Dispatches from the Rebel Archive: A Conversation with Dr. Kelly Lytle Hernández

During her visit to Boulder on September 28-29, Dr. Kelly Lytle Hernández sat down with Erstwhile Managing Editor Julia Frankenbach to talk about her new book City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771–1965. The historiography of incarceration in the United States, Lytle Hernández explained, centers on the…

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…

A Personal History of Bears Ears: Landscape as Monument

Lately, it’s been hard to escape talk of monuments. The debates over the removal of memorials to the Confederate cause have sparked debates, protests, and violence around the country. These inanimate statues and the very animated reactions to them have provoked discussions, by historians and the public, about the kinds of stories we as Americans tell…

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…

Writing a Dissertation: What They Don’t Teach You in Grad School

This week Erstwhile editor Sara Porterfield shares what she wished she’d known before starting her dissertation and what she’s learned from the writing process.  Until it came time to write my dissertation, graduate school kept me on a schedule with measurable goals and milestones around which I could structure my days and schedule. Once I defended my…

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…

Historians Speak: A Collection of Resources, by Historians, on Charlottesville and the Charged Politics of Civil War Memory

  Following the violent demonstration by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12th, national dialogue about the significance of American history—and its telling—has crescendoed. Two weeks after white supremacists clashed with counter-protestors over the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, public leaders have turned unprecedented critical attention to other public…

A Fiction Reading List for Summer 2017

Erstwhile‘s editorial board offers recommendations for good fiction the members have recently read or hope to get to this summer. Last year, Rebecca Kennedy wrote a good reminder about the value of reading fiction. The post proved a good segue into summer, so we have decided to offer some fiction suggestions again. Here are some…

The (Award Winning) Erstwhile Blog Entries of 2017

Erstwhile editor Julia Frankenbach has been recognized for the outstanding quality of her writing in the Center of the American West’s Thompson Writing Awards contest. Two of her Erstwhile blog posts “I Remember You: Wildness, Gratitude, and Western History on Horseback” and “The True Tale of Periquillo: Early Borderlands Literature, American Memory, and the Space Between” were honored this year. Erstwhile…