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.

(more…)

Advertisements

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

The good doctor rants about religion. Yet again. Wednesday, Dec 21 2011 

Because I have a love/hate relationship with religion — i. e. I’m fascinated by it as a cultural force, but tend to abhor the ways it can and has been used as a tool of hatred and oppression — I occasionally like to read and reread religious texts.  Occasionally I discover something profoundly poetic and beautiful in the text.  Other times I’m touched by the simultaneous fallibility and triumph of the human spirit as it struggles valiantly to transcend the realm of the mundane.  Sometimes, though, I just get pissed off.  Today, a slight diversion from my research.

(more…)

You can’t keep a good tomato down. Friday, Oct 14 2011 

Hey everyone,

So — after an extended absence during which I was frantically pounding out my masters paper, Dr. Tomato is back on track!  Well — sorta.  Below the fold a synopsis of new research to date!  Including how to make a trip to the Caribbean as depressing as humanly possible.

(more…)

The good doctor wonders again whether this is his place. Saturday, Aug 7 2010 

Because, to put it bluntly, I’m a white guy.

(more…)

In which the good doctor has self-doubt and realizes he’ll never be a teen model. Wednesday, Jul 28 2010 

I have a viable research question.  I have some primary sources.  I’ve conducted interviews, formulated hypotheses and toyed with theory.  Aside from extensive archaeological training, access to excavation tools and knowledge of how to maneuver the beaurocratic process in order to get approval for digging at a historical site I can’t think of too much I don’t have.  Oh yeah — lots and lots of funding. 

(more…)

My dentist isn’t the only one who doesn’t like plaque. Tuesday, Jul 13 2010 

Hey fans (and by “fans” I mean “fan” and by “fan” I mean “the Russian brides proposing to me in my comment section”).  My research excursion to Providence and Newport was a success, and I look forward to subsequent trips down there to follow up on some leads.  Special thanks to M, who hosted my lazy ass for a night and let me have the use of his car while cramming for his exams.  Expect pictures soon, particularly ones of me tempting supernatural fate!

Today, however, I feel compelled to address a news item.  It’s a month old, but the fact that I — a news junkie — have not heard of it until now is in and of itself a testament to how troublesome said news item is.  I vent bile, below the fold.

(more…)

Eating Like a Slave Friday, Jul 9 2010 

If there is one thing I am undeniably good at, it’s eating.  Since I was a toddler I’ve been able to eat more-or-less my body weight thanks to a freakishly high metabolism (it’s not as good at is it sounds, by the way).  Moreover, if there’s anything that’s universal to the human experience, it’s eating; everyone needs to eat.  Claude Levi-Strauss, the founder of American Anthropology, theorized that an integral part of cognitive development was categorizing which plants and animals were good to eat and which ones weren’t.  He opined further that food preparation — particularly cooking — was just as significant a cultural achievement for early hominids (see The Raw and the Cooked).  Below the fold, my oh-so-failed attempt at ingesting part of what it was like to be a slave.

(more…)

I’ve decided to think of them as “challenges.” Friday, Jul 2 2010 

There are a few longstanding issues I find myself running headlong into again and again as I do this topic, and I am sure that they are not at all unique to my field or myself as a scholar.  Some of them pertain to the topic itself.  Some of them pertain to me as a researcher in relation to that topic.  All of them occasionally make me want to throw my laptop out the window.

(more…)

Next Page »