Ethics and Tech

Ethics and Tech

We probably all know, to some degree or another, that our data is constantly being harvested by tech companies. Those companies track us across the web, and monetize the information they have on our browsing habits, selling our data to advertisers and other corporate interests. Some of this data is information we quasi-choose to give away (by having a facebook account, perhaps, or wearing a fitbit) but much is extracted from us without our knowledge. (Did you know that facebook…

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Planning our Teaching

Planning our Teaching

This pinned post will be updated with links to other posts as I make them.  Walk through your semester/quarter/term with these ideas for teaching: Thinking: What Do Our Syllabi Really Say? Thinking: Academia is Ableist Thinking: Dis/ability Thinking: Hunger is an Educational Issue FAQ: Content Warnings Thinking: Strong Emotional Reactions Thinking: Where Do We Stand First day exercise: What Do Historians Do? First day exercise and more sources: Revisiting the First Day First day exercise: The Social Identity Wheel Teaching:…

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Sources in Conversation

Sources in Conversation

SOCC (Source, Observe, Contextualize, and Corroborate) is my [favorite approach to teaching students the practice of primary source analysis]. It offers a [simple], easy-to-remember structure students can apply in class or out of it, individually or in groups, for the purposes of formative assessment or a formal grade. Yesterday, Jennifer Sessions (a historian of French colonialism at the University of Virginia) asked if there was any way to make the use of SOCC more complicated as the semester progressed. Particularly…

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The Hamilton Exhibition

The Hamilton Exhibition

Warning: spoilers ahead for the Hamilton Exhibition, currently in Chicago. If you’d prefer to avoid exhibition spoilers, skip this post! I teach a course called Museums, Monuments, and Memory, where my students study public history theory and build an exhibition (including exhibit architecture) from the ground up in ten weeks. It’s a really fun class. People therefore generally imagine that I love museums. But actually, I don’t. There are lots of reasons for this, and I cannot hope to name…

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Burning Out and Firing Up

Burning Out and Firing Up

For the first time in my career – stretching back some 25 years now, if you count graduate school – I’ve taken six weeks off from work this summer. I’ve never done such a thing before. My career – including graduate school – stretches over a twenty-five year period, in which the demands of my research, my writing, my course prep, and conferences all made it feel that I could not spare a moment to come up for air. I…

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A Different View of the U.S. Civil War

A Different View of the U.S. Civil War

In my U.S. survey course this term – Power and inequity in America to 1865 – we’ve made it a priority to ask ourselves whose voices are lifted up and who is erased by the stories we tell about America.  We’ve charted the purposeful crafting of a white supremacist society; we’ve examined resistance to the same; we’ve read primary source documents about women and the fluidity of gender; we’ve dived deep into who “We The People” really were; we’ve consistently…

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Pockets

Pockets

Several people have remarked of late that they wish they had pockets in their robes. Pockets are an easy thing to add to robes – so here’s my guide to adding pockets, especially for people who don’t often sew. The easiest pocket Cut a square of fabric (or a rectangle, depending on what size/shape pocket you want) Fold over the edges and iron them down When all the edges are ironed place it against the inside of your robe, wherever…

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The Unessay

The Unessay

I did not come up with the concept of The Unessay – I first saw the concept on Christopher Jones’ twitter back in April of 2017 and was wowed by the work his students were producing.  Since then, I’ve had at least one class per term that have done unessays instead of final papers or exams, and I could not be more in love with the practice.  Yet the unessay can seem daunting to some at the outset, and I…

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Timelining Mythologies

Timelining Mythologies

There’s rarely a time in my classes where my students read something or hear something for its own sake.  Instead, the reading or listening is a first step in some bigger activity that asks them to take the information they’ve learned and apply it a some new way, making decisions about the significance of events, people, and actions.  One example of this kind of processing is to have students build a collective timeline. Yesterday, in Power and Inequity in America…

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