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Who Makes Meaning? What Does My New Book Do?
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Historian's High-Tech X-Ray of Medieval Book Reveals Mysterious Object
August 8, 2022
(Re)considering the “Alternatives”
August 4, 2022
Jennifer Nelson on the abortion debate in Mexico and the United States
July 26, 2022
Jill Bradbury on experiencing Shakespeare as a Deaf audience member
July 19, 2022
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Reproductive Rights and Healthcare : A Reading List
July 7, 2022
Last month’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization walked back longstanding legal precedents that affirm the constitutional right to an abortion. Abortion is now illegal in thirteen states that had what are known as...
Sustaining an Empire
June 10, 2022
I followed an unconventional path to Venezuelan history while a graduate student at the College of William and Mary, where I benefitted from a small PhD program linked to a rigorous community promoting scholarly innovation at the Omohundro Institute of Early...
What the Birds Taught Me About Environmental Change
June 6, 2022
The geese were back on the pond this morning, their honks heralding the changing season. I’ve always noted their springtime arrivals and autumn departures, but since writing my book, The Market in Birds: Commercial Hunting, Conservation, and the Origins of...
Revising the Traditional Interpretation of Rural Electrification
June 3, 2022
Even after decades of retelling, the story of rural electrification in the United States remains dramatic. As textbooks and popular histories inform us, farmers obtained electric service only because a compassionate federal government established the Rural...
Why Rural Electrification has Policy Resonance Today
June 3, 2022
Rural electrification in the United States (and most industrialized countries) is now a historical fact. But it remains an important goal in several developing countries, where (in 2019) about 13 percent of the world’s population--940 million mostly rural...
When your research surprises you...
May 31, 2022
The most surprising thing that I learned in writing this book, and the thing I hope readers take away from it, is as simple as it is counterintuitive: early modern scientists really didn’t like the printing press. The technology that proved so transformative...
Dignity for Deeply Forgetful People
May 26, 2022
In Dignity for Deeply Forgetful People: How Caregivers Can Meet the Challenges of Alzheimer’s Disease (John Hopkins University Press; May 31, 2022), was written to help caregivers and to make a new language that allows our culture to value seeing and...
Patriotism, Schools, and the Public
May 23, 2022
As a young public school student growing up in rural Montana, I don’t recall wondering why there was an American flag hanging in every classroom. Similarly, perfunctory recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance seemed a natural part of the day, like morning...
Beyond Madness
May 18, 2022
I learned a lot about mental health in graduate school, but very little about mental illness. Sadly, my family taught me about that. My first glimpse of mental illness came in 1966 when I was 12. That October, my 43-year-old mother—the beautiful woman with a...
The Racial Politics of Periodization
May 11, 2022
The journal New Literary History focuses on questions of theory, method, interpretation, and literary history. By examining the bases of criticism, the journal provokes debate on the relations between literary and cultural texts and present needs. The journal...
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