Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture

Uncommon Sense—the blog

Author Archive

Summertime Blues: A Retraction.

· July 14th, 2016 · 2 Comments

by Josh Piker There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the evidence suggests that potential authors of William and Mary Quarterly articles read my posts and take seriously what I say there.  The bad news is that, because of the good news, what I said in one particular post is no… Read More »

The Need for Speed

· July 6th, 2016 · No Comments

by WMQ Editor Josh Piker At the risk of invoking one of my many least favorite Tom Cruise movies—or, as a quick Google search informs me, what looks to be a more recent (but even more uninspired) movie based on a video game—I’d like to talk for a minute about the need for speed. Last year,… Read More »

The Five-Reader Problem

· May 10th, 2016 · No Comments

by Josh Piker It will, I suspect, come as no surprise to hear that the relationship between authors and those scholars who serve as readers for article manuscripts is an ambivalent one.  I try to recruit five readers’ reports for each essay that goes out for peer review.  A not insignificant part of my job… Read More »

“Coming Home”

· May 3rd, 2016 · 2 Comments

Fissiparous.  Centrifugal.  Pluralization.  A-synthetic. Comes to find that when I blog about #vastearlyamerica, my inbox fills up with fifty-cent words. Each of those words captures potential consequences of the expansive nature of our field.  Fragmentation, dispersal, diversity, scale, incoherence.  I’ve been hearing a lot about these topics since “Getting Lost?” was posted a few months… Read More »

Getting Lost

· January 21st, 2016 · 11 Comments

Is the WMQ really in danger of “losing its way” as Gordon Wood says it is? Josh Piker looks at just what we mean when we talk about #VastEarlyAmerica and responds to that charge. Karin’s yearlong tour through #VastEarlyAmerica will be fascinating to follow, and I am very much looking forward to the conversations that ensue.  With those… Read More »

Quarterly Math with Josh Piker

· December 14th, 2015 · 1 Comment

ICYMI: In the October 2015 issue of Uncommon Sense, Josh Piker brought us some special math. How does 122 + 462 + 462 = 18? Find out how the WMQ answers that question. My daughter, Naima, is twelve and I can no longer help her with her math homework. Yes, she’s that good at the subject; and, yes,… Read More »


· September 3rd, 2015 · No Comments

The William and Mary Quarterly and the Journal of the Early Republic invite proposals for a special joint issue, “Writing To and From the Revolution.” “Writing To and From the Revolution” aims to approach the American Revolution as a series of unresolved historiographical and methodological questions, asking what it means that colonialists with an interest… Read More »