The Week in Early American History


Let’s kick another weekly roundup of early American history links off with this fascinating and fun look at Revolutionary-era pronunciations of the word “Huzza(h)!” over at Journal of the American Revolution (hint: it rhymes with “fray”). Continuing with the general theme of historical language and pronunciation, Sam Sack’s New Yorker review of Ben Tarnoff’s newly-released, The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers who Reinvented American Literature, includes some reflections on Twain’s use of “unrefined idiomatic English” and “how America learned to hear itself talk.”  Continue reading

The Week in Early American History

TWEAHThe biggest early-America news in popular culture this week may be the film adaptation of 12 Years a Slave, which will enter wide release in the US on November 1. In an interview with Terry Gross, director Steve McQueen says he wants Solomon Northup’s story to enter public consciousness the way Anne Frank’s diary has. David Blight discussed it with Terry Gross and recommended 12 Years a Slave as “a very good corrective” to ordinary Hollywood treatments of slavery. In the New Yorker, Annette Gordon-Reed uses the film to discuss some of the opportunities and problems slave narratives present to historians. At Grandland, Wesley Morris describes how the film “presents savagery in civil terms.”

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Plagiarism, Cheating, and Craigslist

Craigslist adBefore reading this post, take a moment to read this genuine, recent ad from Craigslist (click picture for full size). It is from a student in New York and the assignment(s) are due today, one of which is an early American history paper.

As I wrote last week, I am currently finishing up my coursework and in the fall will begin my first teaching assistantship. Because teaching has been on my mind anyway, the ad above struck me a bit harder than I imagine it would have done before. I’ve heard stories of cheating and plagiarism from my professors and my peers in my own program now in their teaching years, but the ad above really “takes the cake” for me. Continue reading

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