How do we tell the American story?
Halfway through the semester...
This semester, I've had the pleasure of taking a course on the American Revolution and the Early Republic with Dr. Fred Anderson here at CU-Boulder. Even though I've spent a great portion of my life idolizing the Founding Fathers, and studying colonial American history while an undergrad in Boston, I've never actually taken a course on the subject of the Revolution and the creation of the Constitution. How that one slipped through the cracks, I'm not sure. Nevertheless, it's thrilling to be able to spend such focused time learning about this pivotal moment in our nation's history, and especially to be studying under such an brilliant historian of early American history as Fred Anderson.
I've had a few surprises along the way, as Dr. Anderson has made arguments about the narrative of the Revolution that I hadn't really thought of before. How timely, too, that I am jumping into this material when the nation is up in arms about the new AP U.S History curriculum.
Part 3: Research Assistantship with Dr. Reed
Walking back to the library from class today, I realized that I am about halfway through the fall semester. I started thinking about what I've learned so far, what progress I've made, and what I have to show for all the time I've spent crammed into the stacks of Norlin Library, wanting quiet (and craving an office of my own).
Part 2: Research Assistantship with Dr. Reed
The last few weeks of my research were spent wrestling with the idea of merchants in seventeenth century New England. I read Bernard Bailyn’s The New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century, as well as excerpts from the Massachusetts Historical Society’s collections of letters from the Mathers to leaders in the Bay Colony during this time. Most of my research up to this point had been spent studying the religious beliefs of New England settlers, and their relationships with the Native Americans, as well as their beliefs about government and their thoughts on England.
Part 1: Research Assistantship with Dr. Reed
When I last wrote, I had just begun my research into the history of the Puritans in Massachusetts Bay, and was looking to get a better overview of their religious beliefs, especially their foundations in England. I began reading The Long Argument by Stephen Foster, and quickly realized that I needed more basic information before comprehension of Foster's book would be beneficial.
The Map Is Not the Territory
I’ve loved history for a long time. It’s been a steadfast companion through a lot of life’s wins and challenges. Through a combination of traveling, engaging teachers, and pure interest, I found as a young person a true zeal for American history, specifically the early years of colonization and the Revolution. Growing up in Colorado, however, didn’t provide many hands-on opportunities for the study of colonial American history, so off I went to Boston for college. My first BA in history, and the time I spent examining Salem Village, John Adams, and more left an indelible mark on my academic life.
But I always felt like there was something missing.
What is historical sociology...?
Last night, I found out that my college sociology professor and beloved mentor, Dr. H, passed away a few days ago. It is such a tragic loss.
In the last 12 hours, I’ve talked with many people I went to college with. Some people I talk to everyday, others I haven’t spoken with in years. But we’ve all been brought together in this hard time – which I think is such a testament to his life. He brought people together. He taught us to love people – the marginalized, the scrutinized, the invisible.
In January, I enrolled at the University of Colorado here in Boulder to take a few sociology classes in advance of applying to graduate programs in the discipline this fall. My plan was to take stats, theory, and a few history classes for fun on subjects that I didn't get to while at Gordon. However, before the first day of class, I was perusing syllabuses for my upcoming courses, and looking up my professors. I stumbled over the CV of my Classical Theory professor (Dr. Isaac Reed), and saw that he specialized in something called "historical sociology."