Welcome to another edition of This Week in American History. It has been a busy, yet troubling two weeks.
We would like to begin by offering our condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Christopher Schmidt-Nowara, of Tufts University. Dr. Schmidt-Nowara died suddenly in Paris on June 27th.
Not surprisingly, the murder of 9 members of the Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Church, there has been a lot of attention among twitterhistorians to issues of slavery, racial violence, and the troubling history of the Confederate flag. For those of you who missed Junto colleague Ben Park’s analysis of the shooting and the history of the Church, you can find it here. Other items of interest has been the much-discussed Charleston Syllabus, which was the brainchild of Historian Chad Williams, and is now being curated by Historian and AAIHS contributor Keisha Blain. Award-winning Historian David Blight eulogized Rev. Clementa Pickney, and discussed the country’s long, troubled history when it comes to race. And, inspired by Jon Stewart’s response to the Charleston shooting, Haverford undergraduate student Laura Neckstein used GIS to map the Confederate streets of South Carolina.
I acknowledge the generous help of Michael Hattem in gathering all the statistics and relevant information for this post. And just as he is the real puppeteer behind the curtain of the post, he serves a similar function for the entire blog in general; appreciation is herein expressed, once again, to him.
Two years ago today, The Junto announced its entrance into the academic blogging world. When I originally conceived of the idea for the blog and pitched it to three fellow grad students (Michael Blaakman, Katy Lasdow, and Eric Herschthal) in an uptown Manhattan coffee shop in September(ish) 2012, I merely wanted to come up with a small community that could alleviate my alone-ness of studying American history while living in the UK. A few months later, the blog was born; two years later, our empire expands. It is becoming fairly common to meet people at an academic conference and, after I share my name, the person replies, “Oh, you’re Ben Park from The Junto?” It makes me smile every. single. time. I could have hardly conceived of where the blog has gone since our humble beginnings. Yet here we are. What follows is a general report of what has taken place since we last celebrated our blog’s birthday. Continue reading →