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…

Genteel Spoliation: Decolonization at the museum and Marvel’s Black Panther

    Erstwhile Contributing Editor Travis R May examines the connections between Marvel’s Black Panther and the ongoing debate surrounding museums and artifact collections acquired during the colonial period. This post does contain spoilers for Black Panther.   Writer/Director Ryan Coogler’s first foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, 2018’s Black Panther, is a fairly radical…

What’s in a Name? Louisville’s City Parks as Sites of Learning

In the third installment of “The Monuments Among Us” series (see Sara Porterfield’s post on Bears Ears here and Travis May’s discussion of British memorials here), Erstwhile editor Alessandra Link reflects on three city parks in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Link makes abstract and concrete connections between the Kentucky frontier mythology enshrined in the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 and…

The Right Kind of Digging (A Poem)

Managing Editor Julia Frankenbach offers a poem seven years in the making. Originally composed in the author’s sophomore year at Mount Holyoke College, the poem has endured flurries of adjustment, gradually rooting itself in the northern California landscape as the author focused her studies there. Like the unpredictable layering process for British artist Rebecca Vincent’s original monotypes…

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Erstwhile editor Graeme Pente reviews the historical content and engagement of Drive-By Truckers’ well-regarded eleventh album, released in 2016.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…

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…