Your next book title: The Making of America and the Making of America

I’m now reading an advance copy of Mike McDonnell’s wonderful, soon-to-be-released Masters of Empire: Great Lakes Indians and the Making of America (2015).  And recently, in a conversation with Cody Osterman (one our fine ACS grad students, as well as a funny guy), we were talking about Ben Carp’s fine Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea […]

Emotional learning with Reacting to the Past

Last semester I ran an entire class organized around three Reacting to the Past (RTP) games.  For those of who unfamiliar with RTP, it’s a curriculum that introduces students to major ideas and texts through a highly detailed, intense role-playing format to replicate the historical contexts in which these ideas acquired significance. These games are interdisciplinary, […]

Annual faculty merit evaluations: rewarding productivity, or forcing mediocrity?

As with many university administrations, ours is deeply concerned with faculty productivity.  There’s a prevailing attitude among upper administrators and, apparently, our Board of Trustees, that surely there are many faculty somewhere on campus not doing their jobs, especially in terms of research.  Accordingly, the administration insisted on several principles in our contracts: continuing to have […]

Buzzed on Research

Research can be boring, draining, sometimes physically or emotionally exhausting.  For previous projects, I’ve logged weeks worth of time doing data entry, and have had students  who have dealt with such topics as rape and infanticide, and the appearance of cannibalism (soon to be published with NYU Press!).  Every once in a while, though, research can become a […]