May
23rd 2009
Weekend round-up: who’s misbehavin’? edition

Posted under: American history, book reviews, Gender, GLBTQ, Intersectionality, jobs, race, women's history

cowgirllassofenceHey there, dudes and city slickers–I’m still in the Golden State, but fortunately, other bloggers are hard at work keeping the internets crackling with fabulousness.  I’m still recovering from the very intense conference I was a part of this week, but here are a few goodies I’ve lassoed and tied up for you:

  • Tenured Radical on Clarence Walker and his new book, Mongrel Nation:  the American Begotten by Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.  She says that Walker calls out “historians and other guardians of the White Republic” have been central to the denial that “racial amalgamation was foundational to the making of the United States. . . . Among the assumptions he takes on are: that people always mean what they say (Jefferson’s writings about his revulsion for miscegenation, particularly in Notes On The State Of Virginia, have been a constant rebuttal to an alternative history of Monticello); that the history of family is the history of order and respectability (equally strong evidence suggests that respectable families remain respectable in part by lying about and condoning the sexual escapades of family members); that private convictions are consistent with public evidence (I have two words for you — Strom Thurmond); and that one can usually frame and interpret evidence by generalizing about historical phenomena, identities or power relations (all sex between white men and black women was rape; mixed-race people always identified, and were identified as, socially and culturally black; white men who established the foundational principles of democracy told the truth, kept their promises, and were ruled by reason, not lust.)”
  • GayProf’s advice to queer scholars on the job market.  To summarize:  consider being out during the search process, don’t be afraid to ask questions, expect the bizarre, and think about what moving to a particular location would mean for you.
  • Dr. Isis delivers a smackdown on lectures as to how she should talk about sex discrimination and feminism:  “[T]hese repeated discussions on how to keep the discourse civil, discussions in which women cannot participate with equity, are ridiculous. It’s easy to consider a civil discourse when you’ve never had your ass grabbed by a colleague, been called “young lady” in front of your peers, or been asked about your reproductive plans.  It’s easy to ask the participants to be calm, and minimize profanity, when you don’t have to keep in the back of you mind which which men to avoid at a meeting when they’ve been drinking. I am confident that, if men were placed in this position, the discourse would be anything but civil. I think there would be open brawling in the streets.  And, frankly, I have more respect for a man who will stand up to misogyny with me with a hearty ‘f^(k you’ than a man who will tells me he agrees with me, but then also questions whether my anger was expressed in a way that contributed to his development.”  (Emphasis Historiann’s.) 

Don’t spend too much time on-line this weekend–get out and enjoy the best weekend of the year, with summer stretching out before us almost endlessly…I’m off to lunch with Notorious Ph.D. myself!  Happy trails, and I’ll see you all next week when I’m back at my ranch on the High Plains Desert.  Love y’all!  Stay out of trouble, friends, and be good to your horses.

8 Comments »

8 Responses to “Weekend round-up: who’s misbehavin’? edition”

  1. Indyanna on 23 May 2009 at 12:41 pm #

    …stretching out *almost* endlessly, I guess, is the operative term, Historiann. Would that it were otherwise. Glad to hear the Hanging Gardens and Libraries etc. are treating you well. It/s pretty nice on the East Coast as well, for the time being anyway. Have a safe trip back.

  2. Isis the Scientist on 23 May 2009 at 8:40 pm #

    Thanks for the shout-out, Historiann! You rule!!!

  3. Rad Readr on 23 May 2009 at 11:28 pm #

    NEWS FLASH – Historiann sighting in the OC! Word is she’ll be running on the beach tomorrow a.m.

  4. Notorious Ph.D. on 23 May 2009 at 11:35 pm #

    No misbehaving here — but it was great to get to meet up with you!

  5. