This Week’s Dirt: 9/14-9/21

Sorry for the delays with the Weekly Dirt…I typically think “sure, something weekly shouldn’t be difficult”, but then a Friday ends up being a travel day, or it slips my mind, or whatever. At any rate, this will cover a little bit of the last three weeks, which for me included a trip back to East Lansing for a family party and a successful committee meeting. I’ve also been plugging away at a number of projects, including an article for publication, a digital exhibit that you can read a bit more about here, and, of course, the dissertation.

This Week’s Cultural Heritage Link

This week was an important week for those of us who study Emancipation: On September 22, 1852, Abe Lincoln gave his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, in which he stated that, in 100 days, he would free all the slaves in the South if the Confederacy did not stop fighting. In honor of that statement, and of the 150th anniversary of Emancipation, the NEH has developed an entire website and series of activities dedicated to understanding Emancipation on a deeper level. I’ve written about Emancipation before, and the folks at University of Richmond were behind this project, as well. This week was the kickoff for the entire year long event, and it was done with a panel discussion moderated by University of Richmond President and historical rockstar Jim Ayers, and a panel consisting of historians Eric Foner, Thavolia Glymph, Christy Coleman, and Gary Gallagher. You can watch the entire panel discussion here:



Let’s Read

I bought this book because of the author…or, more accurately, because of who I thought the author was. I thought it was Erik Larson of Devil in the White City fame, but it turns out it is by Edward Larson. Whoops. Regardless, the book is fascinating: Summer for the Gods examines the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools during the 1920s, and the Scopes Trial that took place in Tennessee. The moment captures the still ongoing debate about the nature of science and religion (a debate I find silly…they are unrelated, I think), and it is fascinating how the arguments have not changed in almost 100 years of arguing. Definitely worth picking up.

On the Web:

The Michigan State Archives wrote a great post about the early development of MSU’s campus. This largely corresponds to many of the findings we’ve come up with at the MSU Campus Archaeology Program. I particularly like the map, which sends the message home: Early M.A.C. Development – MSU Archives 

A great post about the collaboration between brick makers at Colonial Williamsburg and archaeologists at Jamestowne, as they reconstruct some of the original structures at Jamestowne Fort: Archaeological Research at Jamestowne Fort Brings to Life Historic 17th-century Construction Methods – Popular Archaeology

Some very important commentary by Lorna Richardson about using social media for cultural heritage, and ensuring that we’re using the best tools for the job: My Paper at EAA 2012 – Lorna Richardson

A fun couple of posts by my pal Justin Bugsy Sailor at YooperSteez about the Big Boy Graveyard in Michigan. Great, and slightly creepy, photos, too: Photo Friday: Legend of the Big Boy Graveyard – YooperSteez

Let’s Listen

I’ve been listening to Frank Ocean’s new album Channel Orange for quite a while now, thanks to a recommendation from a good friend. It has been quite a while since anyone has released an R&B album that is interesting, enjoyable to listen to, and thought provoking. The last one, in my opinion, was D’Angelo’s Voo Doo, or anything by Erykah Badu. I’m not suggesting we’ve returned to the era of Marvin Gaye, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.


Let’s Look

Route 5 Swamp  Watkins Cottrell Co. No. 12  There are few foods I love more than @jpbrock's pasta salad. #homeThe Potomac from the end of a hike.  A Rt. 17 abandoned building...always wanted to photograph it!  HSMC map tubes.

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