Analog boosted

Fellow instructors, the Fall semester is going to inevitably spin out of control. May we all LISTEN to our students & what they have to say. We might be the only ones in our messed up school systems who do hear them.

thoughts after a solid week of grading 2/2 

They cannot fathom time as anything but linear. They will call them barbarians, savages, uncivilized, and then argue that the use of atomic weapons on civilian populations is entirely justified, passionately contending that it was meant to stave off their own unimaginable future which already exists only in the past.

thoughts after a solid week of grading 1/2 

There is a myopia common to undergraduate history writers just learning to explore the past who do not yet realize how much they themselves bring to the story. They will write long denunciations of mesoamerican human sacrifice, which were intended to keep the sun rising, the maize growing, and to forestall the arrival of an unthinkable future.

climate stuff 

I've been asked to be the graduate student rep on the planning committee for the annual American Society for Environmental History meeting, the first such meeting in 3 years! I'm planning to push as hard as I can for a theme that encourages our field to address the existential nature of the climate crisis and seek possibilities for the future in our study of the past.


It's such a ride to read right and center opinions about how the radical historians in the academy are engaging in historical revisionism when within the american academy the historical profession is viewed as backwards, parochial, and conservative.


Studying history is just a constant process of realizing the profound depths of what you don't know.

work burnout 

The term is over, and I can say with confidence that students learned nothing, I (as a TA) am burnt out, and the professor has already moved on. Nobody benefited from the last 10 weeks of overwork. What a colossal waste of time. Usually I feel something at the end of the term, but now I'm just relieved I never have to talk at those unspeaking blank boxes again, whose only means of communication is the indignant email.

nationalism, America, grading 

There are two schools of thought among my nationalist-minded students who never came to class but still submitted essays on centralization of political power in the 15th-18th centuries: that the US was successful because it centralized, and that it was successful because it was not. However, they both agree: America was better than the Ottoman Empire because it did the opposite. History is important!

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Covid ethics essay 

> How to Make It Right: Covid Reparations

> ... establishing accountability and recommendations to prevent repeating the Covid disaster is not sufficient. Reparations in various forms of compensation to the American victims of preventable Covid, who may experience lifelong health effects, is obligatory.

grading, booze 

Shout out to anyone else in the middle of a late-night weekend grading marathon. I take a shot every 10 papers and another whenever I have to read about the Ottoman Empire in the present tense.

Analog boosted

Aztecs, small religions 

Thinking back on the time when Xavier Marquez posted an enthusiastic review of a book on Aztec political thought, and some people claiming to practice Mexica indigenous religion showed up in the comment threads

These replies are exactly what I needed. I'm very used to presenting my research to historians outside my specialty, but now that I'm about to present to an audience that shares my specialty I'm a nervous wreck.

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tell me about the worst conference paper you ever gave so I can feel better about the total wreck I am going to submit on Friday.

mental health 

Me, going for alternating stretches of weeks when I drag myself though every obligation acting and producing automatic thoughts for the mill by means of procedural generation while devoid of desire to live or die and weeks when I'm filled with the rapture of action, drawn along by some generative force so far removed from my everyday thoughts that I barely recognize it as part of me: I'm handling academia just fine.


Is there anything better than your work email having an outage? Probably, but it is important to appreciate the small things.

Analog boosted


Minor thing but it's that time of year when I have to actually write the 70+ footnotes I've been creating placeholder notes for. I refuse to learn from this.

My least favorite word is "nowadays". In addition to being bad to look at I almost always encounter it in the context of nostalgia based on bad history. It just really gets under my skin.

I'm contributing a chapter on the environmental history of Siberia before 1917 to a collection and I only have 3500 words to use. I've already used 2000 and I haven't even reached human history.

Currently Reading 

Food: A History of Taste - not good so far
How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell, which is v good! I've been reading a few sections before work every day and it puts me in a good headspace.

Russian transliteration 

I know there's at least one person on here who knows more about transliteration than I do...but damn why does LOC Russian transliteration look like absolute hot garbage

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