Toward a Museum Exhibit Made Whole

Jody Shipka proposes that the current way of teaching composition, with its formulaic style and rules to be followed, disguise the process of writing and is rarely useful outside the academy. She envisions compositions that are not limited to texts, but incorporate other semiotic devices, and allow the composer to point up and closely examine […]

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Review of The Marketplace of Revolution by T. H. Breen

In The Marketplace of Revolution, T. H. Breen argues that it was a shared consumer culture, and the political power that came from that consumption, that united the thirteen colonies against the British in the mid-1770s. British North America experienced a boom in consumption mid-century, with middling people able to afford what would have been […]

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Why I’m a Fan of Drunk History

“You make life worth living.” “Love this!” “Can’t wait!” “Wish it was on every night!” Believe it or not, these are comments about history. Not the latest monograph shaking up the historical narrative, or a popular professor’s seminar, rather these are reactions to the television show Drunk History. If you’re not familiar with it, it […]

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Review of The Minutemen and Their World – Robert A. Gross

The Minutemen and Their World by Robert A. Gross was written in 1976, at the height of the popularity of the New Social History. While others used legal documents, inventories, and other sources to produce town studies designed to tease out the lived experience of non-elites, Gross’ work was more ambitious. He wanted to place […]

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What I Learned about William Byrd (and us) by Making Him Tweet

A couple of months ago I decided I wanted to learn PHP, since that is a common programming language for the web widely used by the Open Source community.  I like having an actual project in mind when learning a language, rather than relying on tutorials that often cover topics that aren’t that useful to […]

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Commercialism, Politics, and Public History Historiography

In answering the question “who owns the past?” one must engage with two concepts, the first being the past, and the second being ideas of ownership. Recent scholarship in public history points to a broad idea of both of these terms. The past can be artifacts in the Smithsonian, landscapes, or even consumer goods meant […]

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Reaction Paper to Memorial Mania

Michelle Davison February 10, 2014 Review of Memorial Mania Erika Doss’ Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in America describes and analyzes the relatively new desire in the US to memorialize events. She argues that these memorials are intended to evoke emotional responses in those who visit them. They are conceived by those who feel the emotional […]

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Reaction Paper to A Generation Divided

Rebecca Klatch argues in A Generation Divided that the generation of people who were young adults in the 1960s were not a monolithic entity. She shows that there were a variety of political stances young people could adopt, including traditional conservatism. These young conservatives were able to create the conservative movement that has dominated American […]

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Reaction Paper to Stayin’ Alive

Jefferson Cowie’s Stayin’ Alive describes the differences between the idea of a working class in the 1930s and the 1970s. In the 1930s class-based identity, especially among the working class, was an acceptable and attractive one. The people who fought for working-class rights then did not just want increased incomes and job security, but also […]

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Reaction Paper to White Flight

In White Flight, Kevin Kruse describes the process of desegregation in Atlanta, the “City Too Busy to Hate,” from the postwar era through the 1970s. He argues that resistance to this process created many of the principles on which our contemporary conservative movement is grounded, such as individual rights, distrust of government, and strong rights […]

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