The Junto SHEAR 2014 Meet-up!

48ffa-shear2We’re happy to announce that we will be holding a meet-up at this week’s SHEAR conference in Philadelphia, PA. We will be hosting the meet-up for any interested readers, commenters, and conference goers at 9:00pm on Saturday July, 19 at the bar/restaurant in the DoubleTree Hotel.

All are welcome, but it would be appreciated if interested readers would comment on this post or tweet at Roy Rogers (@fauxintel) so that we may get a sense of the number of attendees.

Those Juntoists attending SHEAR look forward to what should be a great conference! See you on Saturday!

How Do You Pronounce This Blog’s Name, Anyway?

OED JuntoBack in 2012, when the initial ideas for this blog were first being thrown around, I suggested the name “The Junto.” I did so, not least because working at the Franklin Papers tends to keep Franklin on the brain. But I also suggested the name because the blog seemed to me to be analogous to the original group in that it was started by a bunch of upstarts with the intent of creating intellectual discourse amongst a supportive and engaged community. And those were the two most important initial goals of the blog. At the time, I never anticipated that there would ever be any confusion as to how to pronounce the blog. That may have been a good thing since I probably would not have suggested it otherwise (“pronouncability” being pretty important when it comes to naming things). So, you might ask: “What is the correct pronunciation?” That’s the thing. There doesn’t seem to be one, at least not nowadays. So, in an effort to hopefully settle the question, I decided to try to find out how people in the eighteenth century pronounced it. Continue reading

Announcing the Junto Summer Book Club

With summer upon us, many of us are turning our attention to reading lists, whether for upcoming graduate exams, syllabus preparation, research, or pleasure. For many, it’s an opportunity to catch up on new work that sat neglected during the push through the final weeks of the semester and exams, but it’s also an opportunity to return to more classic books that have shaped the field and deserve reconsideration. Plus, we at the Junto love nothing more than to discuss and argue about history. Therefore, we would like to introduce a new feature: the Junto Summer Book Club.

Continue reading

Junto March Madness 2014: Call For Nominations

JMM Logo 2Last week, we announced our plans for “Junto March Madness 2014″ - a bracket tournament pitting our readers’ favorite early American history books published since 2000 against each other. Today, we begin the Call for Nominations. Check out the rules below and then add your nominations and seconds in the Comments section. Then, by the power of The Junto‘s bracketologists, we’ll compile the tournament brackets, and open it up for your votes starting next Monday. Continue reading

Junto March Madness: Take Two!

JMM Logo 2The calendar has worked its way round to March, and here at The Junto that can only mean one thing: Junto March Madness is back! The principle is simple: we ask our readers to nominate books about early American history, then we pair them off against each other, until there’s only one book left standing. Last year’s tournament can be found here: Edmund Morgan’s American Slavery, American Freedom ultimately proved victorious.

This year, we’re going to be doing the same thing, only with a twist: entrants to the tournament will be limited to books published since 2000. Last time around, we noticed a tendency to reward older, more established books. We wanted to bring the same liveliness of discussion to more recent works, and to highlight recent work that deserves the prominence of old favorites. We’ll be asking for nominations next week, but we wanted to give you some advance notice so you could start thinking of the books you wanted to receive full consideration. Continue reading

One Year Older and Wiser, Too…: The Junto Turns “1″

A year ago today, I introduced the world to The Junto.

For those who care, chocolate is the official Junto cake flavor. Duh.

For those who care, chocolate is the official Junto birthday cake flavor. Duh.

Since then, my admittedly lofty goals of success have been dramatically achieved by our cast of bloggers. I aimed to gather some of the brightest young minds in the field, and I have been pleased with the consistent quality and quantity of posts throughout the year. We have had posts nearly every weekday, along with our popular “This Week in Early American History” roundup every Sunday, which totaled 292 posts for the year. It would be impossible and unfair to highlight the “best” posts because there have been so many quality posts that, quite frankly, probably belong in a more professional setting than a blog. Some of our most popular include Michael Hattem’s overview of Assassin’s Creed III (thanks, Reddit!), the multi-author roundtable on Walter Johnson’s River of Dark Dreams, Rachel Herrmann’s response to new(!) cannibalism developments, and Matt Karp’s reviews of Django Unchained and Twelve Years a Slave. And our academia-related posts have also been highly popular, as the response to posts on digital workflow and creating a CV attest. And who can forget our epic March Madness Tournament? Indeed, the quality of the content is reflected in the fact that The Junto has been featured in the American Historical Association’s “What We’re Reading” seven times.  Continue reading

Junto Social at the “Revolution Reborn”: Friday, May 31

As Michael Hattem noted in his post on Monday, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, along with a handful of other prestigious organizations, is hosting what promises to be a monumental conference on the American Revolution this weekend in Philadelphia. Titled, “The American Revolution Reborn: New Perspectives for the Twenty-First Century,” it is a combination of roundtable discussions with prominent historians as well as pre-circulated papers from up and coming scholars. (I’m about halfway through the papers, and they are terrific.) There will certainly be lots of important ideas to discuss, and we’ll have several followups (including a post and a podcast) to help digest what went down. Continue reading

The JuntoCast is Here!

The JuntoCastToday, The Junto is happy to present the first episode of “The JuntoCast,” our new monthly podcast featuring Juntoists discussing issues related to early American history, academia, pedagogy, and public history. As we embark on this venture, the first few episodes will be experimental as we try to find the best method for recording a podcast with 3 or 4 participants literally thousands of miles apart. The podcast will appear once per calendar month and the length of the podcast will likely vary anywhere from fifteen to forty-five minutes. As always, any feedback will be greatly appreciated, including suggesting future topics to be covered. Continue reading