Monday, December 10, 2012

Welcome to "The Junto"

I want to call your attention to a new early American history blog that has launched today.  It is called the "The Junto" and its contributors include young up-and-coming early Americanists who appear to be doing some very exciting work in the field.  I am really looking forward to reading this blog, learning from the authors, and linking to their posts.  Welcome to the early American history blogosphere!

Here is a taste of Ben Park's introductory post:

It is with great honor that I welcome you to The Junto, a new blog on early American history. Staffed by a host of young(ish) academics studying a broad range of topics—our brief bios are found at the end of the post, and more details are found on each individual author’s page—we aim to provide frequent content related to the academic study of America prior(ish) to the Civil War. But more than just serving as a sounding board for our authors and a clearinghouse for various news, events, and calls for papers, we hope that The Junto will become a vibrant community for the field of early American studies. 

We consciously define the adjectives “early” and “American” very broadly. Most of us either are or will soon be teaching the first half of the American history survey, which typically runs from colonization through 1860, and we will thus structure our very loose parameters around that time frame. We hope to incorporate numerous methodologies, subfields, disciplines, and topics so as to have as broad a reach as possible. When all else fails, we side on the side of inclusion. Our contributors come from a broad range of backgrounds and maintain divergent sets of interests, so we hope to have diverse discussions.

Besides blog posts detailing current research questions, recapping recent books and articles, and generally pontificating on the field, The Junto will have various special features including, but not limited to, interviews with distinguished scholars in the field, roundtables on various issues, book/movie/documentary reviews, and other interactive formats. (For instance, in January we will have a week-long roundtable on the “New New Political History,” as well as a series of reviews of the PBS Documentary The Abolitionists). We also hope to provide lively discussions on pedagogy, digital humanities, and the job market—three aspects that dominate many young academics’ lives.

I have written a bit about Juntos here and here.