A Van Down by the Climbing Gym

Erstwhile contributing editor Anna Kramer discusses the historical roots of today’s #vanlife movement and how van dwelling has served as a means to play at being homeless while people experiencing homelessness are increasingly under attack.

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Our Summer Reading 2019

The members of Erstwhile’s editorial board share their summer reading plans. As in the past, those of us at Erstwhile are wrapping up the school year of weekly posts before our summer hiatus with an offering: two recently published books that we’re really excited to read over the break. This year, all of our choices are nonfiction,…

Education and the Revival of the Labor Movement

For May Day, contributing editors Beau Driver and Graeme Pente survey the recent history of teachers’ strikes and the revival of the US labor movement in the face of obscene wealth inequality. In early April, The Atlantic’s coverage of history instructor Thea Hunter’s tragic death circulated widely. Hunter’s early death highlights the growing lack of…

Music for Historians and for the History Classroom: Recent releases

Erstwhile contributing editor Caroline Grego talks about recent-ish music that draws upon the history of the American South for this week’s post. Featured image courtesy Smithsonian Folkways. Rhiannon Giddens, a classically trained, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter intent on re-centering the historical contributions of Black women to American music traditions, gave an interview to National Public Radio one…

The Climate Crisis and the Need for Utopian Thinking

Contributing editor Graeme Pente highlights the prescience of nineteenth-century utopian thinker J.A. Etzler and what that might offer us in the face of climate catastrophe. The future is grim. David Wallace-Wells’s recent New York Times bestseller The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming (2019) looks unflinchingly at what the latest science on climate change suggests is…

Telling Not-So-Hidden Stories with Humility: A Conversation with Coll Thrush

This week, Erstwhile contributing editor Kerri Clement sat down with historian Dr. Coll Thrush from the University of British Columbia to talk about the process of writing and researching not-so-hidden histories found in his works, such as Indigenous London: Native Travelers at the Heart of Empire (2016), Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place (2007), and…