Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture

Uncommon Sense—the blog

Making the Personal Historical: Reflections on Pregnancy and Birth

· May 9th, 2019 · No Comments

This post accompanies “Motherhood in Early America,” episode 237 of Ben Franklin’s World. It was originally posted at the Junto and has been lightly revised. by Lindsay M. Keiter Human reproduction is simultaneously unchanged and radically different over time and across cultures. This paradox has preoccupied me since 2017, when I carried and gave birth… Read More »

The Double-Edged Sword of Motherhood Under American Slavery

· May 7th, 2019 · No Comments

This post accompanies “Motherhood in Early America,” episode 237 of Ben Franklin’s World. by Emily West Mother’s Day offers opportunities to reflect upon motherhood in relation to ethnicity and class. Racial discrimination and poverty mean that a narrow conceptualization of biological motherhood associated with domestic care and nurture is not applicable to all in the… Read More »

Must Early America Be Vast?

· May 2nd, 2019 · 3 Comments

by Karin Wulf Spoiler:  I think yes. But it’s complicated.  You may have seen this meme about historians, with “it’s complicated” mocked as the weak battle cry of our profession.  I would argue that there is ample demonstration, from contemporary politics to technology, that an appreciation of complexity is newly resurgent.  And so it is… Read More »

Podcasting History in Public

· April 3rd, 2019 · No Comments

Historians participate in a lot of conversations about public engagement. Discussions revolve around questions of what it means to engage “the public,” how we should define “the public,” whether authoring op-eds, blog posts, and Twitter threads count as a public history practice, and whether historians do enough to make their work accessible to non-specialists. These… Read More »

Accessing the Past: Why Paleography Skills Still Matter

· March 21st, 2019 · 3 Comments

Learn more about paleography at our first Transcribathon on Saturday, March 23, 2019, in the Ford Classroom, ground floor of Swem Library, on the campus of William & Mary. We will begin at 11:00 a.m. and continue until 4:00 p.m. Participants are welcome to drop in for an hour or to stay all afternoon. Lunch and snacks will… Read More »

Ben Franklin’s World Wraps Up Three-Part Mini-Series on the Boston Massacre

· March 20th, 2019 · No Comments

March 5th marked the 249th anniversary of the Boston Massacre. Over the past three weeks, Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast about Early American History has explored this event and its complicated history with scholars Eric Hinderaker, Patrick Griffin, and Mitch Kachun. In episode 228, “The Boston Massacre,” Eric Hinderaker, distinguished professor of History at the… Read More »