Weekly Wanderings: Nittany Lions Edition

▪ I spent last Tuesday and Wednesday visiting Penn State, where history professors David Atwill and Kate Merkel-Hess (a fellow UCI History graduate) had invited me to talk with their grad students about getting a PhD and then going into a non-academic career. I also gave a presentation on the Zhang Leping biography that I’veContinue reading “Weekly Wanderings: Nittany Lions Edition”

Bookshelf: The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright

Publishers like it when a book falls into a clearly defined category, especially if that category is a popular one that might rate a table display at a bookstore. A biography of George Washington, obviously, gets shelved with those of other Founding Fathers, and they are all, unquestionably, grouped under the larger heading of “AmericanContinue reading “Bookshelf: The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright

Weekly Wanderings: September 30, 2016

▪ As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge Ghostbusters fan; were it not for the condo regulations in my development, I’d definitely have a 13-foot-high inflatable Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man on my front lawn for the next month. My brother assures me that my still furniture-free living room is large enough to accommodate him, but IContinue reading “Weekly Wanderings: September 30, 2016”

The Uncompromising Jill Lepore

I’ve mentioned here before my enormous history-geek fangirling for Harvard professor and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore. Lepore is an excellent example of someone who works inside and outside “the academy” (aka the university) with equal success, which is one of the reasons I have so much admiration for her (the other being theContinue reading “The Uncompromising Jill Lepore”