Junto March Madness: Round 3 Results

JMM15So, there were quite a few close races this round, including one that came down to the last hour. (Literally!) CAN YOU FEEL THE MADNESS?!?!?!?!!!11?!?!

Jonathan Edwards and Thomas Paine clutched victory from the jaws of defeat by the slightest of margins. Benjamin Franklin is basically looking like this. And Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass are heading for a slave narrative showdown.

There is a quick turnaround this week, so you have little time to catch your breath. Voting for the Elite Eight is tomorrow. Continue reading

Single-Perspective Narratives and the Politics of Marriage History

scotus-obergefell-ahaEarlier this month, the American Historical Association announced that it had signed a Supreme Court amicus curiae brief in support of legal same-sex marriage.[1] This well-written, scholarship-rich brief was apparently drafted by Nancy Cott, and it was signed by many other distinguished historians of marriage.

In discussions that followed on Twitter, some professional historians who were happy with this brief (as I imagine most were) told me they supported it on the basis of historians’ collective interest in historical accuracy. History has been distorted, they argued, by conservative arguments—specifically, by conservatives’ appeals to what marriage has supposedly always been like. They agreed with the AHA that conservatives have advanced not only an unconvincing interpretation but also a set of demonstrably false claims.[2] Specifically, it seems, they think it’s false to say that marriage historically “serv[ed] any single, overriding purpose.”[3]

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Junto March Madness: Round 3 Voting

JMM15You know what’s totally anticlimactic? NCAA March Madness after the first two rounds. You know what only gets better and better? The Junto’s March Madness. Let’s do this.

Will Thomas Paine continue his domination? Will Graham Crackers continue destroying everything in their path? Will I have to keep coming up with rhetorical questions?

Voting closes Tuesday at 5pm. Continue reading

The Week in Early American History

TWEAHHappy Sunday, and welcome to another edition of The Week in Early American History. Here at the Junto, we’re gearing up for the Sweet Sixteen beginning tomorrow (since Villanova, Iowa State, and Baylor have basically thwarted our brackets for that “other” March Madness). Here for your enjoyment before you get distracted by basketball (or by trying to avoid basketball), are today’s links.

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Junto March Madness Round 2 Voting: Brackets 3 & 4

JMM15As we move into voting for brackets 3 & 4, lots of questions remain unanswered: will Roger Williams’s Key Into the Languages of America continue its cinderella run? Will Graham Crakers gain more momentum? Will Junto readers be able to explain their excitement for this tournament without sounding imminently nerdy? Only time will tell.

Voting closes on Thursday at 5:00pm. Results for all four brackets will be announced on Friday. Continue reading