A Student of History

November 29, 2006

Shenandoah Valley Regional Studies Seminar

Filed under: The Academy — John Maass @ 5:42 pm

Call for Papers: The Shenandoah Valley Regional Studies Seminar seeks papers on topics of regional and historical interest.  Papers are encouraged on a wide variety of subjects relative to the
Shenandoah Valley and related regions.  The seminar is multidisciplinary and intended for historians, anthropologists, geographers, and other social scientists as well as botanists, writers, students of literature, and independent scholars.  The seminar meets at 3:35 PM the third Friday of every month during the academic year at
James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.  Deadline for submissions for 2007-2008 academic year is 15 May 2007.   For more information contact:
J. Chris Arndt, Professor of History, James Madison University,
Harrisonburg, VA 22807   (540) 568-3993 E-mail: arndtjc@jmu.edu.

In Honor of Don Higginbotham

Filed under: The Academy — John Maass @ 4:59 am

Photo of Don Higginbotham

The Department of History at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is sponsoring a conference in honor of well-known historian of the colonial and Revolutionary period Don Higginbotham, on March 23-25, 2007, in Chapel Hill. Speakers will include Fred Anderson, Joe Ellis,
Jack Greene, and Gordon Wood. For more information, contact
Jackie Gorman (
jackie@unc.edu).

Higginbotham is the author of a number of highly-acclaimed Revolutionary War books, including The War of American Independence, George Washington and the American Military Tradition, George Washington Reconsidered: Selected Essays, Washington: Uniting a Nation, and
Daniel Morgan: Revolutionary Rifleman.
 

Battle of the Boyne Center Shaping Up

Filed under: Historic Preservation,Ireland — John Maass @ 2:00 am

Replica artillery pieces feature in the Boyne project

From a BBC News report, here, from 28 November 2006, we learn that the plans for a new interpretive center and signs at the Boyne Battlefield (in Ireland) seem to be coming along well.  “The site of the iconic battle is being turned into a multi-million euro historical and interpretive facility by the Irish government.”  (Interestingly, the BBC article spins this as something only “Orange” Protestants in the North would be interested in.  They may be right.)  Anyway, the improvements to the site should bring in lots of tourists.

The battle was fought between William of Orange and Catholic King James II in 1690. The Protestant Orange Order celebrate William’s victory on 12 July. Last year, the Irish government announced it would spend 15m euro to fund a museum and interpretive centre at the site.

A small visitors’ centre is already operating and attracted 25,000 visitors last year. Plans for the future include an extended centre with maps, models and graphics depicting the battle.

Tourists are already drawn to reenactments at the site

New “Civil War Trails” Map Issued

Filed under: Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 1:40 am

Trails LogoTrails LogoTrails LogoTrails LogoTrails Logo

The Virginia Civil War Trails program has released a new, free map and guide to more than 80 of these sites.  The brochure, entitled “Shenandoah: Avenue of Invasion”, includes close-up maps of cities and regions in which multiple sites exist along with a text summary of the war in the Valley. Sites with important Civil War history are marked by interpretive waysides telling the stories of what happened and why, who was involved, and why it was important. Since its inception, the program has installed more than 80 interpretive waysides throughout the Valley. Civil War Trails maps are ably supplemented by roadside directional signage making it easy to create impromptu side-trips or plan one’s own driving itinerary. Also included in the map is contact information for the Civil War Trails organization and for Valley tourism offices.

More info is available here. The map can be seen as a pdf. file too, here.

November 21, 2006

Jack the Ripper, Revisited

Filed under: New books — John Maass @ 2:13 pm

An e-fit of what investigators say Jack the...

[Jack?]

At the Scotsman webpage, there’s an interesting piece on the continued fascination with JtR, which really doesn’t do much for me, but the article itself is very interesting.  The article tells us that

the face of Jack the Ripper, the 19th-century killer whose identity still remains a mystery, has been revealed for the first time.  Using state-of-the-art profiling, investigators have created a vision of what the murderer, who strangled and butchered five London prostitutes, would have looked like – and revealed that police at the time were probably searching for the wrong kind of man.

Laura Richards, of Scotland Yard’s Violent Crime Command, analysed evidence from the case using modern police techniques and has been able to form the most accurate portrait of the Ripper ever put together. She claims that the 118-year-old evidence shows the Ripper was aged between 25 and 35, he was between 5ft 5in and 5ft 7in tall and was of a stocky build.

