The Week in Early American History

TWEAHThe semester is in full swing, at least in the United States (hang on, UK readers and Juntoists! It’ll be here before you know it!). And here in New England, after a brutal hot spell midweek, it seems that fall weather has finally arrived.  All of which means we’ve got a busy week to review for you. Without further ado, let’s get on with the links!

Speaking of the start of the new semester, BuzzFeed ran an animated-GIF-fest entitled “What It’s Like Being a New TA” that captures the experience frighteningly well.


In an interview at The Atlantic, literary scholar and historian Philip Gura argues that more students should read the popular novels of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Cambridge classicist Mary Beard asks, “Why tweet?”

The University of Virginia will become the latest American university to formally explore its relationship to slavery with the newly formed Commission on Slavery and the University, empaneled by President Teresa Sullivan.

For those on the job market, the most stressful parts of the year are still to come, but Hester Blum (English, Penn State) has some fantastic advice at Inside Higher Ed on how to present yourself in applications and interviews.

I am deeply conflicted about this study on tenure-track versus contingent faculty as teachers and what to say about it, so I provide it without comment.

If it seems like the MLA and AHA job centers are more crowded this year, there’s a reason. The number of people awarded a Ph.D. in the humanities is up almost 8 percent.

Public History

If you’re interested in family history research or genealogy, you’ll be glad to hear that and FamilySearch International (affiliated with the LDS Church) have agreed to make LDS records available online.

Apparently the Mint is still creating new state quarters even after completing the 50-state tour begun in 1999. The newest should be a real crowd-pleaser for our readers: a coin honoring Fort McHenry and the Star-Spangled Banner.

I’ve been to San Diego, where the weather doesn’t change nearly often enough for this attraction to truly achieve its desired verisimilitude. Nonetheless, the Green Dragon Tavern & Museum (which will also specialize in craft beers, precisely as the Founders intended) opens soon in Carlsbad, California.

PBS is producing a 6-hour documentary called Latino Americans, set to air later this fall.

Friday was Uncle Sam Day (thank you, George H.W. Bush!). Who knew? Natalie Elder of the Armed Forces History Division at the Smithsonian, that’s who. She takes a look at the mythical figure as both man and meme.

Fort Ticonderoga is a fantastic destination for historical tourism, has stepped up its game recently with more re-enactments, and the New York Times is ON IT.

David Barton, last seen being eviscerated by evangelical historians for his misrepresentations of Thomas Jefferson, still has the ears of the Senate, according to a recent Politico profile.

Popular Culture

Developers are working on a new iPad game about slavery in Brazil called Thralled.

There’s a new biopic out on the life of Simón Bolívar entitled Libertador (The Liberator).

Early America is coming to the small screen this fall (sort of) with FOX’s police/sci fi/Washington Irving-based drama Sleepy Hollow, in which Ichabod Crane reawakens in Westchester County in 2013 to combat the evil Headless Horseman. Having grown up right around the corner, I was curious how people were reacting, and it turns out my hometown paper (The Journal News) ran a piece last weekend on what residents of the real Sleepy Hollow think about the show.

Upset at where your college ended up in the recently released US News rankings? Well, just think about how the folks at US News feel – they dropped to number 14 in Slate‘s College-Rankings Rankings! In other news, our long national nightmare is finally over as the National Park service has reopened the iconic Jefferson Starship Memorial.

Tweet of the Week

From recent guest poster Chris Minty:

One response

  1. Thanks for the run down Joseph. It is always good to get the news from the Metropole. Here in the colonies we are more than half way through our semeste!


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