What are the rules for scholarly engagement online? Should there be any? Some of the great things about social media in the past few years have been its leveling effect, its irreverence, and its real-time discussion capability. That last in particular has become handy at conferences with the rise of live-tweeting, where participants create a backchannel discussion or broadcast to those not able to attend the occurrences of a conference. It’s been incredibly helpful and interesting for those of us on Twitter, but there’s also been pushback from non-users about what people may be saying about their work outside their field of vision. So should tweeting have rules?
Today’s guest post is by Carl Robert Keyes, an associate professor of history at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. He recently began tweeting: @TradeCardCarl.
On the Luddite to Early Adopter spectrum I fall somewhere around “Printing Presses Are Cool.” It was thus with a bit of trepidation that I approached the Digital Antiquarian Conference (May 29-30) and the accompanying Digital Antiquarian Workshop (June 1-5), hosted by the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts. The conference was open to all (with nearly 200 people registering), but the workshop was restricted to eighteen participants selected from those who submitted applications in advance, not unlike the summer seminars in book history and visual culture sponsored by the AAS.
Next week, early Americanists will gather for the joint annual meeting of the Omohundro Institute and the Society of Early Americanists. On the first day of the conference (Thursday, June 18), I’ve organized a roundtable discussion on “The Maturing Blogosphere of Early America.” Here I’d like to introduce it and invite you to join us for the session.
Here in the United States, today is Memorial Day, a holiday originally created in the late 1860s to honor the Union Civil War dead, and now a time to commemorate all of America’s war dead. Because it’s also observed as a three-day weekend, we’re bringing you a special Monday holiday edition of The Week in Early American History. On to your morning reading…
Like many of my friends, I’ve spent the past few weeks anxiously awaiting the series finale of Mad Men. I started watching a bit late, but caught up, and eagerly watched each week in April and May to find out how show creator Matthew Weiner would leave the stories of the main characters. And in the past few days, I’ve been mulling over the finale and in particular how it ended. Then yesterday, I realized that the finale of a beloved TV series actually has quite a bit to tell us (and possibly our students) about the omnipresent specter of teleology in the study of the past. [NOTE: Spoilers ahead, just in case.]
It’s commencement season around the United States, so we wish a hearty congratulations to all of our readers (and our students) graduating this month. Now, straight on to the links!
Sometime in the 1990s, NBC decided to promote its usual lineup of summer reruns with the tag line, “if you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you!” I’ve thought about that line occasionally since I started grad school, and came to it again this week as I’m working on syllabi (including, yes, a belated book order) for the fall semester. The problem I’m facing is a familiar one: how to balance the desire to engage in discussions of the newest work on a given topic—in this case the American Revolution—with the fact that they haven’t yet encountered some of the classic arguments.