history history relevance museums practical history pragmatic historian purpose of history using history

How to Market History’s Importance as Infrastructure

Last week’s blog post, “Two Broken Hips Away from Closing,” was inspired by a tweet from historian Larry Cebula. This week’s post is inspired by a tweet from historian David Grabitske (as seen above) in response to that post. Last year around about this time, I came to the realization that history is part of a community’s infrastructure and I wrote about it here. Since then, any time I have the opportunity, I tell people…

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history history relevance museums pragmatic historian purpose of history using history

“Two Broken Hips Away from Closing”

This tweet by public historian Larry Cebula out of Spokane, Washington, is painful in that there are far too many small museum situations where this is true. Often local history museums have been started by older people in a community, folks at or near retirement who are thinking of their personal legacies or the legacies of their community. They’ve got the time and motivation to start a collection or save a building and put together…

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history relevance practical history pragmatic historian using history

The Search to Belong

This blog post has been rolling around my head for a few weeks. As I sit down to write it, I am recovering from the flu, which has given me sore leg muscles that make it difficult to stay in one position for long. If this seems distracted or all over the place, that is the nature of both the topic and my physical condition. In case you haven’t noticed, identity politics has heated up…

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history history relevance pragmatic historian purpose of history

How Do We Deal with Historical Trauma?

Carried through the centuries Secrets locked up Are loaded on my back And it weighs me down Stanza from Exo-Politics from the album Black Holes and Revelations by Muse, lyrics by Matt Bellamy My husband gave me a couple of Muse CDs for Christmas, which I have been listening to obsessively since I received them. One of my favorite songs from the album Black Holes and Revelations is Exo-Politics for its gritty, rooty sound. The…

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art family projects

Rooster Applique-Embroidery

One of my goals for 2019 was to create “a crazy quilt type piece,” which means to me using scraps of a variety of fabrics coupled with embroidery to make something interesting. I just finished this rooster wall hanging, which features pieces of fabric hand-appliqued to a background fabric with embroidered stitches to add extra interest. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. Incidentally, I did most of the work on this piece in…

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challenge practical history pragmatic historian

What if You’re in Survival Mode and Can Only Depend on What’s in Your Home?

I was sitting at my computer the other day and looked up at the shelf near my desk. Along with assorted writing implements, paper, flash drives, office supplies, and CDs, the shelf contains my sewing supplies and fabric. Behind me is a blue metal locker with thread and more sewing supplies. What with Donald Trump ordering the killing of Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani, which may potentially lead the United States into another war, and…

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history history relevance pragmatic historian purpose of history time using history

The Importance of the Year – or Decade – in Review

I am writing this post on New Year’s Day 2020. My Twitter feed is afire with people sharing their reviews of the past year or decade. The decade review is especially popular because we just flipped to 2020, which many feel is the beginning of a new decade while others argue that it is the last year of the decade and the new decade won’t actually start until 2021. Yet others point out that time…

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history practical history pragmatic historian

Historic vs. Historical

A quick blog post for today. When I was writing my post on the Historical Method, I kept typing the term as the “Historic Method.” When I double-checked the term upon editing and saw that I had gotten it wrong, I got to wondering what the difference was between “historic” and “historical.” Seems like such an easy thing that a historian/writer ought to know, but there is a slim difference between the two and it…

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history history relevance pragmatic historian purpose of history using history

Backwater Historians & Invisible Historians

I had another post prepared for today, but a kerflapple* arose on Twitter this weekend about an opinion piece in The Atlantic by Andrew Ferguson that I cannot leave unremarked. The title alone should help you understand why: Historians Should Stay Out of Politics. Let me take a deep breath. I’ll try not to vibrate about the mere title alone. But the opinions expressed in the article are going to make it hard to keep…

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history history relevance practical history pragmatic historian using history

Are You Familiar With the Historical Method?

The Scientific Method Show of hands. Who here has heard of the Scientific Method? Likely, without looking it up, most everyone could list a few of the steps involved with the Scientific Method. There’s coming up with a question and making a hypothesis and testing the hypothesis and … how many steps are there? Even if you can’t list all the steps in order, you’ve at least heard of the Scientific Method because it has…

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history practical history pragmatic historian time using history

Maps Are More Than Roads

It has happened. I’m writing a blog post after my self-imposed deadline of Monday morning at 8:33 CST. Normally, I pre-write and schedule my blog posts a week or several days ahead. Due to a giant project at work, repainting a room at home, and a couple of snowstorms (including one last night), my time has been captured by other things. Also, because these other things (including the giant project at work) have been physical,…

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history history relevance pragmatic historian purpose of history using history

A History-Love Letter for My Husband

At the end of October/beginning of November 2019, my husband Erik called my attention to the astonishing accomplishment of one of our high school classmates, Steve Peck. Steve, who was known as Casey as a kid, grew up the street across from me. He became an architect and one of his buildings made the news recently. Steve designed a building that is a giant guitar for the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood,…

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