Making Boring Things Unboring: ASEH 2017

Erstwhile guest contributor Kerri Clement (PhD student, CU Boulder) gives us her report on the annual meeting of the American Society for Environmental History that took place last week in Chicago. After attending last week’s American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) conference, I struggled with how to recap my experience at the 2017 meeting. This…

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Archive

Erstwhile guest contributor Amelia Brackett (Ph.D. student, CU Boulder) considers the perplexing influence of identity in the practice of oral history. Unlike other historians, oral historians must consider how the outward manifestations of their identities and personas shape the conversations they can incite and, therefore, the evidence they can gather. Brackett shares some of her experiences…

The Historian as Writer, in Letters

This week Erstwhile’s Alessandra Link meditates on the creative possibilities and common stressors that touch writers during these unsettling times. Drawing inspiration from Aaron Sachs’s “Letters to a Tenured Historian,”[1] Link considers the seeming tensions between the craft of writing and the disciplinary requirements of the historical profession in a series of letters to a…

An appeal for grace: The white historian’s responsibility to radical empathy and refuting the “invented past”

On February 14th, 2017, Representative Joseph “Joe” Neal (D) from Richland County, South Carolina, died unexpectedly at age sixty-six. Rep. Neal served as a pastor, an advocate for environmental justice, and a civil rights activist. He descended from slaves in lower Richland County, a rural and predominantly African American community south of Columbia, the state’s…

“Better Professors, Better Professionals”: Career Diversity Programs in Practice

Jen McPherson (PhD Candidate, University of New Mexico) is a graduate project assistant for the American Historical Association’s Career Diversity Initiative  at the University of New Mexico. Today she shares some important lessons from her work with Erstwhile.  For the last three years, the History Department at the University of New Mexico has been one of four pilot programs participating…