Monday, February 18, 2013

Feb. 18

The first reading was in Hayden's The Power of Place about the building of a memorial to Biddy Mason. The  memorial to Biddy Mason is situated in the Broadway Spring Center. When building the center the planners contacted Hayden's group The Power of Place and asked for a suggestion, as the center is built over the original homestead. Hayden describes the teamwork and effort that went into creating this lasting monument.

(Courtesy of
Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz is one mans journey through the south in search of the Civil War and how it lives on today. Horwitz's experiences with the believers of the Southern cause are very entertaining. From the first "Hardcore" reenactors to the flag wielding Kentuckians you get a glimpse into the minds of the people who still live with the ghosts of the war in their backyards.The extremes to which they will go to preserve and commemorate the ideals of the Lost cause be it starving themselves to look like authentic soldiers or holding huge town meetings to save a school mascot.  And just cause it made me laugh out loud "Tim you've been peeing on your buttons again".

The three online readings focused on the slave narrative in our history. In Historiann we see that despite the huge impact slavery had in the south not many of the musuems to historical places want to share that history. It is best to gloss over the largest population that lived on all the plantaions in favor of focusing on the beauty of the house and the family that inhabited it. Coffmans letter was a little different. That of a white man remembering his experiences with slavery and the ills that befell both the slave and the master who treated them badly. Then of course the rewriting of history though pictures as shown in the Hndler and Tuite essay. 

The website for the CSV is a one sided view of the war and its causes. In the store you can purchase what I'm sure are the most well regarded books on the War and other paraphernalia of the south. The site might come in handy if you have ancestors from the south because they do have an extensive network of genealogists in their ranks.                                                                                                                  

And to quote the fantastic youtube video "the South never won no war sir"


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Feb 11.

In the first section of Delores Hayden's The Power of Place she discusses place in both the physical and social aspects. "Place is one of the trickiest words in the English language, a suitcase so overfilled one can never shut the lid"(15)
In the the first chapter the physical aspect of place was discussed, specifically architecture and historical importance. Using a debate between Herbert J. Gans and Louise Huxtable, Hayden shows us the differing viewpoints that exist in the preservation of buildings and neighborhoods. One side based on structural beauty the other on social importance, Upper west side versus the Bronx.
(Courtesy of                            (Courtesy of

In the second we delve into the social meanings of place. Place will shape a person in their views of gender and race. Raised in a predominately white area with strong male dominance and little to no interaction with other races will create a toatlly different person then one raised in a multicultural city.

The last chapter uses specific examples of different groups and the attempt at preservation. A book Brass Valley led to the emergance of ethnic and cultural preservation among the working class such as the chinatown history project. The preservation of the important places of the woman's suffrage movement in New York and the Black heritage Trail in Boston.    

Monday, February 4, 2013

Feb. 4
The essay by James T. Sparrow discusses the evolving world of history and the internet. The difficulties many historians are having going from the physical realm of museums and collections to the digital age. In some respects I agree with the old school historians that need to see the real object to prove it's validity, but at the same time going to my computer and doing a search is much easier then the going to a library or archive. We also lose security and legitimacy, any nut job can create a website go and type in 9/11 and see what you get. The internet is far from a secure place Sparrows own project has been hacked(go to the special collections tab its the third collection "Here is New York"). Nevertheless the digital age is here good and bad we need to adapt.