Well, hello there.
I’ve been meaning to start doing some light blogging at Common-place since Jeff invited me many moons ago, but work and life intervened to make time a scarce resource.
I’m not sure how much traffic my posts will draw, since I’ll be thinking out loud about page-turning subjects like political economy while trying to bridge the gap between my life as a professional historian and the world I inhabit as an observant citizen and newshound.
I think historians’ appreciation for deep context is what sets us apart from other disciplines, and it sometimes frustrates me (but doesn’t surprise me) that our work so often seems cloistered from a public sphere that’s decided context is irrelevant, or biased. Jeff’s posts at this blog have tried to bridge this divide and reach out colleagues and the public alike, and I hope to add to that effort.
For the most part, I’ll try to stick to what I know. However, I’ll surely be tempted to post some half-baked notions. But, hey, this is a blog after all.
And because it’s a blog, and not my full-time job, I have decided to keep myself anonymous, dear reader. Why? I think the reasons are fairly obvious. Our colleagues are often competitors, our promotion and hiring processes are opaque, and our so-called job ‘market’ is oversupplied, all of which amplify unequal distributions of power in the academy. This discourages junior faculty and adjuncts from doing and saying all kinds of things their senior colleagues can take for granted. So, if my pseudonymity bugs you, I’m sorry, but you should be far more upset with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for claiming the mantle of Madison, Hamilton, and Jay than an amateur blogger.
But enough of this palaver… let’s get this show on the road!