Cat massacres and witch trials: reading between the lines

After reading Darton’s “Workers Revolt: The Great Cat Massacre of the Rue Saint-Severin”and Kilvelson’s “Through the Prism of Witchcraft: Gender and Social Change in Seventeenth-Century Muscovy,” I was struck by the common thread between the two: that the phenomena they examine are not taken at face value, but are rather viewed as expressions of social angst.

For the journeymen of the Parisian print shop discussed by Darnton, this angst was directed at their master and his wife.… Read the rest here

A proposal: American missionary women in Asia

In previous assignments, I in part explored how North American women contributed to the U.S. project of economic and cultural imperialism in the Panama Canal Zone during the canal construction period. For our final project I’ve unwittingly fallen into a similar topic: I will be looking at the experiences of Protestant missionary women working in East Asia. I hope to contribute to the ongoing debate about whether or not these women were agents of U.S. cultural imperialism abroad by pulling from the letters of Dickinson graduate of 1911 and missionary doctor Julia Morgan.… Read the rest here

Saturday at the Cumberland County Historical Society

Yesterday I visited the Cumberland County Historical Society on Pitt Street, across from Alibi’s. I wanted to take a look at their materials and get a general feel of the place. It’s a really neat center; the staff are amiable and accommodating and the library is clean, spacious, and full of light.

I went in with only a very vague idea of what I was looking for – sources that might tell me something about the history of the African American population in early twentieth century Carlisle.… Read the rest here

Always a researcher, never a writer

First Tuchman, now Marius. This is the second time I’ve read an academic horror story in which someone becomes so wrapped up in research that s/he never gets around to writing. Tuchman recalls “a lady professor” in her seventies who had been doing research all her life. Marius, too, writes of Frederick Jackson Turner, who was only able to write one of the many books he had promised to publishers (A Short Guide to Writing About History, 88-89).… Read the rest here

And another [case of Tonypandy] bites the dust

How does a bedridden cop crack one of the biggest mysteries in English history? Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time illuminates what it means to “do” history. When the protagonist Detective Grant becomes intrigued with a portrait of Richard III and the horrendous crime the medieval monarch is supposed to have committed, he sets out to uncover what really happened.

From http://www.guardian.co.uk.

Grant soon finds that modern sources are unable to adequately explain how or why Richard III might’ve murdered his two young nephews.… Read the rest here