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photo of paul musselwhiteHolding Court is an interview series that features the authors of the new books on display in the King Arthur Flour café in Baker-Berry Library.

In this week's edition, we speak with Paul Musselwhite, a historian of early America with a particular focus on the political economy of early plantation societies in North America and the Caribbean.  Paul is the co-editor of  Empire of the Senses: Sensory Practices of Colonialism in Early America (Brill, 2017), which explores the role that the senses played in the production of empire.

What is your book about?

In order for Europeans to colonize the Americas and tap its resources they had to first be able to sense it - to figure out what it smelt like, tasted like, etc. That process made it comprehensible as a set of commodities, people, and places that could be acquired and integrated into their world.

Where did you get your ideas for this book?

I'd been working on the history of English cities in America and I'd been thinking about the way colonists tried to recreate urban sensory experiences (music, food, physical interactions) there. In the process of doing that work I made contact with Prof. Daniella Hacke from Berlin and we came up with the idea of bringing together a lot of scholars who were working on similar topics as part of a new volume.

What does research look like for you? What element of research could you not live without?

I'm not a neat researcher. I'm a very synthetic thinker so I need lots of books and files open at once, often strewn across my desk, so I can keep jumping back and forth. That's my excuse anyway!

What do you think the library of the future will look like?

I don't think we'll ever move away from the value of some printed material, but the key is going to be finding way to make different kinds of media work together. I'd love to see workspaces that can combine digital media with printed sources and manuscripts.

What advice would you give to an aspiring scholar or writer?

You can never rewrite your introduction too many times - keep going back to it.

And finally, what do you read for fun?

I love to read good travel writing.

photo of James WrightHolding Court is an interview series that features the authors of the new books on display in the King Arthur Flour café in Baker-Berry Library.

In this week's edition, we speak with James Wright, President Emeritus and Eleazar Wheelock Professor of History at Dartmouth College.  Wright's book, Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and Its War (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2017), recounts the experiences of the young Americans who fought in Vietnam and of families who grieved those who did not return. An important addition to the literature on the Vietnam War, Wright interviewed well over one hundred people for the book and traveled to Vietnam, producing a military history that focuses on the human experience of combat at a pivotal moment in the war, 1969.

What is your book about?

This book is about the human face of the Vietnam War, the on-the-ground experience of those who served there. It focuses on the Baby Boomers. They grew up in the Fifties and many served in Vietnam in the Sixties.

Where do you get your ideas?

I lived through the era, serving in the Marines before the war, spending the war years on college campuses, including arriving at Dartmouth in the dramatic year 1969-70. It has been a haunting part of my life ever since. And after I wrote Those Who Have Borne the Battle (2012), an overview of all of America's wars and those who served, I knew that I had to try to tell the story of those who served in Vietnam.

What does research look like for you? What element of research could you not live without?

With the remarkable digital revolution, the nature and the tools of research have changed markedly since I published my first book in 1966. But the basic principles are the same: research widely and thoroughly, seek to know and to understand your subject fully before you start imposing your presumptions on what happened and what it means. The facts and then informed judgment--and a good narrative structure, good story-telling skills, are the basis for professional history.

I have found the online access to research sources indispensable. And I could not work without Baker Library. It has sustained me through several books, from the Circulation and Inter-Library Loan professionals, to Government Documents and Periodicals and Rauner Library.  Thanks.

What do you think the library of the future will look like?

It will be a repository of knowledge and of information, digital and tangible print, and it will be the home of library professionals who can engage with and advise and assist those who seek to access this knowledge and this information.

What advice would you give to an aspiring scholar or writer?

Read widely and read critically and enjoy navigating an intellectual path that no one has ever followed before. And remember Daniel Patrick Moynihan's warning: Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; they are not entitled to their own facts. Your intellectual path will take you down some trails that you had never anticipated. Enjoy the discovery.

And finally, what do you read for fun?

It is hard to stay away from history--I am just setting out to read Ron Chernow's biography of Ulysses Grant. I am reading a book by my former student, Jake Tapper, The Hellfire Club, and my wife Susan and I thoroughly enjoy the mysteries of Louise Penny.

