My name is Justin Burch and I am a History PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Several months ago I attended a talk by Dr. Adrienne K. who runs the popular and influential Native Appropriations blog. During the seminar, Dr. K spoke about her experience with blogging. From this, I was inspired to start my own blog. A couple of pieces of advice she shared with us have stayed with me and will guide me in this interesting new endeavor.
First, she told us that we should only start a blog for ourselves. No one should go into a project like this expecting large numbers of page views or hoping for some measure of fame. So I will use this forum to practice. Practice writing, and practice Historical investigation, argumentation, and experiment with new ideas. This blog will be a place where I go to work out ideas and thoughts on American History and in particular ideas about how America’s Global Empire was created and how it has and does work today. As a new presidential campaign begins in earnest this summer, I am sure many present day news items will inspire posts about our Global Empire and how we got here.
The Second piece of advice we received, was not to be afraid of the often messy process of blogging, where writing and ideas are formed and expressed digitally in a short expanse of time. This is not a conference paper. This is not a dissertation. This is not a peer reviewed article or book. We must, in this particular realm, “Consent to Learn in Public.” (I just love that phrase Dr. K shared with us). I will make mistakes and I will revise not only words and phrases, but also ideas and conclusions. If you happen to stumble on this humble blog, you will see the process of historical writing, thinking, and investigation at work.
I hope you enjoy the adventure, and I welcome any comments or suggestions you may have.
Justin E. Burch