The Week in Early American History

TWEAHIt’s that time of the week and it’s my turn to do the roundup, so let’s just get started with some links from the past week or so

Most eye-catching was a debate which broke out throughout various media outlets on the state of the academic profession and graduate education. First came Rebecca Schuman’s piece, “Thesis Hatement,” at Slate warning potential grad students that getting a PhD will “turn you into an emotional trainwreck, not a professor.”

Then Sarah Kendzior wrote a succinct summary for Al-Jazeera on the rise of contingent labor (i.e., “academia’s indentured servants“) in American higher education.

This was followed by a piece at Notes from the Ironbound which asked, “Do I Have a Moral Obligation to Stop Writing Grad School Recommendations?”

Finally, it was capped off by a prescient and much-needed piece by Tressie McMillan Cottom at the Chronicle. After a glut of pieces, a veritable Pannapacker echo chamber, Cottom finally pointed out the assumptions of race and class inherent in all these “Don’t Go to Graduate School” pieces and argues that, for some students, graduate school is a smart decision.

Recently, at the S-USIH blog, Christopher Cameron commented on Nathalie Caron and Naomi Wulf’s recent JAH article on recent historiographical developments in the study of the American Enlightenment (is that a “thing?”).

Over at Religion in American History, Randall Stephens wrote a very useful post on the logistical thought involved in turning a dissertation into a book. Also, at The Historical Society, he pulls out a few historical gems from YouTube.

At Salon, Andrew O’Hehir contributed an excellent piece on the changing nature of the historical spectacle that is Colonial Williamsburg.

Staying in the theme of my post from this week on documentary editing, I am including this interview from last month with Jeff Looney, Editor of the Jefferson Retirement Series, in the Washington Post.

The AHA’s Rob Townsend recently published data on the decline of history majors in Perspectives on History.

Also check out Joshua R. Eyler’s very helpful piece in the Chronicle on “The Rhetoric of the CV.”

Over at ArchiveJournal, Tara Bynum, an Assistant Professor of English at Towson University, thoughtfully reflects on her experience at the American Antiquarian Society’s 2012 Summer Seminar in the History of the Book on “Early African American Cultures of Print.”

Shane Landrum (@cliotropic) set up a GoogleDoc to allow teachers to collaborate on teaching about the Boston Marathon bombings from a historical perspective.

Finally, Melodee Beals discusses students and Google.

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