Commonplace
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Publick Occurrences 2.0

November 9, 2011

Baby steps back to blogging

Filed under: Common-Place,Historians — Jeffrey L. Pasley @ 1:43 pm

Inquiries have been made as to this space. I may well be the worst candidate in the world for any avocation that one is supposed to do on a regular basis in public. I should have done the grown-up thing a while ago and announced a hiatus until very serious, final-type progress was made on my long-delayed book project. That situation is getting better, I am happy to say, so I hope to be reappearing here a bit more often than every six nine months, but who’s counting?

There follow some notices of things I found to disagree with on the Internet. First up:

Historians of colonial America really seem to have issues with the nation-state, as a phenomenon of historical importance that one might deal with when writing or teaching. But, honestly, without the United States, would there even be people employed as historians of colonial America? I thought not.

I also found it puzzling that Historiann and her commenters act as though American historians taking the British side of the American Revolution is a new and radical thing. Imperial School? Native American history? Explaining that the British and their American defenders were right was more or less what Bernard Bailyn did, in some rather widely read tomes and a course or two taken by thousands of Harvard students. By all means, if you don’t want to talk about constitutions or battles in your survey course, don’t do it.  But methinks nationalism as a historical force, and the United States as an analytical category, are going to be of continuing relevance for some time, even if they do suck.

I will save the next one for another post. That will be two days in a row!

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