Why Another History Blog?

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 kids and the intelligent general reader.

When I finished my degree, I started writing for magazines aimed at history buffs, nerdy kids and –you get the idea. My first, and second, and third sales came straight from my dissertation research. Then I got an e-mail from an editor that said: “I know this isn’t what you normally do, but….” Suddenly the words “not my field” no longer applied. The fence of academic boundaries that had been both bulwark and prison was gone.

These days I write about a wide range of historical topics, from ancient Peru (Not just the Incas. Who knew?) to World War II. At least half the time I’m writing outside of “my field”. And at the end of every day I have a great story that didn’t quite fit in the piece at hand, a dangling idea that I want to play with, a connection I want to explore, or a book that I can’t wait to share with someone else.

I hope that someone will be you. Read along. Make a comment. Suggest a topic. Enjoy the ride.


  1. Davide on September 18, 2013 at 11:07 am

    The first day of my PhD program, my advisor said, “You know there are no jobs, right?”

    Funny, They told the very same words when I began University so many years ago, across the pond
    I discovered today your blog and I have to say that it’s the best finding in a lot of time.
    Keep up the good work and never despair.

    Davide, History PhD

    • pamela on September 18, 2013 at 1:48 pm

      That is funny. Maybe it’s now part of the standard orientation package for history students.

      Thanks for the good words.


  2. Jane on January 8, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    I’m brand new to your website, but I want to say anyway that it is beautiful. “History in the Margins.” What an intriguing name! I remember a teacher cousin, reading a history text with her students, came upon something like “the fort was taken with little effort.” She stopped and told her class, “It wasn’t that way at all!” and gave them a fuller picture.

    • pamela on January 8, 2014 at 11:51 pm

      Your cousin sounds like my kind of history buff!

  3. Sarah Towle on January 26, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Great Blog Pamela! I’m so delighted to have discovered it!

    • pamela on January 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks, Sarah. The more places our paths cross on line, the more I realize how many interests we have in common.

  4. Paracelse on August 25, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Hello Pamela, I’m writing something on my hobby subject the Templars and I’m a firm believer Sylvester II (the year 1000 pope) was somehow a precursor of the famed order. So I checked google and found your page, which I not very dissimilar to mine (although my degree is in Political Science so I write a lot on the subject). I subscribed to blog because I enjoy your writing style. This is not a spam, if you want take a look at my work, please feel free to do so. I did enjoy the piece by Nancy Mary Brown but I had French sources also, like Regine Pernoud who also wrote on Hildegard of Bigen, Women in the Middle Ages and the Gauls. Excellent author. Unfortunately the books have been published in French only. I’m was born in that country (and live here for the moment although I hope to go back to the States) so I read the language. My blog is both in English and French and there are categories but not at all like yours. I going to keep reading as I bookmarked your page. I might be knocking on your door for information sometimes. I’m planning a book on Black Virgins and the origins of Marial Cult in France. Feel free to email me.

    • pamela on August 29, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      Always glad to meet another history buff.