Category Archives: History

Op-Ed in the Washington Post on the humanities and the history of higher education

Please read and share!

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About Those Who “Abhor Violence” in People Protesting Fascism

Here’s a tweetstorm and the more easily read and shared version on Storify for those who don’t do Twitter. Warning! Strong language in this one.

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Fighting Misinformation Online

Here’s the original Tweetstorm and for those who don’t Twitter, you can read it easily on Storify.   Here’s a handy meme to use on your social media:

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Monuments are Not History (Read a Book!)

This was posted as a tweetstorm – if you don’t Twitter, you can read it easily on Storify.

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Thoughts on Charlottesville

On Twitter and Storify. UPDATE! Now on the Washington Post! Their new “Made By History” column is fantastic, by the way, and I recommend becoming a regular reader of it. If you have a .edu email address, you can get an … Continue reading

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Op-Ed on the Huffington Post

I’m really delighted to announce that my Twitter threadzilla on conservatism from a couple weeks ago has been transformed into an op-ed on the Huffington Post. It’s now polished up, beautifully edited by HuffPo, and ready to share easily! Please … Continue reading

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Your reading for today

Every once in a while you come across one of those things that makes you see the world more clearly, and it becomes part of you from that moment on. I had that experience recently when I read this beautiful … Continue reading

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Paperback edition of _An Ordinary Marriage_ is out!

I’m very excited to announce that my first book, An Ordinary Marriage: The World of a Gentry Family in Provincial Russia (Oxford University Press, 2013) is now available in paperback! OUP has regular seasonal sales you might look out for. It’s … Continue reading

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The Past and Future of Higher Education

I indulged in a Sunday afternoon tweet storm of massive proportions today. You can read it all here.

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Storified Tweets

I’ve been putting what little spare time I have lately to keeping up with incredibly fast-moving events on Twitter, and have Tweet-stormed some thoughts there on how history is being used and misused that should by rights probably have been … Continue reading

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History Happening Now: 2017 Women’s March

The scale of today’s Women’s March is probably unprecedented in the US and perhaps also as a global event. What I tell my students when we talk about historical protests is to think about what is involved in traveling, taking … Continue reading

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Historical Analogies: A Difficult Game

This has been a season of historical analogies in the press and on social media. The thing is, as pretty much any scholarly historian will tell you, historical analogies are an incredibly tricky thing and almost no one gets them right. … Continue reading

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Causal Reasoning: How Historians Teach People to Think

As a historian watching the unprecedented historical event of Trump’s election, I can’t help but constantly see the ways that historical thinking is misused or misunderstood, or that the usefulness of historical thinking is just totally unknown to most people. … Continue reading

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How to Read for Class

If you’ve tried reading a scholarly book or article the same way you would approach a terrific new novel of your favorite genre, you’ve probably discovered that the scholarly work doesn’t flow in the same way, and you may find … Continue reading

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“Should I Go to Grad School?”

Wrong reasons: -You want to stay in school. -You’re afraid of the job market. -You don’t know what else to do. -You’re really smart and do well in school, so you should prove that by going as far as you … Continue reading

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ASEEES and AHA

In the last few months I’ve enjoyed the rich alphabet soup of attending ASEEES and AHA in NOLA. Say what? I mean I attended the annual conference of Slavicists and Eastern Europeanists and that of the American Historical Association, which … Continue reading

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Adventures in Russian archives

I first arrived in Ivanovo, Russia, in the fall of 2004 by overnight train from Moscow. We pulled into Ivanovo at seven in the morning, and I peeked out, still sleepy and disoriented. I asked the elderly gentlemen getting off … Continue reading

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Dickens and Dostoevsky Just Got Real

Check out this nicely written and detailed summary of a recent dissertation that should be getting a lot of attention, in my totally-not-humble opinion (the author may just happen to also be my spouse). Which reminds me to mention that … Continue reading

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What Is Socialism?

Judging by the way the media and the GOP talk about it, you might conclude that socialism is anything the GOP disagrees with. Teaching what socialism actually is is part of my job, so I get asked this quite a … Continue reading

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Bias

When historians read a text, we are trained to filter what it tells us through an understanding of who wrote it, with what purposes and with what intended audience. Author, audience, and purpose are all important factors in shaping the … Continue reading

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What is academic history?

History is unique in being counted (or confused) as falling under both the social sciences and the humanities. From its beginnings in oral storytelling, history was a partly literary exercise (and thus a part of the humanistic tradition) until it … Continue reading

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Rocky IV

All of the Rocky movies appeared on Netflix recently, and I was inspired to put them on in the background while I was doing some mindless busy work. Ah! How they bring back my childhood. Anyway, I was particularly excited … Continue reading

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Syllabus: History 102, Fall 2112

As a historian, when I’m following current events I almost always think about them as I imagine a historian will do a hundred or two hundred years from now. I can’t help myself, because this is just how I think, … Continue reading

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What is Tenure?

 Many people think tenure means job security. That it means that educators, unlike everyone else, can’t be fired. This is nonsense. Tenure does not equal job security. It does not exist in order to protect the jobs of teachers. I … Continue reading

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What is a Historian?

When I was in middle school, we had an assignment to research a profession we were interested in pursuing. In order to find such a profession, we were first asked what we were interested in, and what we were good … Continue reading

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