The Historian as Writer, in Letters

This week Erstwhile’s Alessandra Link meditates on the creative possibilities and common stressors that touch writers during these unsettling times. Drawing inspiration from Aaron Sachs’s “Letters to a Tenured Historian,”[1] Link considers the seeming tensions between the craft of writing and the disciplinary requirements of the historical profession in a series of letters to a…

Crude Entanglements: The Dakota Access Pipeline Controversy and the Troubling History of Corporations in Indian Country

Erstwhile contributing editor Alessandra Link reveals disturbing parallels between the present-day Dakota Access Pipeline controversy and the long history of covert corporate maneuvering in Indian Country. While mainstream media outlets focus on the legal conflict between the Standing Rock Sioux and the federal government, the oil company itself has slid beyond wide public recognition. Link…

Finding the Words: An Account of UW-Madison’s 2016 CHE Graduate Student Symposium

Erstwhile editor Julia Frankenbach recounts her experience at “E is for Environment,” UW-Madison’s recent graduate student symposium hosted by the Center for Culture, History & the Environment (CHE). Last Saturday morning, an unfamiliar rosy light filtered through curtains. Expecting a rosy sunrise, I looked from my window on the fourth floor of a conference center…

Graphic Histories: Trinity by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm

Erstwhile‘s Beau Driver kicks off a news series on historical graphic novels by reviewing Jonathan Fetter-Vorm’s Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb in the inaugural edition of Erstwhile‘s “Graphic Histories.” Last year, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ari Kelman about his and Jonathan Fetter-Vorm’s wonderful graphic history of the Civil War, Battle…

Re-Membering the Llano: California’s Multiple Histories as an Island

Erstwhile blogger Julia Frankenbach reflects on historical and contemporary notions of California as an exotic place. California has come together more than once. In multiple histories—in matter and in mind—the massive swath of land on the western cusp of North America assembled and assumed a place on the continent. My efforts to assemble memories of…

A Survival Guide for First-Time Conference Attendees

Erstwhile contributing editor Beau Driver shares some of his insights from the 2015 Organization of American Historians’ Conference with the hopes that some of his lessons will help those attending big conferences make the most of their own first-time conference experiences. As I write this, I sit waiting for the sun to crest the horizon…