 

Holding Court is an interview series that features the authors of the new books on display in the King Arthur Flour café in Baker-Berry Library.

In this week's edition, we talk with Annelise Orleck, a historian of labor movements, and author of "We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now": The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages (Beacon Press, 2018).  In this book, Orleck interviews worker-activists in many US cities and countries around the world, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Mexico, South Africa, and the Philippines.  Seven Days has highlighted the book as among the best new books by Vermont authors, and Ms. Magazine included it in its list of 10 Feminist Books to Read This Spring.

What is your book about?

This book traces the globalization of our world economy and the 21st century global uprising against poverty wages led by low-wage workers, a great many of them women of color. Using photos and 140 interviews, this book tells the story, whenever possible, through workers' eyes and workers' voices.

Where do you get your ideas?

On the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 2011, Bangladeshi garment worker Kalpona Akter said, "In Bangladesh it's not 2011, it's 1911." I have found that to be true all over the world, in terms of workplace safety conditions, what wages will be, and the rights of workers to unionize. This book traces a movement by workers to regain rights they first fought for and won more than one hundred years ago.

What does research look like for you? What element of research could you not live without?

This project involved global travel and interviewing, archival research, and digital online research. I could not live without face-to-face and Skype interviews.

What do you think the library of the future will look like?

I think it will include paper as it does now, material objects, and global online links to digitized resources.

What advice would you give to an aspiring scholar or writer?

Enjoy your research and writing. Study what moves you. If you are moved and are having fun as you write, readers will have fun and be moved by your writing.

And finally, what do you read for fun?

I read many different kinds of novels, the New Yorker, Salon and the Guardian.

Mark Bray History Professor
Mark Bray

Holding Court is an interview series that features the authors of the new books on display in the King Arthur Flour café in Baker-Berry Library.

In this week's edition, we talk with Mark Bray, who teaches History.  Bray's book, Antifa: the anti-fascist handbook (Melville House, 2017) gained national attention immediately following its publication in August 2017.  After the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, VA, which resulted in the death of counter-protestor Heather Heyer, Antifa's publisher, Melville House, rushed to print Antifa in order to provide historical context for the anti-fascist movement.  Most academic titles see an initial printing of a few hundred copies; Melville House set a first printing of 10,000, with an additional print-run of 20,000 copies, as reported by the Guardian.  Bray is an authority on the movement, one who participates in it (Bray was an organizer of Occupy Wall Street) and also performs deft political analysis of its place in current politics and over the last century.

What is your book about?

A century of anti-fascist resistance in Europe and North America; or, how to make friends at an Ivy League institution.

Where do you get your ideas?

From Bakunin's ghost.

What does research look like for you? What element of research could you not live without?

Meeting people on marches. Reading old documents in archives. Interviewing revolutionaries. Having drinks at squatted social centers.

What do you think the library of the future will look like?

A free, global database of information.

What advice would you give to an aspiring scholar or writer?

Stay hydrated.

And finally, what do you read for fun?

The Sports section.

Photo of Rashauna Johnson, professor of history and AAASHolding Court is an interview series that features the authors of the new books on display in the King Arthur Flour café in Baker-Berry Library.

In this week's edition, we talk with Rashauna Johnson, Associate Professor of History, and author of Slavery's Metropolis: Unfree Labor in New Orleans during the Age of Revolutions (Cambridge University Press, 2016; paperback 2018). Rashauna's book has received much acclaim, garnering the 2016 Williams Prize for the best book in Louisiana history and an honorable mention for the Urban History Association's Kenneth Jackson Award.  Slavery's Metropolis was also a finalist for the 2016 Berkshire Conference of Women's Historians Book Prize, and the 2017 Frederick Douglass Book Prize.

What is your book about?

It shows how fights over the physical place of enslaved people in New Orleans were proxies for Atlantic debates about urbanity, mobility and modernity.

Where do you get your ideas?

Archival research, other scholars, and popular culture.

What does research look like for you? What element of research could you not live without?

