SHOT report

Posted on November 8, 2011 under history of technology

Last week was the 54th annual SHOT  conference, which was co-located in Cleveland with the History of Science Society and the Society for the Social Studies of Science. I had a lovely time, and wrote up reports on three excellent papers for the Atlantic.

Beulah Henry: “I invent because I cannot help it”

Posted on October 7, 2011 under history of technology | 3 Comments

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, which “aims to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and math by encouraging people around the world to talk about the women whose work they admire.” Prolific inventor Beulah Louise Henry (1887-1973), a self-taught synesthete engineer from North Carolina, received 49 patents but is credited with over […]

A public history genius

Posted on September 22, 2011 under public history

This year’s MacArthur fellows have been announced, and I was delighted to see that Tiya Miles, a public historian at the University of Michigan whose work on Afro-Cherokee history won an NCPH book award this year, was one of the winners.  (Also, she’s a Minnesota grad.)  Many congratulations! Another historian was among the winners–Jacob Soll, […]

How Twitter helped me write exhibit labels

Posted on September 6, 2011 under community, me, museums, twitterstorians | 3 Comments

This post is part of a blog celebration of two-year anniversary of the #twitterstorians community, organized by the indefatigable Katrina Gulliver. I’ve spent most of the past two years working on a very large automotive history exhibit. 80,000 sq ft, to be exact–bigger than most museums and probably the biggest exhibit I will ever have […]

Roundup for 8/12

Posted on August 12, 2011 under history of science, museums, public history | 2 Comments

Since I seem to be blogging again, here’s a links post on recent topics in publichistoryland. Various reports, updates and roundups on the document thieves who targeted historical societies, archives and presidential libraries.   A costumed first-person interpreter at Plimoth Plantation has a piece in The Hairpin entitled The Ladies of the 17th Century Were […]

Public History of Science and Technology

Posted on August 11, 2011 under history of science, history of technology, me, museums, public history | 2 Comments

Remember this conference? This great event about the Public History of Science and Technology will be happening September 11-14 at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC.  The program is up and registration will soon follow. I’ll be talking about cabinets of curiosity and contemporary museum practice on the 13th, and the program is […]


Posted on June 28, 2011 under me, public history

Last week the open access book project Alt-Academy:  Alternative Academic Careers for Humanities Scholars was officially unveiled by our fearless facilitator and editor Bethany Nowviskie.  In it are lots of thoughtful, challenging essays about careers, identities, labor and respect in fields allied to humanities scholarship from colleagues across the world.  There’s a strong showing from […]

On disasters

Posted on May 27, 2011 under libraries, museums

I was about to write a post on libraries and museums in Joplin and across the recent tornado and flooding zones–but it seems useful to take a step back.  I want to understand why I’m so drawn to reflection on cultural heritage responses and recoveries in the face of disasters, both natural and human-made.  There are two ideas here […]


Posted on April 6, 2011 under public history, thatcamp | 3 Comments

We had a fun, thought-provoking THATcamp unconference today in conjunction with the NCPH annual meeting here in surprisingly beautiful and charming Pensacola.  It was less technical perhaps than some other THATcamps, but it was great to be rooted in public history mindsets and methodologies, and to meet some passionate colleagues. A few standout sessions and […]

From Off the Wall: historical diaries on twitter

Posted on March 23, 2011 under public history

Crossposted from NCPH’s Off the Wall blog, for which I wrote this post under the benevolent editorship of Cathy Stanton.  I’ve closed comments–do comment over there.  Many unlikely and whimsical projects flourish on Twitter, the popular microblogging service just celebrating its fifth birthday. Big Ben strikes the hour (“bong bong bong”), encounters with near-earth objects […]