Portrait of a Juntoist in Motion

I’ve had a blog, in one place or another, since 2002, and thus the distinction between “a blog” and “a blog post” is a hill on which I am willing to die. But before Ben Park approached me to be one of The Junto’s founding members, I hadn’t blogged extensively about history. Five years later, I still want to write about other topics in addition to history, but I firmly believe that my history teaching and history scholarship have benefitted from my membership here. That said, I think my role as a blogger for The Junto has changed since 2012, and will continue to transform in the future. Today, I want to reflect on some of these changes. Continue reading

A Threenager! Or, The Junto Turns Three

Thanks go to Michael Hattem for providing the statistics for this post. Michael not only produces The JuntoCast, but also manages much of the formatting, editing, and other technical details of The Junto.

three-candlesThree years ago, founder Ben Park introduced The Junto. Today, we offer our annual “state of the blog” post.

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Review: Jessica Choppin Roney, Governed by a Spirit of Opposition

Jessica Choppin RoneyGoverned by a Spirit of Opposition: The Origins of American Political Practice in Colonial Philadelphia (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014).

CaptureIn recent years, early American political history has received considerable attention. A range of historians have enriched our understanding of how Americans participated in and contributed to politics in the early republic.[1] Popular politics during the colonial period has received less attention.[2] But in Governed by a Spirit of Opposition, part of Studies in Early American Economy and Society from the Library Company of Philadelphia, Jessica Choppin Roney focuses on politics in Philadelphia prior to the American Revolution. In so doing, she makes an important contribution to the field of early American history. Continue reading

How Do You Pronounce This Blog’s Name, Anyway?

OED JuntoBack in 2012, when the initial ideas for this blog were first being thrown around, I suggested the name The Junto. I did so, not least because working at the Franklin Papers tends to keep Franklin on the brain. But I also suggested the name because the blog seemed to me to be analogous to the original group in that it was started by a bunch of upstarts with the intent of creating intellectual discourse amongst a supportive and engaged community. And those were the two most important initial goals of the blog. At the time, I never anticipated that there would ever be any confusion as to how to pronounce the name. That may have been a good thing since I probably would not have suggested it otherwise (“pronouncability” being pretty important when it comes to naming things, apparently). So, you might ask: “What is the correct pronunciation?” Well, that’s the thing. There doesn’t seem to be one, at least not nowadays. So, in a hopeful effort to settle the question, I decided to try to find out how people in the eighteenth century pronounced “Junto.” Continue reading

One Year Older and Wiser, Too…: The Junto Turns “1”

A year ago today, I introduced the world to The Junto.

For those who care, chocolate is the official Junto cake flavor. Duh.

For those who care, chocolate is the official Junto birthday cake flavor. Duh.

Since then, my admittedly lofty goals of success have been dramatically achieved by our cast of bloggers. I aimed to gather some of the brightest young minds in the field, and I have been pleased with the consistent quality and quantity of posts throughout the year. We have had posts nearly every weekday, along with our popular “This Week in Early American History” roundup every Sunday, which totaled 292 posts for the year. It would be impossible and unfair to highlight the “best” posts because there have been so many quality posts that, quite frankly, probably belong in a more professional setting than a blog. Some of our most popular include Michael Hattem’s overview of Assassin’s Creed III (thanks, Reddit!), the multi-author roundtable on Walter Johnson’s River of Dark Dreams, Rachel Herrmann’s response to new(!) cannibalism developments, and Matt Karp’s reviews of Django Unchained and Twelve Years a Slave. And our academia-related posts have also been highly popular, as the response to posts on digital workflow and creating a CV attest. And who can forget our epic March Madness Tournament? Indeed, the quality of the content is reflected in the fact that The Junto has been featured in the American Historical Association’s “What We’re Reading” seven times.  Continue reading