Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
I’ve been meaning to write for weeks about Donald Trump’s nickname for Elizabeth Warren. As a historian who has written a few books that include some Algonquian (Eastern woodlands Indian) history, and a lot of women’s history, it’s been on my mind.
But first, a little background: last month, Trump started calling her Pocahontas, intending to smear her for once checking a box on an employment form claiming Native American ancestry: Continue reading
Since I’ve got another book in the bag, this summer is all about readin’ and reflectin’. I’ve never had a summer in which I was not engaged in writing a monograph for more than twenty years: first it was a dissertation, then it was Abraham in Arms: War and Gender in Colonial New England (which was not a revision of my dissertation, oh well. . . ), and then it was my forthcoming The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright. And that about covers the previous 24 summers!
So what the heck am I doing with myself?
I’m giving myself the gift of just reading and dreaming about what might be an interesting project that will bring together my interest in women’s and gender history, sexuality, fashion, the body, and material culture. I’ll be reporting here and there about what I’ve read and who else might be interested in reading what I’ve read too.
For example, I finally have had the chance to look over The First Book of Fashion: The Book of Clothes of Matthäus & Veit Konrad Schwarz of Augsburg (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015), edited, translated, and with essays by Ulinka Rublack and Maria Hayward. It’s nearly a coffee-table kind of book in terms of its size and production values. I first heard about this book last winter via Twitter, which led me to Rachel Herrmann’s fascinating interview with Hayward about fashions in the courts of Henry VIII and Charles II of England. Continue reading
La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencies/City of Arts & Sciences
Hello, friends–I’m back from Valencia, Spain, where I attended last week’s European Social Science History Conference. It’s a big conference–I had no idea how big–and it was an honor to meet and interact en Inglés with so many European historians and other scholars. I’m always in awe of people who can manage to give papers and communicate in a language besides their native tongues. We Anglophones are truly put to shame by our European colleagues’ virtuosity & daring.
Click on the video clip for a little sonic atmosphere–more trenchant commentary and my holiday snaps on the flip. Continue reading
The whole gang here at Historiann HQ wish you and yours a quiet, ad-free holiday of your choice this spring. I’ve had such an overwhelmingly positive reaction about my decision not to provide content for free at sites that are run by advertising dollars that I thought today I’d also direct your attention to other ad-free and content-rich history blogs. Most of these are group blogs, except for The Way of Improvement Leads Home, which is run by the indefatigable John Fea of Messiah College:
- Tropics of Meta: historiography for the masses! Mostly modern U.S. history, California history, media studies, race, and gender.
- Nursing Clio: a group blog on gender, sexuality, and the history of medicine
- U.S. Intellectual History: big-tent intellectual history as it’s written and taught by junior and emerging scholars.
- African American Intellectual History: same as above, with a focus on black intellectuals from the eighteenth century to the present.
- Religion in American History: a group blog on the obvious, with contributors who cover the richness of American religious history from the colonial era to the present.
- The Junto: a group blog on early American history by historians based in North America and Britain.
- Borealia: a group blog on early Canadian history (First Nations/New France to Confederation, 1867)
- The Way of Improvement Leads Home: John Fea’s blog on early American history, American religious history, and early U.S. intellectual history. Fea is apparently a man unafflicted by hunger, thirst, or the need to sleep, as he’s just published yet another book, and he has a podcast now, too! (I am not worthy, but then, neither of most of you so we’re in good company.)
- Notches: A group blog on the history of sexuality, mostly European and North American.
Most of us who contribute to blogs like these have day jobs, or are madly finishing dissertations, or sometimes both. It’s honest labor, and we do it because we love history and refuse to believe that it’s irrelevant for understanding the world as we have inherited it. Peace, my sisters and brothers! Continue reading
Let’s settle in for a nice, long story, shall we?
Globally in the historical era–the past 7,000 or so years of recorded history, that is–politics and leadership has traditionally been gendered male, and power has also usually descended genealogically through patriarchal lines. (Except in cases of military conquest or revolution, when it has been seized by brute force by other men.) When we have seen exceptions to the male exercise of political leadership–but what about Cleopatra?!? you’re thinking, or Queen Elizabeth I of England?!?–they are the exceptions that prove the rule. They also came to power–as their brothers did–by being the children of kings.
Upon emergence of the liberal state around 1800, in which a select portion of citizens elect their political leaders to one degree or another, women’s opportunities to lead and rule were actually diminished, because democracies in this era restricted both voting rights and eligibility for public office to men only. It is an uncomfortable fact for we Americans, we evangelists of democracy, that populism is not liberationist. In fact, it ratifies contemporary prejudices and stereotypes–religious, racial, and of course, gender. In the past century, Western democracies enfranchised women, but women in elective office have remained a tiny or merely small minority compared to men in elective office. Continue reading
Liberty Leading the People, but where?
You might think that. I couldn’t possibly comment.
Chaps my a$$!
Kathleen L. Sheppard, a historian of archaeology who blogs at Adventures in History in Archaeology, reported on an interesting article she read at the online publication Broadly, a channel at Vice.com on “The Forgotten Egyptologist and First Wave Feminist Who Invented Wicca,” Margaret Murray, by writer Sarah Waldron. Sheppard was first excited that the subject of her book–the only book-length biography of Murray published in any language–was also the subject of a mainstream publication!
Sheppard’s heart sank as she realized that “the article is quite good. But, to be honest, it is good because most of the work was done by me,” and uncredited in any fashion by the writer:
I saw the article, posted by a fellow Egyptologist on facebook. I read it, excited to learn more about Murray’s work. Maybe there was something in there that I could learn about her witchcraft studies. As I read, I realized that I wasn’t learning anything new. In fact, I was reading my own words, spit back at me, in an online article that was and is being enjoyed by thousands of people. Some of my own phrases, and most definitely my unique analysis of Murray’s life and career, were there for thousands to see. Usually, this makes me very happy. Murray is still little-known outside of a small group of historians and Egyptologists even though she is central to the discipline. I got to the end of the article and realized there were NO citations. Not one. I did a ctrl+F to search for my name, thinking I must have missed where I was mentioned in the article as Murray’s biographer and owner of many of the ideas therein. Nothing.
Sheppard wasn’t interested in money–she just wanted due acknowledgement for her book and her unique intellectual contribution. As she explained in the first blog post: Continue reading