Happy Mother’s Day! Go call your Mom, then come back and take a look at our weekly round-up.
First, in honor of the holiday, one above-the-fold link: Heather Cox Richardson, writing at the Historical Society blog, looks at the origins of Mother’s Day. Hint: it’s not about “people be[ing] nice to their mothers.”
“The 1860 Presidential Election was one of the most consequential elections in world history, writes Adam Smith as he thinks through the consequences of elections for an upcoming conference at Princeton on “Bringing Elections Back In.” (I’ll note that I’m mildly surprised to discovered anyone let them out in the first place, but that’s not the point of the post.)
At All Things Liberty, Todd Andrlik interviews J.L. Bell (of Boston 1775) about his historical research, his impressive blogging career … and his sideburns. (Part 1 | Part 2)
The program is now available for Ligaments: Everyday Connections of Colonial Economies, the 13th Annual Conference of the Program in Early American Economy and Society, to be held at the Library Company of Philadelphia in October 2013.
Katherine D. Harris, who teaches British literature at San Jose State University, spent a semester trying to live with the time and budgetary constraints of a single parent. Her conclusions? Not promising:
Results: Not only did I get zero research done but also didn’t handle my teaching load well. No bandwidth for emergencies or extra cmts
— Katherine D. Harris (@triproftri) May 8, 2013
Alan Jacobs wonders why colleges invest in expensive amenities and not the less-expensive core mission of education, faculty, and associated resources.
Where are libraries headed in the future? Tona Hangen explores the question in a talk she originally delivered as the Worcester Art Museum contemplates how it will reconfigure its space to meet new challenges.
A Renaissance fresco in Rome appears to feature the first images of Native Americans in Western art. The painter probably used descriptions sent by Christopher Columbus.
In the Civil War Monitor, Matt Gallman reviews Gary Gallagher’s latest book, Becoming Confederates: Paths to a New Loyalty.
John Fea discussed his use of Perry Miller in the survey classroom, specifically his argument that “British America transitioned from “colonies” to “provinces” in the years between 1607 and 1763.”
Last but not least, your occasional Tweet of the Week, from hip hop artist and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda:
I f*cked up a lot at age 22, made mistakes. When George Washington was 22, he f*cked up and triggered the FRENCH & INDIAN WAR. #Perspective.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) May 8, 2013
The Brit in me demands you recognize the American nature of celebrating Mothers’ Day in May! Interestingly, in the UK it’s a Lenten festival that attached itself to Mothering Sunday, when parishoners would attend a larger (‘mother’) church within their diocese as a means of building a wider sense of community.
Of course, being a Lenten festival means that it moves about every year, too, which is particularly challenging when remembering to send a card from the wrong side of the Atlantic…