Presentism En Masse: Sex and Gender, Diction, and Historical Narratives

Earlier today while reading and reviewing an in-progress chapter for a friend, it occurred to me that we are all vastly guilty of a very specific kind of presentism. We’re so blind to this presentism that it goes almost completely unnoticed, and it happens without cognizance. I’m guilty, too. We much more readily reserve categoriesContinue reading “Presentism En Masse: Sex and Gender, Diction, and Historical Narratives”

The “Big Idea” History Syllabus

1. Whereas 99.9% of the past is forever lost to direct analysis, the past and everything that has ever happened anywhere (history) is different from the study of what has happened (History). Historians aim to assemble and examine stories about the past and Homo sapiens, a past full of complexity and simplicity, a past that showsContinue reading “The “Big Idea” History Syllabus”

Representations of the Past and What You Can’t Un-know

As I was watching Beauty and the Beast (2017) this afternoon–the day of its release for at-home viewing–a thought occurred to me….  Beauty and the Beast is, of course, myth. Yet it has a time–roughly mid-18th century–and place–France. Like basically all such texts. The actors and actresses, of course, are all from 2017 and have embodied inContinue reading “Representations of the Past and What You Can’t Un-know”

Philosophy of History and A Partial Analysis of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless The USA”

If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life Think of the tragedy that would have to happen for everything to disappear (?) tomorrow. This also takes for granted the social construction of laboring for an employer. The use of “I’d” also connotes individuality alone and ignores the collective role society and governmentContinue reading “Philosophy of History and A Partial Analysis of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless The USA””

Issues in Historiography: The Texas Revolution or the Long Invasion of Mexico?

This past few weeks my students and I have been discussing various sides of the so-called Texas Revolution in depth in both my Texas History class and Mexican American History I class. One of my favorite things about teaching is that there is always so much to learn and things change every semester. Anything related toContinue reading “Issues in Historiography: The Texas Revolution or the Long Invasion of Mexico?”

Personal Experience and the Failure of Understanding

As a thought experiment, let’s imagine that for one minute you could know every single thing that occurred throughout Texas, in private and public spaces, every where, every thing, with every living and non-living creature. In such a case, you would only know what happened during that one minute in 7.0739 percent of the United StatesContinue reading “Personal Experience and the Failure of Understanding”

Multi- Anti- or Post-Disciplinarianism??

Given how there is a bit of “history,” “biology,” “sociology,” and “physics” in all academic inquiries and this is increasingly recognized and embraced and given how much we know (and don’t know!), academic conversations frequently involve at least some discussion of whether are not academic “subjects” remain useful? or where they ever useful? People sometimes suggest they weContinue reading “Multi- Anti- or Post-Disciplinarianism??”