“Water/L’Eau” exhibition

Two of my drawings, "Hunt Club" and "Gin Rock I. to Brébeuf I. " are part of the "Water /L'Eau" exhibition at Quest Art School and Gallery in Midland, Ontario, which opens June 15. I plan to be there for the opening, 2-4 pm, if you want to say hi. Also: I take terrible photos... Continue Reading →

Columbus, Indians, and the Guanches

Never mind notions of spreading Christianity to the benighted of the world, or pursuing humanity’s insatiable love of adventure: money, then as now, sought fresh opportunity, and where opportunities were not at hand, they needed to be created. Columbus sailed out of an Old World that was at that moment focused on a fresh round of subjugation, in the Canaries, and he exported its sensibilities to the New World that he did find.

Should it stay, or should it go?

No matter what you write, if you’ve done your research thoroughly, your first draft is probably going to be too long. If you’ve never written a book, the thought of having at least 80,000 words to fill might seem daunting rather than a restriction. For people who have asked me to help them write a... Continue Reading →

Microbiography: Turn over all stones

In my blog post on book breaking (and the version published by Slate), I wrote of two items that ought to belong in an academic historian’s tool kit: narrative and microbiography. Narrative requires a blog post of its own (but no, I did not mean writing fancy sentences and dumbing down serious work for the... Continue Reading →

Pseudohistorians claim scholars are hostile to innovative ideas. Do they have a point?

Spend any time listening to or reading the words of people in the pseudohistory and pseudoarchaeology worlds, and you will encounter a standard riposte to scholarly objections to their theories and evidence. The scholarly world is a closed shop that suppresses innovative ideas of outsiders—even of its own accredited members—in order to preserve Ivory Tower privileges. My own recent work as a scholar has led me to evaluate whether they might have a point.

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