Crime novelist Patricia Cornwell (one of the worst writers of our time) is also into Jack, as her latest work and very glitzy website demonstrate.  As we learn from an old CNN column,

What began as a passing interest burgeoned into an opportunity for applying modern investigative techniques to archival evidence, and from there into “something none of us ever, ever would have imagined,” she said in a brief telephone interview in the midst of a whirlwind launch PR blitz. Teaming up with her colleagues at the Virginia Institute for Forensic Science and Medicine (which she helped found with a personal endowment of $1.5 million), she performed a sort of institutional, investigative cross-pollination between the Institute and the British government, focusing primarily on approximately 250 letters attributed to the Ripper.

Her book came out a few years ago.

Correspondences

 Where will it all end?  Or, why does it really matter? Cornwell’s own answer:

As to why she pursued this cold case, she credits the same drive that prompts Kay Scarpetta to solve crimes. “There’s a lot of philosophical and other reasons that I thought it was important to pursue this to — well, it’s not even to the end, it’s just as far as I’ve gone with it,” she said. “I felt that it was my moral obligation to continue down that path, because I just can’t let him get away with murder even if he is dead and cremated.”

Writer Patricia Cornwell

November 19, 2006

The Game, Nov. 18th

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Maass @ 3:49 pm

Ohio State 42, Michigan 39.

Interestingly from a historical standpoint, Michigan has played in four No. 1 vs. No. 2 games — all as the No. 2 team — and lost all four.  Too bad.  There’s talk of a rematch, but hopefully that won’t happen.

Troy Smith

 

November 17, 2006

Dust Bowl Book Gets Prize

Filed under: New books — John Maass @ 4:20 pm

 Egan

From the NYT:

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl” by Timothy Egan was the surprise winner of the top prize for nonfiction.

In the book, Mr. Egan, a former New York Times reporter who remains a frequent contributor to the newspaper, gives an account of the dust storms that descended on the Great Plains during the Depression.  For a review, click here.

Should we be surprised that the award was won by a non-academic?

November 14, 2006

Badger Military History Spot Open

Filed under: The Academy — John Maass @ 11:57 pm

The Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison seeks applicants for the Ambrose-Hesseltine Chair in American Military History, tenure-track or tenured appointment, beginning August 2007. Ph.D. required by start of appointment. The successful applicant must demonstrate promise or provide evidence of excellence as a scholar and teacher. Applicants should submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample [not to exceed 50 pages] by January 31, 2007. (Writing samples may be a book, article, essay or a chapter from a current project. In the latter case, applicants should attach a brief statement setting the chapter in the context of the larger work.) Please send all application materials to: Chair, U.S. Military History Search Committee, c/o Ms. Nicole Hauge, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3211 George Mosse Humanities Building, 455 North Park Street, Madison, WI 53706-1483.The UW at Madison is an AA/EOE and encourages applications from women and minorities. Unless confidentiality is requested in writing, information regarding applicants must be released upon request. Finalists cannot be guaranteed confidentiality.

Badger Military History Spot Open

Filed under: The Academy — John Maass @ 11:56 pm

The Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison seeks applicants for the Ambrose-Hesseltine Chair in American Military History, tenure-track or tenured appointment, beginning August 2007. Ph.D. required by start of appointment. The successful applicant must demonstrate promise or provide evidence of excellence as a scholar and teacher. Applicants should submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample [not to exceed 50 pages] by January 31, 2007. (Writing samples may be a book, article, essay or a chapter from a current project. In the latter case, applicants should attach a brief statement setting the chapter in the context of the larger work.) Please send all application materials to: Chair, U.S. Military History Search Committee, c/o Ms. Nicole Hauge, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3211 George Mosse Humanities Building, 455 North Park Street, Madison, WI 53706-1483.The UW at Madison is an AA/EOE and encourages applications from women and minorities. Unless confidentiality is requested in writing, information regarding applicants must be released upon request. Finalists cannot be guaranteed confidentiality.

November 8, 2006

$$ for SLAUGHTER PEN FARM

Filed under: Historic Preservation — John Maass @ 2:54 pm

 

At a news conference on Oct. 16, U.S. Secretary of Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced a $2 million federal matching grant for preservation of the historic Slaughter Pen Farm on the Fredericksburg Battlefield. The news conference, sponsored by the Civil War Preservation Trust, was the first public event held at the Slaughter Pen Farm.

