Tailoring Lectures and Discussions to Students: Teaching Religion and Reform in Early America

This summer, I’m teaching a small section of United States History to 1877. Meeting four days each week for an hour and fifteen minutes, we cover over the course of seven weeks what is typically covered in shorter meetings three days/week over a normal fifteen week semester. This is my first time doing so, and it’s forced me to rewrite and combine some plans for each day’s meeting, and in some cases, to scrap lecture material normally used. Continue reading

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Guest Post: The Payroll Union’s Paris of America

Pete David is a songwriter from Sheffield, who performs with the band, The Payroll Union. They have produced two EPs—Underfed & Underpaid and Your Obedient Servant—and have two albums: The Mule & The Elephant and their most recent, Paris of America.

Andrew Heath (@andrewdheath) is a lecturer in American History at the University of Sheffield in the UK. He spent several years in grad school in Philadelphia, where he became fascinated by the city’s nineteenth-century past.

The album cover of Paris of America.

The album cover of Paris of America.

Paris of America, a new album by the Sheffield U.K.-based band The Payroll Union, is the product of a two-year collaboration between  songwriter Pete David and historian Andrew Heath. With the help of funding from Sheffield University, Pete and the band explored the turbulent history of antebellum Philadelphia: a city in which racial, religious, and social strife earned it the title of “mob town” of the Union. Here, they reflect on the project, and the possibilities of exploring the history of the Early Republic beyond the more familiar routes of text and film.   Continue reading