May 2011

Thinking About the (American) Civil War

May 31, 2011

Even though it’s “not my field”, I’ve been thinking about the American Civil War a lot recently. (Actually, I’ve been thinking about England’s Civil War, too, but that’s a different story.) Those of you who don’t hang out in Popular History Land may not have gotten the word, but 2011 is the 150th anniversary of […]

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Muslim Spain: The Soundtrack

May 27, 2011

These days, I’m spending a lot of time in Muslim Spain–a golden age of cross-cultural pollination by any standard.  At a time when most of Europe was wallowing in the Dark Ages, Muslim Spain was a center of wealth, learning–and tolerance. If you wanted libraries, hot baths, or good health care, Spain was the place […]

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Road Trip Through History: The Utopian Communities of New Harmony

May 20, 2011

My Own True Love and I dearly love a road trip, especially if it includes a historical site or three, a quirky museum, a regional delicacy to try, walking paths, and plenty of roadside historical markers.  (Anyone who thinks she might want to travel with us, be warned.  We are the kind of people who […]

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Sylvester II: Scientist, Pope, Wizard, –Vampire?

May 18, 2011

Gerbert of Aurilac (ca. 940-1003), later  Pope Sylvester II, has been tracking me down for months. I first met up with the “scientist-pope” when I was working on Islamic Spain’s influence on medieval Europe.  Gerbert was one of the first of the European scholars who traveled to Spain to study the lost quadrivium of the […]

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Why Another History Blog?

May 11, 2011

The first day of my PhD program, my advisor said, “You know there are no jobs, right?”  I knew, but I didn’t care. I wanted to write about South Asia and history for a broader audience than the other five people interested in my dissertation topic. I wanted to write for history buffs and nerdy […]

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