Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Welcome to the History Blogosphere

If you have made it this far, welcome. The question is, with all you have to do, why am I suggesting that you blog as a component of History 240/AMST 230?

As I said on the syllabus and again in class, it started because I wanted a place where I can upload videos from You Tube. I am absolutely serious about this. You Tube is a treasure trove of visual evidence: political speeches, campaign commercials, movie clips and satire that will become part of this course as I -- and I hope you -- locate it and upload it. I will also add pictures of notable people, links to archives, and news articles that make sense for you to have access to. Again, I hope you will send me things, or upload them yourselves as we figure out whether this is going to fly. We won't have time to do everything in class, or talk about everything, but that doesn't mean you can't have access to anything you want and make materials that speak specifically to you part of your work in this class.

To the right, you will also see a short list of blogs by historians, several of which devote themselves to keeping people updated on what is happening in a given field of American history. History News Network is sponsored by George Mason University and has a variety of blogs attached to it. It also has a lot of news -- of archives, and sometimes gritty, down and dirty gossip about historians and the world of professional history. If you are thinking you might want to be a historian, this is a good blog to keep up on to find out what we are really like.

But what I now also hope will happen with this blog is that you will write history -- and about history -- in any way you please, and that you will do it for yourselves and for each other. One of the most provocative comments I have gotten on my other blog was from a Wesleyan student who said she had written over 100 papers in college, and she enjoyed writing none of them. I will do my best to assign good writing topics, but I think we need at least one place where you and I can just do history because we lilke it, write what we want to write, and write because we enjoy it.

And it is by writing the way we want to that we will, in the end, become better writers and find out what kind of intellectuals we are.

So welcome to the History 240 blog!

1 comment:

Ed LaVarnway said...

A note or two on Frederic Remington. He did travel extensively throughout the American West from 1881 to 1908 and spent an accumulated 4 years there. He attended Yale for a year and a half, did not graduate but was given an honorary degree. There actually is one black "Buffalo Soldier" portrayed in the Rough Riders Charge - smack dab in the middle of the work.