Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Part IV

We continue our series of blog posts on Sam Wineburg’s Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past. Wineburg wraps up Chapter One with two great quotes about historical thinking: …”presentism“–the act of viewing the past through the lens of the present–is not some bad habit we’ve fallen into. It … Continue reading Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Part IV

Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Part III

We continue with our blogging on Sam Wineburg’s Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts. After reminding us that the past is a foreign country and its strangeness is what makes it most relevant to the task of liberal learning, Wineburg asks his readers just how far they “are willing to press this point?” Indeed, to … Continue reading Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Part III

Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts–Part II

We continue with our blog posts on Sam Wineburg’s Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past. In this section of chapter one, “Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts,” we meet Derek, an Advanced Placement American history student and the salutatorian of his high school class. Wineburg gave Derek a … Continue reading Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts–Part II

Thinking Historically About Bernie’s Socialism

Stanford historian Richard White argues that Sanders best represents the Gilded Age socialists of the late 19th-century.  Here is a taste of his piece at The New York Times: The socialists Mr. Sanders most resembles were Gilded Age intellectuals, reformers, union members and ordinary citizens who self-labeled as socialist. There were immigrants among them, but the … Continue reading Thinking Historically About Bernie’s Socialism

Episode 25: Thinking Historically About Charlottesville

In our opening episode of Season 4, host John Fea and producer Drew Dyrli Hermeling catch up on some of the important historical work that still needs to be done in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville. John shares his thoughts on “Make American Great Again” as a historical statement. They are joined by historian … Continue reading Episode 25: Thinking Historically About Charlottesville

“Can Someone Tell Me Who Was President?”: Thinking Historically About Evangelicalism

Over at The Anxious Bench, historian Tim Gloege (see his visit to the Author’s Corner here) begins his discussion of what he calls the “evangelical paradigm” with a great Mark Noll story: Twenty years ago, I sat in a Wheaton College classroom with a half-dozen other students, awaiting my first real history seminar. For a … Continue reading “Can Someone Tell Me Who Was President?”: Thinking Historically About Evangelicalism

Thinking Historically About Donating Your Time and Money

Amanda Moniz is the Associate Director of the National History Center and the author of From Empire to Humanity: The American Revolution and the Origins of Humanitarianism. (Some of you may recall that she recently visited The Author’s Corner to discuss this book). Over at the blog of Oxford University Press, Amanda has published a fascinating … Continue reading Thinking Historically About Donating Your Time and Money

Episode 3: Thinking Politically Historically

  Host John Fea and producer Drew Dyrli Hermeling tackle presidential politics in this, their third episode. John discusses the “usable pasts” employed by candidates on both sides of the aisle. Later Fea and Hermeling are joined by Yoni Appelbaum, the Washington Bureau Chief for the Atlantic, to further discuss the role of historical thinking … Continue reading Episode 3: Thinking Politically Historically

Thinking Historically About Pope Francis at Independence Hall

In a few hours, Pope Francis will be speaking about religious liberty at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. It is a fitting theme for a speech at the birthplace of the United States of America  This was the place, of course, where the Second Continental Congress and Constitution Convention met. (As I remind my students and others … Continue reading Thinking Historically About Pope Francis at Independence Hall

Thinking Historically With Pro-Slavery Documents

Any reader of this blog knows that I am passionate about challenging my students to think historically. One of the best ways to do this is to give them documents written by defenders of slavery. Yesterday and today my U.S. survey course discussed two popular nineteenth-century defenses of slavery: George Fitzhugh’s “The Blessings of Slavery” … Continue reading Thinking Historically With Pro-Slavery Documents

Call for Contributions: “Rethinking Harrisburg, the City Beautiful”

Check this out.  Two my colleagues at Messiah College are edited a forthcoming special issue of Pennsylvania History. A call for contributions to a special issue of Pennsylvania History: “Harrisburg, The City Beautiful: Rethinking Urban Improvement in the Pennsylvania State Capital” edited by James B. LaGrand and David K. Pettegrew Abstract: Harrisburg’s City Beautiful Movement has an … Continue reading Call for Contributions: “Rethinking Harrisburg, the City Beautiful”