Good music and great coffee.

What do you think the library of the future will look like?

Beats me. I just hope it exists!

What advice would you give to an aspiring scholar or writer?

To pay attention to the craft of writing, and to remember that inspiration and discipline feed one another.

And finally, what do you read for fun?

Fiction. I love novels.  I haven’t started it, but next up is Brit Bennett’s The Mothers.

Students in Professor Colleen Boggs's "Civil War Literatures" senior seminar this spring used a wide range of materials held in Rauner Special Collections Library to extend their study of literature beyond poetry and prose of the era. Their work has culminated in three exhibitions currently on display in Rauner.

"'We love to tie our exhibit spaces to student projects,' says Special Collections Librarian Jay Satterfield. 'It offers students a whole new way to present their research. Student-curated exhibits offer a real-world challenge by demanding that students communicate their ideas to the general public in a meaningful way. This is something that many people in the academic world find very difficult but is so essential to what we do.'"

Read the full article, published 6/12/15 by Dartmouth Now.

These covers are just too good. We couldn't resist a follow up to the Christmas posting. Pears' Soap issued it's own holiday annual to compete with the London Illustrated News called Pears' Annual.  The front cover was always a stunning holiday im...

These covers are just too good. We couldn't resist a follow up to the Christmas posting. Pears' Soap issued its own holiday annual to compete with the London Illustrated News called Pears' Annual.  The front cover was always a stunning holiday image and the back cover a suitably themed advertisement for Pears' Soap. In this case, the cover shows an infant 1894 ringing in the New Year and bidding the old 1893 farewell. A dead boar and fowl evoke the feasting of the season and the holly references Christmas.

The back cover shows the wonders of Pears' Soap with an image of an old man (could it be the same old man representing 1893 on the front?) invigorated and and pleased by his cleanly shaven chin. "Shaving a Luxury!" exclaims the headline.

Ask for Sine Serials AP4.349 and have a great 2015!

The Christmas tree, colorful packages, cards, the big family dinner... you know the schtick. You've seen it in the movies, heard it in so many Christmas carols, and perhaps even lived it. But how did that simple feast day from Medieval times turn into ...

The Christmas tree, colorful packages, cards, the big family dinner... you know the schtick. You've seen it in the movies, heard it in so many Christmas carols, and perhaps even lived it. But how did that simple feast day from Medieval times turn into such a big deal?  Was it, as Lucy Van Pelt claimed in A Charlie Brown Christmas, a result of a Big Eastern Syndicate?

The British Royal Family probably had more to do with it than any Syndicate. Prince Albert and Queen Victoria gathered their large family around a Christmas tree each year and celebrated with a feast. The public learned about it from the colorful annuals issued at the time. We have just finished cataloging an enormous collection of Victorian and Edwardian illustrated annuals. The color saturated chromolithograph covers did for Christmas what Norman Rockwell's Life covers did for the American Dream: richly and romantically illustrated it for middle class aspirations.

For some examples, ask for The Illustrated London News (Sine Serials AP4.I3) or Pears' Annual (Sine Serials AP4.P349)

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In late November 1773, the Nantucket whaling ship Dartmouth sailed into Boston harbor. Her cargo was tea, brought back from England after sailing there with a load of whale oil. At the time, much of the population of Boston had gotten a tad irritable about British taxation and duties on tea, so the Dartmouth was not allowed to unload her cargo. A few days later she was joined by the Eleanor, also loaded with tea and similarly detained in the harbor unable to unload. On December 15th, the Beaver arrived, and became the third ship that would, the next day, play a role in one of the pivotal events in this country’s fight for independence.

We all know what happened to that tea in Boston harbor on December 16, 1773.

However, I had forgotten from my American history lessons of long ago that one of the Boston Tea Party ships was named Dartmouth. She was the first ship built in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1767 for Francis Rotch of Nantucket, and was named for a section of Bedford. Sadly, the Dartmouth was lost at sea on the Atlantic during the summer of 1774.

