Mark pointed me to Airminded, the blog of Brett Holman, a PhD student in Australia.* Like Break of Day in the Trenches, this is a great example of an academic ‘PhD blog’. Is it me, or are military/war historians just beating all the rest of us historians hands down at this (research) blogging game?

(Well, except maybe medievalists, but most of them seem to blog pseudonymously.)

Apart from the three already linked, I can immediately think of several military or war history blogs (and I suspect there are plenty more).

Trench Fever
Civil War Bookshelf
Anglo-Dutch Wars
Making a Military historian
Irregular Analyses

Does this just reflect the popularity of the subject? Or does it have something more interesting to do with the way that it straddles the academic/popular divides? Not only will there be non-academics using blogs, academic historians concerned with war (even if military history is often seen as old-fashioned academically…) are much more accustomed to communicating with people outside academic circles than most of us, so perhaps they’re more likely to welcome new tools for such communication. Maybe? I don’t know.

(…You know, when I started this post I had no idea I was going to write most of it. I thought it was just going to be a link to a rather cool blog. Then it suddenly took on a life of its own. It’s disconcerting but rather wonderful when that happens.)


* The obligatory Boo! Hiss! (until Monday evening) can be taken for granted at this point.

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10 Responses to Airborne

  1. Alun says:

    There’s also an interesting community of Biblical Studies bloggers which is often interesting. For example:

    We are in the habit of reading out papers not because we have thought it through and have decided that it is the best way to communicate with other scholars but because it is an academic convention, something we have all inherited, that we assume is the way to do things without question.
    Mark Goodacre

    which led to posts from Philo of Alexandria and a couple from Ed Cook at Ralph the Sacred River on How to Read a Scholarly Paper and More on Reading a Scholarly Paper.

    Could it be that smaller fields form communities on the net easier?

  2. Sharon says:

    That’s a good idea I hadn’t thought of. And I shall have to take a look at those posts!

  3. Someday, when I have a job … or a publication or two …

  4. Judy says:

    Another military blog: Blog Them Out of the Stone Age

  5. Sharon says:

    Sorry, I should probably have made it clearer that ‘Mark’ (link at the beginning of the post) is Blog them out of the Stone Age…

  6. Brett says:

    I appreciate the kind words about my blog, even if they do come from a Pom! You better pray for more rain :)

    Speaking for myself, I started to blog because I have been working in IT for a few years now, in fact set up my first website about a decade ago, and so it seemed natural to have some sort of web presence for my research. Also, I vaguely felt that I should be at the bleeding edge (or at least somewhere in the vicinity!) because of my IT experience, and it’s by now obvious that blogging is the coming thing (if it hasn’t arrived already). That’s aside from the usual academic reasons for wanting to blog.

    Well that doesn’t really answer your question. But it’s hard to say if military historians are really over-represented in the blogosphere: the total amount of blogging historians is really so tiny (how many does the average history department have? One, none?) that I don’t think any statistically significant conclusions can yet be drawn about which specialties blogs more and why …

  7. Pingback: Linkage | Airminded

  8. Your observation about military historians and academic blogging suggests to me that perhaps I was more correct than I knew when I wrote
    : “anybody dumb enough to be an academic military historian in the first place is probably dumb enough to blog about it.” :-)

  9. tony says:

    I was hoping Civil War would be the real (i.e. *our* civil war). Are there any blogs about that?

  10. Sharon says:

    Brett: Yeah, I cheated didn’t I? Slipped straight from wondering if a phenomenon exists to theorising why it exists, without bothering in between about little things like, well does it really exist…

    And, rain? Who needs rain when we have a friendly lightmeter?

    Mark: Surely not… ;)

    Tony: Not that I know of. Although I expect you can find Sealed Knotters blogging about getting pissed re-enactment stuff if you poke around.

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