“There’s Nothing Sacred About the Academic Path”: Reflections on the American Historical Association’s 2017 Conference

Erstwhile is back from our holiday break! This week Sara Porterfield reflects on her experience at the American Historical Association’s annual conference and the relationship between academic and non-academic careers and historians.  The American Historical Association (AHA) held its annual conference in Denver over the first weekend of 2017, complete with single-digit temperatures and a foot of…


Happy Holidays from Erstwhile

The contributing editors at Erstwhile wish you a happy holiday season. While the bloggers are on leave, we hope you will revisit and enjoy the semester’s material. Thoughtful historical commentary on current events, research, and ideas will resume in January!


Reasserting White Supremacy: South Carolina’s Ben Tillman and the 2016 presidential election

On July 10th, 2015, members of a South Carolina Highway Patrol honor guard reeled down the Confederate flag from a pole in front of the statehouse. Ten thousand onlookers roared excitedly as the flag descended, some cheering “USA! USA! USA!” – a traditionally patriotic shout that took on new meaning when chanted at the flag representing the Confederate…

Native Americans march to the site of a sacred burial ground that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), near the encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the oil pipeline slated to cross the nearby Missouri River, September 4, 2016 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota.  
Protestors were attacked by dogs and sprayed with an eye and respiratory irritant yesterday when they arrived at the site to protest after learning of the bulldozing work. / AFP / ROBYN BECK        (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Indigenous History with Erstwhile

This Thanksgiving, look back on some of the pieces on Native America that Erstwhile has published over the years.  The list starts with the oldest posts first. Erstwhile sat down with Pulitzer Prize-winning author and CU Boulder professor Dr. Elizabeth Fenn to discuss her latest book, Encounters at the Heart of the World:  A History of the…


Facing Up to Canada’s Colonial History in Gord Downie’s “Secret Path”

Erstwhile contributing editor Graeme Pente explores the implications of a new Canadian multimedia project that encourages the country to confront its colonial history with the region’s First Peoples. You don’t make a dent / In indifference / Ya gotta haunt them, haunt them, haunt them  — Gord Downie, Secret Path (2016) The graphic novel is the…


Facts and Fictions of the Borderlands: Early Western Literature, History, and the Burden of Being (Just) a Primary Source

Contributing editor Julia Frankenbach considers the importance of early western American literature for academic historians and for a politically engaged American public. In this moment of political confusion, facts begin to ring hollow. The broader truths and guiding ethics in the writings of our western American forebears may help as we seek the way forward.…

D1RWGH HAITI Naive painting « The Zombies » by Hector Hyppolite (1894-1948) Museum of Haitian Art of St Peter College in Port-au-Prince

Happy Halloween from Erstwhile!

Welcome to the Halloween edition of the monthly links round up! Curated by Erstwhile editor Caroline Grego, these links are bound by theme: Halloween. Why Sasquatch and other crypto-beasts haunt our imaginations by Ed Simon From Florida to Indonesia to the Himalayas to Cascadia, humans persist in seeing that which is not there: the Sasquatch.…


American Duopoly: A History of Third-Party Challenges to the Two-Party System

As Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s political fortunes fluctuate, Erstwhile editors Beau Driver and Graeme Pente offer an overview of the history of attempts, from both within and without parties, to change the United States’ two-party political system. With the spectacular collapse of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign during the last two weeks, political pundits are…