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.



Slavery in Western MA and New York as container Saturday, Aug 10 2013 

In my last post I discussed projecting slavery in the Northeast onto “undesirable” or “loser” groups by way of containing it.  Or, if you will, in the service of sanitizing the overarching narrative of American history.  During my Masters program at Brandeis I did a lot of research into how slavery in Cambridge (and the overall Boston area) is projected onto loyalists.  Lately I’ve been trying to examine how slavery is contained and where it is projected when we discover that (gasp) patriots either enslaved Africans or were complicit in their enslavement.


How to make a trip to the tropics as depressing as possible. Friday, Oct 21 2011 

So.  Last winter I went to Barbados, thereby being in the sun and sand December and January rather than New England.  How do I spend my time?  Exploring the legacy of enslavement and the dehumanization of an entire race!  Woo-hoo!


My interview with Dr. G of the Brown Mansion Saturday, Sep 11 2010 

I’m hurring down the hill to the commuter rail and balancing my books, cellphone and sunglasses against one another.  The only time Dr. G and I have to talk before she leaves on vacation is now, 5h15 on a Tuesday.  I have just gotten out of work and am hauling ass to catch the next train back to Cambridge.  I finally find her number and dial, hoping we’ll be able to hear one another over the constant drone of background noise on my end of the line.


Whither Horatio Alger? Monday, Aug 23 2010 

You’ve probably gathered by now that a lot of my interest lies in the performance of status Issac Royall and John Brown were gave.  What kind of men were they?  What kind of men did they want to be perceived as?  As an anthropologist ([ahem] in training) those are questions I’m obligated to get to the bottom of.  The trouble is is that the answers are not exactly clear.  They probably weren’t even clear to Royall and Brown.


In which the good doctor shamelessly cribs from Said. Tuesday, Jun 22 2010 

Edward Said, that is.  Author of “Orientalism,” to date one of the most comprehensive and illuminating books on the notion of the “Orient,” or “East,” as a construct of the West.


Locked Up Friday, Jun 18 2010 

I really, really could not come up with a more effective pun for this title.  Suffice to say that in this entry I try and explore Locke’s philosophy regarding slavery; both the lofty words and sentiment and the actual practice.  It’s liable to be incomplete and cursory, but hopefully the start of something more trenchant.  Here goes.


In which the good doctor searches for Aphra (part 1). Thursday, Jun 10 2010 

And still isn’t 100% sure how Aphra Behn’s first name is pronounced (short a or long a?).  Anyways, who is this lady, and why am I interested in her?  Also, what the hell does she have to do with slavery?

Oh yeah; if you haven’t read Oroonoko, spoiler alerts.  Although do they count as spoilers if the source text is over 300 years old?


The good Dr. drips all over a historic house. Sunday, Jun 6 2010 

My umbrella lay pristine, wrapped shut and bone dry on my bookshelf as I walked, sodden, down Tory Row toward the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House.  HLN housed the Cambridge Historical Society, where I had an appointment to meet with their executive director.  It felt as though I was walking on saturated cork thanks to the surprisingly deep puddle I had stepped in upon exiting the T and my (now regretted) decision to wear sandals.  I squished my way up to the broad front door the HLN, a substantial white Georgian building, and rang the bell.


The good Dr. Tomato goes to the Library. Saturday, Jun 5 2010 

So I made it to the library yesterday morning, and completely failed to keep track of time.  The end result?  I made my train to Brandeis thanks primarily to a bus kind enough to be five minutes late and a history of running track.  Yeah I ran late, but you don’t understand.  They had “the smell.”


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