Happy Sunday! Let’s get right to the links.
Unfortunately, a sad note to begin. Jack Larkin, Chief Historian at Old Sturbridge Village for many years and authors of such books as The Reshaping of Everyday Life, died on March 29 after a battle with cancer. At Publick Occurrences, several of his friends and colleagues offer remembrances.
Registration is now open for the 19th Annual Omohundro Institute Conference, hosted this year at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Our own Ben Park, writing at Religion & Politics, examines the “convoluted history” of state religious establishments in response to legislation introduced last week in North Carolina that would permit the state to declare an official religion.
Andrew O’Hehir of Salon recently visited Colonial Williamsburg and found the history wars alive and well in the tension between interpreters and tourists.
In the wake of the recent controversy (or perhaps “kerfuffle” is a better term) over the Paisley/J duet “Accidental Racist,” Alan Jacobs reposted a seventeen-year-old essay of his on the enduring problems with trying to use the Confederate flag as a symbol for something other than the eleven states that seceded in 1861.
Most of our readers probably have already seen the New York Times piece on the re-emergence of the history of capitalism, which features such early Americanists as Stephen Mihm and Seth Rockman. If somehow you weren’t anywhere near a Twitter or Facebook feed that looked like mine this week, here’s your chance.
On the academic blogging beat, though not the Early American history one, Mark Goodacre reflects on “the phenomenon of a peer-reviewed article in a major journal providing a full critique of a blog post.”
Last but not least, I wouldn’t be much of a Massachusetts resident (or public university employee) if I didn’t provide everyone a link to events related to Patriots’ Day (Monday, April 15). [Also, good luck to anyone running the Boston Marathon!]
I have to admit, I am finding this Goodacre situation fascinating, not least because I’ve experienced reactions to blog posts that seemed to completely ignore the informal nature of the medium. I’d be lying if I said that experience did not make me more inhibited when it comes to writing for the blog. I think blogs like ours would be even better (and even more useful) if historians were more inclined to share their own works-in-progress in a public forum like this. I think that is why I like Goodacre’s equating blog posts to conference papers.
We, at The Junto, have done a lot of historiography posts and in many of them (like in the majority of blog posts overall) we are proposing or working through ideas in an informal way designed to solicit discussion rather than presenting vetted arguments. I’ve come to realize that this actually (excuse the colloquialism) takes a bit of guts on the part of the author. I think I would be horrified if what Goodacre experienced were to happen to one of my blog posts here. I wonder: how would my fellow Juntoists feel if this were to happen to one of their posts? I also wonder: in what ways are our readers approaching our pieces, i.e., in what spirit are they reading posts on the blog?