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…

An American Band with Baggage: Drive-By Truckers and the Weight of History

Erstwhile editor Graeme Pente reviews the historical content and engagement of Drive-By Truckers’ well-regarded eleventh album, released in 2016. “Even in times of vast upheaval, things just don’t change enough.” — Patterson Hood, American Band liner notes The Drive-By Truckers’ eleventh studio album American Band (2016) topped numerous best-of lists last year for its fine compositions…

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…