Wendell Phillips and the “Ever-Restless Ocean” of Democracy

Next week I’m going to be speaking at the Wendell Phillips Bicentennial Commemoration at the Harvard Law School in Cambridge, and this post is a more extended version of the remarks I’m planning to make at the symposium on Friday. It’s also a post that discusses the Wendell Phillips quote that has provided me with a new title for my book manuscript: The Ever-Restless Ocean. Comments and feedback are welcome, and if you’re in Cambridge or Boston next week, you may want to take advantage of the events that are planned for the commemoration by registering now.

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The Case of John L. Brown

Last Friday, I was very fortunate to be a presenter at the annual conference of the Carolina Lowcountry and the Atlantic World program at the College of Charleston. This year’s topic, “Civil War–Global Conflict,” attracted a great slate of fascinating papers.

Best of all, the conference organizers asked for presenters to pre-circulate drafts of any length, so the sessions were devoted mostly to discussion. I’m posting the paper that I circulated for the conference in Rice’s digital repository (here’s how and why), and I would welcome any feedback about the paper if you have a chance to read it. Click below for a full abstract.

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Transnational History and the Civil War Era

On Monday, October 18, I was very honored to participate in a roundtable at the University of Houston on “New Directions in the Study of the Civil War Era,” sponsored by the Center for Public History and the Department of History at UH and organized by Eric Walther. The other members of the panel were John Barr (a newly minted UH history Ph.D who has written a great dissertation about anti-Lincoln sentiment in American history), Vernon Burton, Gerald Horne, James Oakes, and Frank Wetta.

Each presenter only had about 5-7 minutes to make some comments before the floor was opened for questions and discussion. And that discussion generated a lot of interesting points that I’m still thinking about and processing a week and a half later. But for now, I thought I would belatedly share my very brief prepared comments.

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Teaching with Blogs

Tomorrow at noon, I am going to be speaking about blogging and teaching at a “brown bag” workshop at the Digital Media Center at Rice. This post contains a rough outline of what I plan to say, as well as links to resources that I will mention at the workshop.

My comments will fall into three categories:

  1. I’ll survey how I’ve actually used blogs in my past courses, to give a sense of the variety of possible formats available with a fairly low amount of technical know-how.
  2. I’ll share some general lessons and tips I think I’ve learned from these experiences.
  3. I’ll briefly talk about the technical side of setting up blogs and maintaining them over the course of a semester, focusing particularly on how to use the WordPress MU installation, Blogs @ Rice University.

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