For the rest of this article, click here.

November 7, 2006

The War of the World

Filed under: New books,Wars — John Maass @ 11:58 am

Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the WestIn Sunday’s Washington Post is a review of a new Niall Ferguson book I cannot wait to read.  It is War of the World, now out in the US.  Here is why I’m waiting to get my copy:

The 20th century was the bloodiest in history. By now, the destruction is generally acknowledged, but the causes of the century’s murderous conflicts are still matters of debate. So is the haunting question of whether a similar fate can be avoided in the 21st century.

In The War of the World , British historian Niall Ferguson offers a novel analysis of the causes of 20th-century violence. With more than 650 pages of main text and a vast scope, this is obviously a big book. It is also a fascinating read, thanks to Ferguson’s gifts as a writer of clear, energetic narrative history.

I’ve read his The Pity of War, and enjoyed it, though it is not without its questionable conclusions. Nonetheless, this one should be a worthwhile read.

Campaigns of 1775-1776 in the Southern Colonies

Filed under: The strange place called the South,Wars — John Maass @ 3:23 am

THE SOUTHERN REVOLUTIONARY WAR INSTITUTE
CALL FOR PAPERS
Second Biennial Southern Revolutionary War Symposium
York, SC, Friday, July 13, 2007

“The Beginning of the End: The Campaigns of 1775-1776 in the Southern Colonies”

Photo of painting. See below for details.

The Southern Revolutionary War Institute (SRWI) is pleased to announce that it will host the Second Biennial Southern Revolutionary War Symposium at the McCelvey Center in York, South Carolina on Friday, July 13, 2007. The McCelvey Center, located at 212 East Jefferson Street, is one of three sites in York County, South Carolina owned and operated by the Culture & Heritage Museums and is home to the Southern Revolutionary War Institute, a research center dedicated to the study of the American Revolution in the Southern colonies.

This year’s symposium will focus on the important but often overlooked years of 1775 and 1776, the “beginning of the end” of British rule in the Southern colonies of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Critical political events included the dissolution and expulsion of the royal governments of the Southern colonies, the formation of the first independent provincial governments, the division of loyalties among the populace, the mobilization of state troops and militia, North Carolina’s “Mecklenburg Resolves,” and William Henry Drayton’s expedition to the South Carolina backcountry. Significant military engagements in 1775 included the first siege of Fort Ninety Six, SC; the Battle of Great Bridge, Virginia; and the Battle of Great Canebrake or Reedy River, SC, the so-called “Snow Campaign.” The year 1776 witnessed the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge, NC; the British attack on Charleston, SC and the Battle of Sullivan’s Island; and the epic Cherokee Campaign that launched the militia of both Carolinas and Virginia into a total war against the pro-British Cherokee Nation. The Institute especially encourages studies of the involvement of Native Americans, African Americans, and women in this early phase of the Revolution; areas of interest include the effects of Virginia governor Lord Dunmore’s efforts to grant freedom to the slaves of rebel slave owners in exchange for the slaves’ service to the Crown; the Indian wars along the frontiers of Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia; the participation of the Catawba Indians in the Battle of Sullivan’s Island and the Cherokee Campaign; and the involvement of women in political events like the “Edenton Tea Party.”

The Institute invites proposals for papers and sessions for the symposium. To submit a proposal, please send by January 1, 2007 a 300-word abstract with a cover letter indicating your name, postal and e-mail addresses, institutional affiliation (if any), equipment needs, and a short biographical summary, to:

Michael Scoggins
Director, Southern Revolutionary War Institute
212 East Jefferson Street
York, SC 29745

Address any inquiries Michael Scoggins at micscoggins@chmuseums.org or the above address. Notice of acceptance will be made no later than January 30, 2007, at which time presenters will also receive information on hotels and local accommodations. Papers should be 18-20 pages, Chicago Manual of Style, with footnotes and bibliography. Full text of the paper must be delivered by May 30, 2007. A copy in word processor format is also requested for future publication of the proceedings. Presentations will be limited to 20 minutes per person with 10 minutes for discussion; time limits will be strictly enforced. Papers will be grouped into sessions based on themes with a moderator for each session.

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