me by my dentist during a prolonged procedure (he was trying to distract me from the root canal he was performing) and I must say, neither the root canal or BJ’s has been a disappointment. As I toodled down I-91 with a full trunk of loose items (they don’t give you bags at BJ’s, and I made a mental note to bring cardboard boxes or totes the next time) the only parallel experience I could compare it to was being allowed to visit a warehouse stocked by UNESCO, or being the patriarch of a polygamous Mormon…
August 24, 2010, 1:17 pm
a core group of experts — what [Katherine] Rowe called “our crowd sourcing” — were invited to post their signed comments on the Web site MediaCommons, a scholarly digital network. Others could add their thoughts as well, after registering with their own names. In the end 41 people made more than 350 comments, many of which elicited responses from the authors. The revised essays were then reviewed by the quarterly’s editors, who made the final decision to include them in the printed journal, due out Sept. 17.
goes to the very nature of the scholarly enterprise. Traditional peer …
August 8, 2010, 5:09 pm
On Friday, I was happily pawing through an unprocessed collection at a famous nearby archive, when I came upon one of the little treasures that illustrate the hot-house crypto-lesbo atmosphere of radical feminism in the 1970s: the mash note.
April 10, 2010, 2:06 pm
Today is a very special day: Tenured Radical has hit 500 posts. For those of you who think blogging is an easy-peasy activity that some of us do in our spare time, think again. You make spare time for it, dammit! And if you are really successful, people start asking you to write other things, and all of a sudden you are writing all the time, and …..but wait! That’s what academics are supposed to do!
So on the occasion of the 500th post, I would like to honor a few other writers instead.
Historiann posts nearly every day. She is funny, smart, relentless and prolific. And could we have a hand for Margaret Soltan, over at University Diaries? Her posts are short, snappy, and muckraking to boot.
And how woud we know anything without Ralph Luker? If you check your sitemeter by 9 a.m., you will see that Ralph, the managing spirit of Cliopatria has already visited to see of there is…
March 14, 2010, 3:04 pm
Due to jet lag and a persistent failure of my fingers to connect to my brain, today’s roundup is confined to three items, two of which I did not have to think at all and one of which is a Serious Matter.
What I Did On My Summer Vacation: At Legal History Blog Mary Dudziak offers a few tips on how to get an article done over the summer. This will, perhaps, be most useful to old fogies like me who don’t have to publish anything if they don’t want to, but are always open to suggestions for how to use their time well; those of you who just finished a book and can’t imagine using the summer that way again right away; or those of you who have just finished your first year of teaching and are figuring out which dissertation chapter should be offered up to the rest of us. To give you a tasty preview (that exactly corresponds with my own writing experience this spring at Zenith’s wonderful
April 12, 2009, 11:40 pm
I just finished editing the last senior honors thesis chapter I have, although I imagine a few conclusions may come my way in the next 48 hours. My three seniors are pretty much on their own now. I have located as many split infinitives as I can find, and written primly in a comment for each somewhere along the line: “Never use a ten dollar word when a five dollar word will do” (where did I learn that? My grandfather? The Andy Griffith Show?) When I edit the same habits come up over and over again: at a certain point I hit one repetition, one misplaced semicolon, one odd word choice too many. “Eliminate this word wherever you find it!” I hiss from a red comment bubble; or, “History is written in the past!!!!!”
Editing theses at this stage is about the trees, not the forest; it is about wanting all the hard work to be shown to its best advantage; it is about teaching writing…