More than a Word, More than a Holiday Meal: Conversations for Native American Heritage Month

In recognition of Native American Heritage Month Erstwhile Contributing Editor Alessandra Link offers links to articles and projects that have recently caught her attention. From Indigenous-produced documentary films to a new digital Indigenous history project, authors are using a wide variety of media to convey Indigenous stories of past and present. Jon Hurdle, “Ruined ‘Apartments’…

In Defense of the Portfolio: A New Gatekeeper to Candidacy

Erstwhile Contributing Editor Alessandra Link shares her reflections on the portfolio comprehensive exam process at University of Colorado, Boulder. Modeled off of tenure dossiers, portfolios provide students with material that they can take with them to the job market. The portfolio process, Link explains, also prompts increased student-faculty interaction., This uptick in conversation should help…

Mindfulness in the Classroom: A Conversation

Today Erstwhile editor Alessandra Link and Dr. Rebecca Kennedy de Lorenzini (Lecturer, History & Literature, Harvard University) discuss mindfulness in the classroom. Link points out that many academics cast a wary eye towards the subject of mindfulness. And yet universities are increasingly turning to mindfulness strategies—an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of techniques aimed…

Beyond the Grid: An Argument for Capacious Cartography

Maps have oriented humans in space for millennia. Today Alessandra Link adapts her recent American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) roundtable presentation for Erstwhile. Link reflects on the roundtable theme of Indigenous mobility and place by exploring how Western mapmaking served an expanding U.S. empire and, in turn, how Indigenous cartographic knowledge shaped colonial encounters…

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…

“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…

Crude Entanglements: The Dakota Access Pipeline Controversy and the Troubling History of Corporations in Indian Country

Erstwhile contributing editor Alessandra Link reveals disturbing parallels between the present-day Dakota Access Pipeline controversy and the long history of covert corporate maneuvering in Indian Country. While mainstream media outlets focus on the legal conflict between the Standing Rock Sioux and the federal government, the oil company itself has slid beyond wide public recognition. Link…

Rethinking American Independence: An Interview with Kathleen DuVal

After an extended summer vacation, Erstwhile returns with its first post of the 2015/2016 AY. Kathleen DuVal (Ph.D., University of California, Davis) is a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Garrett Wright, one of DuVal’s graduate students at UNC, chats with DuVal about her latest publication: Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of…

Meet the Historian: An Interview with Margaret Jacobs

Margaret Jacobs (Ph.D. University of California, Davis) is the Graduate Chair and Chancellor’s Professor of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her latest work, A Generation Removed: The Fostering and Adoption of Indigenous Children in the Postwar World, was published by the University of Nebraska Press. Dr. Jacobs chats with Erstwhile’s Alessandra Link about a variety…