1st 2009
Happy New Year!

Posted under: fluff, Gender

Another year down the rabbit hole, and happy birthday to Historiann.com!  Actually, I think my first post went “live” on December 31, 2007–you’ll see some older posts in the archive, but that was when my designer and I were just tinkering around and working out the format and look of the thing.  So perhaps today is Historiann’s un-birthday instead?  (Cake at left courtesy of Cakewrecks, natch.) 

Originally, I envisioned this blog as a way to help publicize the Fourteenth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women held last June, and to provide a forum for discussion of women’s history and gender issues in contemporary life.  Things got political very quickly when I got swept up in the Democratic primary race last winter and spring and the general election in the fall, and I also dipped my toe into academic politics in various posts on the uses and abuses of tenure and academic bullying

One of the things I’ve noticed especially this year is the almost complete absence of feminist commentary and analysis in the mainstream media.  (Joan Walsh at Salon.com, and Marie Cocco of the Washington Post Writers Group, are the only two exceptions I can think of.)  I think academic feminist bloggers are doing a real service in providing this analysis, albeit on their own time and their own dime–Feminist Law Profs, Tenured Radical, Echidne of the Snakes, The Global Sociology Blog, Roxie’s World, WOC Ph.D., and Anglachel’s Journal, just to name a few that I read regularly. 

Dr. Crazy had a very interesting post a few weeks ago on the advantages of blogging anonymously.  As many of you know, she is pseudonymous, but her blog is not linked to her real name or professional identity other than her discipline (English.)  I agree with her that anonymous bloggers can write about things that those of us whose blogs are linked to our professional identities can’t.  Sometimes I regret that–but because this blog was originally meant to publicize a conference in which I played a major role, being anonymous wasn’t a comfortable option for me.  I also wanted to write more about my professional research and teaching interests–and since there are only (maybe?) three dozen early American women’s historians in this country, it would not have been difficult to track me down.  In general, it seems like the people who blog under their real names (or whose pseudonyms are linked to their real names, like Historiann) don’t share as much about their personal or family lives or their specific work environments, whereas anonymous academic bloggers share more of those things but don’t reveal as much about their professional lives or research interests.  That’s the main trade-off.  I realize, however, that even having the choice of blogging anonymously or blogging as myself is itself a privilege–most of the “out” bloggers I know are tenured, and most of the anonymous bloggers are junior faculty or adjuncts. 

I don’t know what exactly this blog will look like at this time next year, or how long I can keep up this pace of posting, but it’s still fun for me, and I am grateful to have so many very smart, very insightful commenters.  I’ve really learned a lot from you all.  Thank you.


16 Responses to “Happy New Year!”

  1. Susan on 01 Jan 2009 at 11:00 am #

    Happy Blogiversary! I love having your voice around, now that we’re not just thinking about the Berks.

  2. Historiann on 01 Jan 2009 at 11:10 am #

    Thanks, Susan–and thanks for being an early and regular commenter, when there weren’t that many others!

  3. ortho stice on 01 Jan 2009 at 11:36 am #

    Happy New Year, Historiann! I enjoyed reading your blog last year, and look forward to reading it this year.

  4. squadratomagico on 01 Jan 2009 at 12:14 pm #

    Happy Blogiversary, Historiann! And Happy 2009!

  5. Janice on 01 Jan 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    I am so happy to have stumbled across your blog this year and always look forward to your posts.

    As a formerly anonymous blogger, I took the plunge this year to start blogging under my own name. It’s been a switch and I’m still finding my new voice so I can sympathize with any struggles you’ve had (though they’ve never been obvious to my reading, at least).

  6. GayProf on 01 Jan 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    Given that my Diana-Prince alter ego is the worst kept secret on the internet, I feel that I blog only with partial-anonymity. When I first started blogging, I never thought anybody would actually read the blog (much less know who was behind it). Knowing what I know today, I would definitely not write many of the entries from that first year.

    Happy New Year, HistoriAnn! It’s a kick having you around the blogosphere.

  7. Historiann on 01 Jan 2009 at 12:57 pm #

    Hey–thanks to you all for the encouragement and support. I’ve learned a lot from all of your blogs–my retro cowgirl icons are a pretty clear rip-off of GayProf’s Wonder Woman image library. And Squadratomagico generously shared some thoughts and ideas about blogging when I was a newbie.

    Hooray for WWW 2.0!

  8. Ann Bartow on 01 Jan 2009 at 2:40 pm #

    Happy Birthday from me too!

    I like Dr. Crazy’s blog and I think she handles her pseudonymity very ethically. But not all academic bloggers do, or bloggers generally, unfortunately. I though Tenured Radical said a lot of true and important things here: http://feministlawprofs.law.sc.edu/

    Last year I was on a panel with a straight (married to a women and says he is straight) male academic who blogs and comments both as a gay man and as a woman, for kicks, or so he said, and because it is “liberating.” He sent me a link to his gay persona blog and damned if he didn’t pepper his posts with asides like “as a gay man I …”

  9. Ann Bartow on 01 Jan 2009 at 2:41 pm #

    Whoops, the link to Tenured Radical’s post is here:


    Sorry about that!

  10. Raye Craig on 01 Jan 2009 at 9:15 pm #

    Happy New Year!

    I’ve just discovered you… I was looking for tips on repairing a vintage doll (it’s a 1940′s early plastic and it smells like a damned soul…it’s approaching the nothing to lose stage so any tips are welcome)…

    Anyway, what a great blog, Historiann! I can’t wait to take a leisurely scroll through the archives. Fascinating so far!


  11. Notorious Ph.D. on 01 Jan 2009 at 10:03 pm #

    Ann, I hope you find the continued enthusiasm, time, and will to keep this going. It’s my favorite academic-authored blog, and I tell people so all the time.

  12. Indyanna on 01 Jan 2009 at 10:51 pm #

    It’s been a great year. I almost miss the intensity of March-April when the primaries were going crazy, but it’s all been fun, the Barbies, the Berks, the clickable graphics, the whole thing. Thanks for doing this!

  13. nicolec on 01 Jan 2009 at 10:54 pm #

    I love your blog…thanks for doing it. I imagine it takes a lot of time so I appreciate your insight (and for free!)

  14. Declan on 02 Jan 2009 at 6:26 am #

    Happy all that Historiann. I also second/third/fifth all the above commenters.

  15. Historiann on 02 Jan 2009 at 6:46 am #

    Thanks to you all–you’re very kind.

  16. prof bw on 09 Jan 2009 at 4:58 am #

    thanks historiann and happy blogiversary!

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