Thursday, December 27, 2012

History Now

The second half of the US survey, at least in our course catalog, goes "to the present." How many of us actually get there in a typical semester? Be real. My last unit tends to emphasize a particular theme (this time: immigration and demographic change), but rarely gets into much detail about recent events.

I do have a final project in the class, though, that I think serves multiple purposes nicely at the end of the term. It pulls together concepts and skills in a culminating activity that I like better than a paper.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Has Come Early to TUSH.0

As some Christians celebrate Christmas, we at TUSH.0 celebrate historical scholarship. We believe it should be spread far and wide, that the nights should be silent (so we can read and write) and that the study of history can bring peace on earth and good will to humans (well, that may be a little extreme). But if you are looking for the perfect Christmas gift for your US historian loved one: here it is - and FREE OF CHARGE.

Linford Fisher has posted essays from a graduate seminar at Brown University on Religion in the Early Modern Atlantic World on histororiography. If you are like me, you are thinking "hot damn, this is perfect; now I'll have something to distract me from my insane family. Is there a way I can sneak this into tonight's service? Maybe I can fold some pages into my church program."

We here at TUSH.0 like to think of ourselves as modern-day Magi ... following bright stars, bearing gifts, and hiding from imperial elites who want us to report back to them. Hope you are enjoying your mandatory days off.

Monday, December 17, 2012

False capitlization is a national epidemic

Grading is fun.  Grading is fun.  Grading is fun.  And if you say it loud enough, you'll always sound precocious.

In addition to learning about "bottomless opportunity" and a "delusion of honesty," I'm also now about to burst into anti-retardant grading flames with the epidemic that is affecting our nation: incorrect and even implausible capitalization.

Am I alone in This?  Or does every Noun need to Capitalized these Days?  What is the cause of This Horror, and Why oh Why must you persist despite my warnings that these kinds of things trigger my brain to lower your grade.  Please, please stop.  Proper names deserve capitalization, as does the first word in a sentence (see the helpful chart to the right).  But even the civil rights movement is properly lower cased, and that was a really big deal.  Much more important (perhaps) than Immigration, War, and Social Movements.

Oh make it stop, please please make it stop.  Oh the humanity.

To be fair, my dad does this in his emails: "Send me your Flight Information."  Fair enough.  Email is a mostly informal venue and my dad is a man of science, not the humanities (full disclosure: he's a dentist, but not, as he insists, a Dentist).

But in the final essays that are all-too-slowly moving through my hands, this writing tick has replaced orphan quotations (ugh) and punctuation outside the final quotation mark (ughhhhhh) as the error that annoys me the most.

Where did it come from?  The evil that is technology is an obvious place to begin searching for clues, but autocorrect makes horrible mistakes sometimes, but hardly ever with capitalization.  Indeed, when caps are involved, it's usually to overly lower-case things.

So I'm at a loss.  Anyone got a clue?  Or rather, a Clue?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The World Has Ended

TUSH.0 recognizes that the world is ending today. Goodbye to our loyal fans. God(s) bless (or don't, whatever is your approach). Thanks for all the memories.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Re-Constructing the Reconstruction Lecture

Since the early twentieth century, it has been a common phrase among Reconstruction scholars to say something to this effect: "the North won the war, but the South won the peace." I remember first reading that in Nina Silber's amazing book The Romance of Reunion (still one of my all-time favorites). But, of course, we know all such common phrases obscure as much as they reveal. So today, in my Reconstruction lecture, I want to hit a few points that typically get ignored:

  1. A reconfigured white supremacy won the peace, and
  2. There was not much peace to begin with (North, South, East, West, or overseas)
  3. The Union won the postwar period, too, because there was NOT another Civil War (at least not yet)
  4. The Civil War is still with us because of what it left changed (slavery) and what it left unchanged (legal racial and gender discriminatory legislations)
Anything else that you would add to the general narrative?

Monday, December 3, 2012

C. Vann Woodward Dissertation Award Announcement


The Southern Historical Association invites submissions for the C. Vann Woodward Dissertation Prize for 2013 to be presented for the best dissertation in southern history completed and defended in 2012.

The prize consists of a $3,000 stipend, and is funded by the Woodward Fund, based on a very generous bequest left to the SHA by C. Vann Woodward. Author should submit three copies of the following by May 1, 2013, to the SHA office:
> cover letter with full contact information
> title page, abstract, and table of contents of the dissertation
> sample chapter of the dissertation
> letter of support from the dissertation advisor
The full dissertation should not be submitted. Based on the materials described above, the prize committee will decide which candidates will be invited to submit the full dissertation for further consideration. Any inquiries regarding the prize and its guidelines should be addressed to the 

Send submissions to:
Southern Historical Association
Department of History
111 LeConte Hall
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602-1602

Past Winners
2002 - Robert Perkinson
"The Birth of the Texas Prison Empire, 1865-1915" Yale University

2003 - Chandra Miller Manning
"What This Cruel War Was Over: Why Union and Confederate Soldiers Thought They Were Fighting the Civil War" Harvard University

2004 - Edward J. Blum
"Reforging the White Republic: Race, Protestantism, and American Nationalism, 1865-1898"
University of Kentucky

2005 - Fran├žoise N. Hamlin
"'The Book Hasn't Closed, The Story Isn't Finished': Continuing Histories of the Civil Rights Movement" Yale University

2006 - Christopher Myers Asch
"No Compromise: The Freedom Struggles of James O. Eastland and Fannie Lou Hamer"
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

2007 - Bethany E. Moreton
"The Soul of the Service Economy: Wal-Mart and the Making of Christian Free Enterprise 1929-1994"
Yale University

2008 - Max Grivno
"'There Slavery Cannot Dwell': Agriculture and Labor in Northern Maryland, 1790-1860"
University of Maryland
Darren E. Grem's "The Blessings of Business: Corporate America and Conservative Evangelicalism in the Sunbelt Age, 1945-2000," University of Georgia, 2010

2010 - Robert Blakeslee Gilpin
"John Brown Still Lives! America's Long Reckoning with Violence, Equality, and Change"

2011 - Co-Winner Darren Grem
"The Blessings of Business: Corporate America and Conservative Evangelicalism in the Sunbelt Age, 1945-2000," University of Georgia, 2010

2011 - Co-Winner Drew Swanson
"Land of the Bright Leaf: Yellow Tobacco, Environment, and Culture along the Border of Virginia and North Carolina," University of Georgia, 2010

2012 - Co-Winner Matthew J. Karp
"'This Vast Southern Empire': The South and the Foreign Policy of Slavery, 1833-1861," University of Pennsylvania, 2011

2012 - Co-Winner Crystal R. Sanders
"To Be Free of Fear: Black Women's Fight for Freedom Through the Child Development Group of Mississippi," Northwestern University, 2011