History Carnival 50

History Carnival ButtonThe very first History Carnival was posted here on 15 January 2005. You might, if you feel so inclined, use that one and what follows here to briefly compare the history blogosphere then and now. Quite a few of the bloggers included in that first edition are still active, although their blogs may have undergone some significant transitions since then; equally, there are a few much-missed absences. (Come back to us, Caleb!) But at the same time there are many great blogs now that weren’t so much as a twinkle in their owners’ eyes at the time.

It’s been an interesting two-and-a-bit years. I like to think, though I have no evidence for this whatsoever, that the History Carnival may have played some role in encouraging all that growth. It has of late been in danger of being overwhelmed. Perhaps in the early days a carnival host could seek (if not achieve) something like comprehensive coverage. Not for a long time now. As I’ve already mentioned, from next month, the frequency of the Carnivals will be monthly and this is likely to encourage a more explicitly selective approach. Which may or may not work: I simply don’t know what the next two years will look like.

But I’m delighted to report that I have a new helper on board, Jeremy Boggs of Clioweb, alongside my long-standing deputy Jonathan Dresner, and we should soon be launching a new-look super-duper website. We have Plans.

But enough about us. Let’s see what you’ve all been up to. (Bonus points if you can spot all the bloggers included today who were also in the 1st edition!)


A Historian for the American People

The death of Arthur Schlesinger Jr prompted much discussion of his role and influence as a public historian, and whether he belonged to an extinct species. Noteworthy posts included Rebecca Goetz’s tribute; Rachel’s comments; a Cliopatria symposium on A Historian for the People (includes further links), which led to further comments by Rob MacDougall on The Age of Schlesinger 2.0 and by Sam Tanenhaus.

Bonus link: Bush’s Thousand Days


More perennial concerns: New Kid on the Hallway worries about whether her marking/grading is too generous in Rates of Inflation, while at The Long Eighteenth there’s a discussion of plagiarism in The plagiarism talk and Plagiarism and the teacher-student relation.

Bonus link: the latest Teaching Carnival


It’s been a good week for discussion of the positive and negative impacts of digital technology on history. Tim Burke worried about losing the serendipitous qualities of traditional searches in Search as Alchemy. I weighed up the status of digital history and the archives. Matthew Weaver considered the concerns raised as Archives board the bandwidth bandwagon. And Bill Turkel made some more upbeat predictions about what’s Coming Soon: History Appliances.

Bonus link: Robox ’71

Women’s History Month

As might be expected, quite a few women’s history posts from a personal angle. Natalie Bennett shared some of her favourite women in history in Some women to celebrate, while Bardiac wrote about A woman I’d like to thank – for a very good reason. At Another History Blog, we were introduced to a largely forgotten woman writer, Marian Sims and Reconstruction in SC, while (just making it in from the end of February) Credo rounded off Black History Month with a post on Ida Wells Barnett.

At Walking the Berkshires, Tim Abbott took a searching look at his Ancestors in the Witch Hysteria. Elementary History Teacher acquainted us with President Wilson’s other wife.

Bonus link: the latest Carnival of Feminists

Westward Ho!

As ever, an entire cavalcade of interesting blogging on American history. The OUP blo puts the Scooter Libby verdict in perspective. JL Bell looks at Alexander Cruden, a ‘tormented genius’, and wonders if this was an 18th-century case of Aspergers. Grant Jones questioned an account of 1848. Jennie Weber revealed that she feels sorry for the man who has been viewed as the US’s worst President in James Buchanan and the election of 1856. Rick Shenkman took a look at another President in the LBJ Tapes: Two Revealing Exchanges.

Aphra Behn highlights the psychological effects of war on soldiers in PTSD and the myth of WWII. The Educational Marm tours historic cemeteries.

Caleb Crain explores the relationship between two soldiers in the 1812 War and asks: Queer or Peculiar? And at Southern Pasts, there’s a look at the (perhaps) final chapter in the story of Emmett Till: Case Closed. On a lighter note, Bob reminds us that The Cat in the Hat turns 50! And just a little humour to wind up this section, from Jarod’s Forge comes Leprechauns with Botox: the history of St Patrick’s Day in America.

Bonus link: Ten Years of the Buffyverse

And Eastward Ho!

Brian Ulrich investigates Jerusalem Foundations. Juan Cole offers a Very Basic Reading List on the Middle East. Gracchi explores the history of Tobacco in the Ottoman Empire. Alfa King has a personal perspective on the Anniversary of Mauritius independence.

Sepoy traces the shifting historiography of Quaid-e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. KM Lawson considers the run-up to the 1948 election in southern Korea in Getting out the Vote. And, not for the faint-hearted, Orac discusses the Japanese Doctors of Depravity, who carried out ‘experiments’ on prisoners of war during WWII.

Bonus link: the latest Asian History Carnival

A Bit of This and That (or, How the Times Change)

Steve Muhlberger takes a look at The crucial military role of horses 1815, followed up by Brad DeLong, where it set off a vigorous discussion in the comments, in What the horsemen did 1815. Evan Roberts reminds us of When winter would kill you. Phil Harland takes on some of the myths about savage pagans: Golden Rule: do unto others according to the pagans.

Brandon examines some of the difficult issues involved in translating early modern texts in Motifs de Convenance. Gracchi has been reading Hugh Trevor-Roper’s posthumously-published book on the Protestant Doctor: Sir Theodore de Mayerne. Fast forward a few centuries, and we find ourselves with Brett learning about Flying Fortresses.

Bonus link: the latest Bad History Carnival

Museums and material culture

At The Victorian Peeper, Kristan Tetens writes about the South American shrunken heads brought to England by Victorian collectors to wind up giving the Pitt-Rivers Museum a headache. Mary Beard has been visiting an awesome exhibition – unprepossessing on the surface, she compares it to The Roman Crown Jewels.

Jeremy Sandor reports on the ‘Innovation to Invention’ exhibit put together by his public history class: Please Touch, Pick Up, Use, Press, and Pass Around. Bill’s chronicling of the History of the Button brings us 1954 Ford Power Windows. At Strange Maps, we can find The whole world in a cloverleaf. Martin Rundkvist points out that studying the past wouldn’t really be any easier if we had time machines, In defence of archaeology.

I’m not sure, but this might be a first for a History Carnival: not a post, but a series of comments at Making Light, as Abi provided us with a fascinating history of bookbinding in five parts: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.

Bonus link: the latest Four Stone Hearth

Upcoming history carnivals

The next Asian History Carnival will be held on 18 March.

The next Carnivalesque will be an ancient/medieval edition on or about 25 March.

The very first Military History Carnival will be on 12 April.

The next History Carnival will be on 1 April and will be hosted by Mary Beard at A Don’s Life: usual submission form.

Well, that’s it, folks! I want to thank everyone who has been part of the History Carnival since it began, by getting involved, hosting, nominating posts and just writing great material for inclusion. Here’s to the next 50!


UPDATE: one of our Plans is getting underway! Jon Dresner is setting up the History Carnivals Aggregator, a group blog for announcements and news for all the history carnivals. (Subscribe to the Atom feed.)

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7 Responses to History Carnival 50

  1. Fantastic! The carnival doesn’t look a day over forty….

  2. Pingback: Historic carnival season « Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub

  3. Pingback: While I'm not writing... « Archaeoastronomy

  4. Amy says:

    Wonderful collection, especially the technology section. Bravo!

  5. Pingback: Aqueduct » Carnival!

  6. Awesome job!

    It is an eclectic collection and I shall visit as many as I can!

    Thanks for including my post!

  7. Pingback: Blog carnivals « Alfa King Memories

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