“Can Cookery,” 1928

“In the 1920s, anything that could be canned, was: Can Cookery employs canned veal loaf, canned cod cakes, canned lobster, and canned strawberries as well as more familiar fruits and vegetables and of course tuna fish.”

Historian Anita Guerrini explores the history of canned food in her latest post on Anatomia Animalia.

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Why I Have a Hard Time Saying #JeSuisCharlie

“Of course, offensive speech does not justify murder… But I think these most responses evade, rather than engage, the moral dimensions that surround satire.” Read more of Joseph Orosco’s insightful response on The Anarres Project for Alternative Futures website.

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Seeing the Oceans According to Our Values

Jacob Darwin Hamblin’s essay on how “seeing the oceans” has changed over time was published in the June 2014 issue of Isis.  The title is “Seeing the Oceans in the Shadow of Bergen Values.”  It begins with a discussion of how the oceanographer Roger Revelle is lionized today because of his role collecting data on the carbon cycle, and for having inspired many people (including Al Gore).    As he says in the essay, “historians examining documents from 1950s oceanography will look in vain for this hero of the environmental movement. Oceanographers of that era were more likely to be found helping to blow up atolls in the Pacific than trying to save the earth.”

Read more including a link to the full essay on Prof. Hamblin’s blog.

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WWI Panel Convened at OSU Special Collections

72431244_97764402_getty_graphic_soldier_andfield_of_poppies-300x176What did WWI mean for the concept of citizenship and for citizens as they experienced and later commemorated the sacrifices made?

History of Science graduate students Tamara Caulkins and Matt McConnell review and discuss the recent WW1 panel discussion held at the Special Collections and Archives Research Center.

Read their full article on the History of Science


You can watch all four presentations on the Citizenship and Crisis homepage at:

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World War 1: A Reader’s Guide

SleepwalkersAs you are aware by now I am an historian, and a historian’s answer to almost any question is something like: ‘ there must be a book about that; I need to find it (them); I need to read it (them).’

With that in mind I want to provide a brief list of books that I have found helpful as I have tried to gain a better understanding of the war in which my great-uncle died.  This is by no means an extensive list – there have been thousands of books written about the war and I have not even scratched the surface.  Still, you have to begin somewhere.  If you find any of these interesting, do what trained historians do – keep reading!

(S. Rubert)

You can read the full list of WW1 must-read books on Dr. Rubert’s blog ‘Exploring WW1.’

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Hamblin Wins the 2014 Paul Birdsall Prize

Jacob Darwin HamblinCongratulations go out to Jacob Darwin Hamblin, associate professor of history at Oregon State University, who has been selected as the winner of the 2014 Paul Birdsall Prize for his latest book Arming Mother Nature: The Birth of Catastrophic Environmentalism (Oxford University Press, 2013).

The Birdsall Prize is awarded biennially by the American Historical Association (AHA) to honor the most important work published in English on European military or strategic history since 1870. The prize will be awarded during a ceremony at the Association’s 129th Annual Meeting in New York, NY, January 2-5, 2015.

Get your copy here!

Dr. Hamblin is also the Director of the new Environmental Arts and Humanities Initiative at Oregon State.   You can learn more about Dr. Hamblin here.

Hamblin’s book was selected by a prize review committee of AHA members including Jonathan Reed Winkler, Chair (Wright State Univ.), Nicoletta F. Gullace (Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham), and David Holloway (Stanford Univ.).

“Hamblin has crafted an international history of the creation of ‘catastrophic environmentalism,’ the idea that mankind could and should interfere with the environment to achieve strategic ends,” commented Jonathan Reed Winkler, the 2014 Paul Birdsall Prize Committee chair and associate professor of history at Wright State University. “The implications of his discoveries will reach beyond the fields of military and strategic history.”

The Birdsall Prize was established in 1985 by a generous gift from Professor Hans Gatzke, who remained anonymous until his death. Paul Birdsall (d. 1970) was a historian of European diplomatic and military affairs and a foreign service officer.

The American Historical Association is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1884 and incorporated by Congress in 1889 for the promotion of historical studies. The AHA provides leadership for the discipline, protects academic freedom, develops professional standards, aids in the pursuit and publication of scholarship, and supplies various services to sustain and enhance the work of its members. As the largest organization of historians in the United States, the AHA is comprised of over 13,000 members and serves historians representing every historical period and geographical area.

For further information, visit www.historians.org or call 202-544-2422.

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WW1 and Poetry at Flander’s Field

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

I should have asked by friend Chris,  a published poet and professor of English, to verify my hunch – that there was more poetry written during the First World War (WW1) than any other war.   Authors of virtually every general history of the war I’ve read use poems throughout their narratives; poems to try and convey the emotions of war the impact of the events on the individual; the pain of losing a friend or seeing so many die.  As a rule, a poet connects with those aspects of being human much better than we historians.

Read more from Steve Rubert on ‘Poetry and War’ on his timely blog Exploring World War I in Belgium and The Netherlands.

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