There have been other ships named Dartmouth, including a brig built by J. N. Harvey in 1768 and listed in Lloyd’s register of shipping for 1776. It was this vessel that caused some confusion over the rigging when Ruth Edwards was researching the Boston Tea party ship Dartmouth for a commission she had been given by the Class of 1907. The class gave the painting of the Dartmouth to the College in 1967 in honor of its upcoming bicentennial.

During World War II, an oil tanker, the Dartmouth, and a victory type cargo ship, the Dartmouth Victory, were launched. About the same time, two liberty cargo ships were launched: the Samson Occom and the Eleazar Wheelock. I suspect there are other ship with Dartmouth connections, but the vessels carrying the name of Levi Woodbury, Class of 1809, and Secretary of the Navy, are too numerous to go into here.

Ask for Iconography 1368 to see the "Tea Party" Dartmouth.

In late November 1773, the Nantucket whaling ship Dartmouth sailed into Boston harbor. Her cargo was tea, brought back from England after sailing there with a load of whale oil. At the time, much of the population of Boston had gotten a tad irritable about British taxation and duties on tea, so the Dartmouth was not allowed to unload her cargo. A few days later she was joined by the Eleanor, also loaded with tea and similarly detained in the harbor unable to unload. On December 15th, the Beaver arrived, and became the third ship that would, the next day, play a role in one of the pivotal events in this country’s fight for independence.

We all know what happened to that tea in Boston harbor on December 16, 1773.

However, I had forgotten from my American history lessons of long ago that one of the Boston Tea Party ships was named Dartmouth. She was the first ship built in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1767 for Francis Rotch of Nantucket, and was named for a section of Bedford. Sadly, the Dartmouth was lost at sea on the Atlantic during the summer of 1774.

There have been other ships named Dartmouth, including a brig built by J. N. Harvey in 1768 and listed in Lloyd’s register of shipping for 1776. It was this vessel that caused some confusion over the rigging when Ruth Edwards was researching the Boston Tea party ship Dartmouth for a commission she had been given by the Class of 1907. The class gave the painting of the Dartmouth to the College in 1967 in honor of its upcoming bicentennial.

During World War II, an oil tanker, the Dartmouth, and a victory type cargo ship, the Dartmouth Victory, were launched. About the same time, two liberty cargo ships were launched: the Samson Occom and the Eleazar Wheelock. I suspect there are other ship with Dartmouth connections, but the vessels carrying the name of Levi Woodbury, Class of 1809, and Secretary of the Navy, are too numerous to go into here.

Ask for Iconography 1368 to see the "Tea Party" Dartmouth.

We have quite a few examples of books and ephemeral material that served as propaganda during the First and Second World Wars. But this one caught us a little off guard. Published in 1939 in Warsaw, L'armée et la marine de guerre Polonaises, looks like a typical 1930s show of military muscle. For the most part, it is images of tanks, airplanes, heavy artillery and troops training. But, timing is everything, so the image of Poland's bicycle brigade stands out. It proudly shows rows of Polish infantry sitting astride bicycles tricked out with rifles in the handlebars.

Published just months before Germany invaded from the West and the Soviet Union from the East, the bicycle brigade is now emblematic of just how ill-prepared Poland was to face either military force. It took just five weeks for the Germans and Soviets to seize and divide Poland.

To see the book, ask for Rare UA829.P7 K63 1939.

We have quite a few examples of books and ephemeral material that served as propaganda during the First and Second World Wars. But this one caught us a little off guard. Published in 1939 in Warsaw, L'armée et la marine de guerre Polonaises, looks like a typical 1930s show of military muscle. For the most part, it is images of tanks, airplanes, heavy artillery and troops training. But, timing is everything, so the image of Poland's bicycle brigade stands out. It proudly shows rows of Polish infantry sitting astride bicycles tricked out with rifles in the handlebars.

Published just months before Germany invaded from the West and the Soviet Union from the East, the bicycle brigade is now emblematic of just how ill-prepared Poland was to face either military force. It took just five weeks for the Germans and Soviets to seize and divide Poland.

To see the book, ask for Rare UA829.P7 K63 1939.