A few months ago the American Historical Association (AHA) interviewed me. It was fun because it forced me to pause and think about my past, present, and future endeavors. I noted that, “…I sought to study history and literature in a normative fashion to challenge both my peers and colleagues to take action and avoid the sins of complacency and gradualism….[History] guides my morality; I get to have a job that demands I read, reflect, and ponder the sins and immoral actions of human beings.”
You can read it in its entirety here.
I have a number of projects that need my attention during the break. I am finishing up my research on W.E.B. Du Bois and the Western Color Line. I will be joining a great group of academics at the African American Intellectual History Society Conference at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in March. I will blog more about this and the progress of my research. Because my desire is to publish this work, a paper I am really excited about, I have elected a new approach. I will write the journal article first, then I will edit it down into my conference paper. This will be a new approach for me — seeing that I have always started my thinking at the conference level. Changing my approach should allow for solid feedback at the conference. The key is editing a journal piece down from 25 – 30 pages to a 10 – 12 page work. This is also a topic I aim to discuss in my spring African-American Studies seminar.
Above is the title of a current piece I am drafting. I should have submitted this by now, but slowed by other things. This paper aims to discuss a teaching approach I want to share with teachers about the teaching and learning of historical thinking skills.
I am fascinated by Charles Young. He corresponded a great deal with W.E.B. Du Bois for a period. I mention both Young and Du Bois because of their relationship and the American element of race as an emerging factor against Pancho Villa fascinates me. I am thinking about writing a paper for it.
I found this on my desk this AM.
Brooks has a great library, I must say. Janette went with me to play in the Luce Library stacks for a conference presentation proposal that will consist of faculty members from some of the most elite boarding schools in the nation. Session Title: Race and Privilege at America’s Most Elite Boarding Schools. I have already read four of the works here, as well as accumulated a massive data base of scholarly articles on the topic.
I am trying to keep my thoughts clear, my notes in order, and my goal untouched. I do seem to get distracted just a bit when I come across something I had not considered. Thus, in the process of getting side track with my research and writing, I aim to explore that avenue rather than stress over it. At times I feel like the image above. Regardless, I learn something new every time I read a scholarly article or a primary document that aids my work.
I am spending a great deal of time exploring Du Bois’s editorial work as well as his writings on the American West. I am doing some archival study this AM. I am back to reading each line of WEB Du Bois’s editorial work of The Crisis. The Diversity Seminar for Independent Schools does not start until 3 PM. Above is what I am looking at now. UMASS Amherst archive on Du Bois’s work is great.
In my paper for the Christian Scholars’ Conference (CSC) titled “Racial Reflection and Sexual Identity: The Challenges of Silence in Conservative Institutions”, I revisited WEB Du Bois’s “Souls of Black Folk,” particularly his essay “Of the Faith of the Fathers“. If you have not read this classic, you must. Focus on how each essay brings you back to the notion of the Veil.
Over the course of my three-week spring break, I have focused a great deal on my own academic scholarship. Hence, this break has been an equal amount of play and work. I sent one paper off to a journal which was returned due to an imbalance of historical content and pedagogical application. I have pretty much added the missing pedagogical work to the already historical analysis. I have yet to resend. That needs to happen soon seeing that I need to get back to the paper for the CSC. I am feeling very productive of late. And, having this time to think and write has been nice.