My travel schedule this Spring has been light. I have been enjoying teaching this semester and the students in my Pennsylvania History and United States History to 1865 courses have been excellent. I have taken some time to tweak some of my lectures, experiment with some new assignments, and become a better discussion leader. This is my third year teaching Pennsylvania History and I think I am finally starting to like the content. It has also been fun and invigorating to be back in the U.S. Survey lecture hall after a year on sabbatical. I am sure all of the social and political changes in American life have had something to do with that.
It has also been fun to get back into the studio for Season 3 of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast. I have been so thankful for all of the support we have received through out Patreon campaign. It is very rewarding to see that so many people have affirmed our work in this way and truly care about the role that history can play in our democratic life together. Thanks again. By the way, Episode 19 drops on Sunday.
But I am also increasingly aware of the need to travel outside of the college campus in an effort to bring good history and historical thinking to public audiences. With that in mind I am in the process of scheduling talks and lectures for the Summer and Fall of 2017 and the Spring of 2018. You can learn more about the kind of speaking, workshops, and seminars that I do here or here.
2016 was a busy year. I was at West Shore Evangelical Free Church (Mechanicsburg, PA), Derry Presbyterian Church (Hershey, PA), Centre College (Danville, KY), Trinity College (Deerfield, IL), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, IL), University of Chicago, Houston Baptist University, Eastern Nazarene College (Quincy, MA), Lincoln Memorial University (Harrogate, TN), National Presbyterian Church (Washington D.C.), Arch Street United Methodist Church (Philadelphia), Cairn University (Langhorne, PA), St. Francis University (Loretto, PA), The George Washington Library (Mount Vernon, VA), and Oxford University (Oxford, England).
Next month I will be heading down to New Orleans for the Annual Meeting of the Organization of American Historians. (We are still looking for correspondents!) On Saturday, April 8, I will be co-leading two “chat room” sessions for historians. One session (which I will co-lead with Kevin Schultz of the University of Illinois-Chicago) will be on the ways that Twitter (@johnfea1) can help us disseminate good history to a larger public. The other session (which I will co-lead with Elizabeth Marsh of the OAH) will be on the History Relevance Campaign. If you are in New Orleans I hope you have some time to stop by and participate in one of these sessions.
After New Orleans I fly to Boston on April 10 to deliver the 2017 Frantz Lecture at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. My lecture is titled “Why Study History?” As far as I know, this lecture is free and open to the public.
I hope to see you on the road! We always need good American history, but it is especially needed in times of great change. I would love to talk with you about setting something up as your school, college, university, historical society, library, church, museum, or virtually any other public space where these kinds of conversations take place.