Not reinventing the wheel, Part Deux. With pictures! Friday, Aug 30 2013 

So I have a tentative interview scheduled for the history chair at a local high school which, coincidentally enough, I substitute taught at a few years back.  Well, considering the size of the town maybe it’s not that coincidental.  But either way.  Progress!  I will be interviewing my contact about how the Triangle Trade is incorporated into local curricula, if it is, if state intervention in the curricula led to any changes in how the Triangle Trade is taught, how he might advocate alternative ways of teaching about the Trade, etc.  Fun times.  Hopefully this will inform, at least in part, the museum education part of my dissertation.  In the meantime, a blast from a few weeks past, below the fold. (more…)

Attempting to not reinvent the wheel. Thursday, Aug 29 2013 

So.  I think I’ve found a way to try and do something other than saying the same thing over and over and over and over.  Interestingly enough, it’s something that makes my project Anthropological rather than Historical.  So, in short, I feel silly not having thought of it before.

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Twerking, “Petting” Africans, and Minorities as Accessories Wednesday, Aug 28 2013 

“What the hell is twerking,” I’d asked myself.  I only had a vague idea of it as something that lived on Tumblr, Instagram and Vine.  It also seemed to be something people “did” in a guerrilla fashion to people in restrooms, dressing rooms, etc.  So I finally did what any responsible scholar would do; I looked on urbandictionary, uncyclopedia, etc.  The results were illuminating and, in a way, tie into my research.  Swear to god.

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Hating the Dutch isn’t just for Austin Powers’ dad anymore. Tuesday, Aug 27 2013 

So.  As previously stated, a common theme I’ve discovered when researching the history of slave owning patriots, particularly those living in Western New England, is fobbing that hatred off onto New York (and, by extension, the Dutch, who would ultimately be forced to give way to Anglo Americans).  I therefore think it might be useful to explore this a bit.  I’m not sure if this will be a major part of my dissertation/research, or if it will be an aside for my own edification and knowledge.  Still, I think it worth to listen to the voice of an enslaved woman who experienced the realities of Dutch colonialism herself, an orator known to history as Sojourner Truth.

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How to explain semiotics in one easy step. Tuesday, Aug 20 2013 

“They say the shape of Cheshire looks like a minuteman.”  I studied the map of Cheshire, posted as an insert to an article about the town’s borders supposedly having more corners than any other town or city in Massachusetts.  According to one of my interviewees, he had found out that the number of corners was overcounted.  Still, the enduring image of the multi-cornered township seems to have a great deal of symbolic import.

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Oh — in case you didn’t get it the first time, we like to blame other people for the slave trade. Tuesday, Aug 20 2013 

One of the dangers of being in academe is that one ends up saying the same thing multiple ways.  I really really don’t want to do that.  So, I’m wondering how to avoid academic narcissism and really get at the issue of historic debt, as well as the way education and the historic narrative conspire to obscure it.

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The Significance of the Underground Railroad Monday, Aug 19 2013 

This summer in Western Massachusetts I’ve noticed a recurring theme while discussing my research.  No sooner do I parrot my elevator speech (“I focus on memories of the African-American slave trade and how they are embedded in roles, rituals and aesthetics in Atlantic World sites such as the Caribbean and New England”) than the person I’m talking to immediately says something along the lines of “you know, I just took a tour of this house that was on the Underground Railroad.”

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And now for something completely different . . . Thursday, Aug 15 2013 

in which I take a break from my usual inane ramblings to contemplate a different sort of inanity.  Namely, pop cultural characterizations of gender.

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Mysterious Authors Wednesday, Aug 14 2013 

The majority of my research into the history of Cheshire has involved a specific book: Ellen Raynor and Emma Petitclerc’s History of the Town of Cheshire.  It’s an interesting book, available online, but to date I have been able to find next to nothing about the authors.

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Let’s talk about race . . . or not. Tuesday, Aug 13 2013 

Edgar C and I disagree about a fundamental issue; whether mustaches (unattached to a beard of some sort, of course) are aesthetically pleasing or not.  He votes yes, I vote very much no.  There is one issue he and I do agree on.  White Americans, by and large, suck at talking about race.

Feel free to click the clicky.  Also, I fully expect that if this does for some reason garner any comments, half of them will be TL;DR.

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