Reckoning with and remaking southern landscapes of white supremacy

Erstwhile managing editor Caroline Grego reflects on how the built environment and histories of white supremacy intertwine in her homestate of South Carolina. A warning: This post contains racial slurs in quotes, blotted out but nonetheless present in skeleton form. ‘When Lee surrendered at Appomattox, every man in the Confederate Army, every man out of…

Centering Pedagogy in History Teaching and Learning: A conversation with Dr. Natalie Mendoza

 Erstwhile contributing editor Caroline Grego interviews Dr. Natalie Mendoza, a postdoctoral research associate and founder of the History Teaching and Learning Project at the University of Colorado Boulder’s history department. The transcript below has been lightly edited, and the interview’s audio is available in the embedded Soundcloud file.   Caroline Grego (CG): Hello and welcome…

Moving away from monuments: Doing southern history well at two South Carolina house museums

In the fourth installment of “The Monuments Among Us” series (see Sara Porterfield’s post on Bears Ears here, Travis May’s discussion of British memorials here and Alessandra Link’s reflection on Louisville’s city parks here), Erstwhile contributing editor Caroline Grego considers how two house museums in her hometown of Columbia, South Carolina, could provide a counterpoint to Confederate statuary. The featured image…

How to run a graduate student conference: RMIHC co-chairs provide a guide

This week, contributing editors Caroline Grego and Graeme Pente share their tips for organizing a graduate student conference. Both have served as co-chairs of the CU Boulder History Department’s Rocky Mountain Interdisciplinary History Conference (RMIHC), which is in its eighteenth year and attracts graduate students from across the country. Graeme was a co-chair in 2015…

Hurricanes, historians, and environmental injustice: De-naturalizing “natural” disaster

Contributing editor Caroline Grego, whose dissertation is about the Great Sea Island Storm of 1893, reflects on historians’ and historically-minded thinkers’ scholarship on “natural disasters.” Header photograph by Marcus Yam for Getty Images. What we call “natural” disasters—hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, tornadoes—are not natural at all. This is true, first, because nothing about the experience of…

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 enslaved African Americans in lower Richland County, a rural and predominantly Black community south of Columbia, the…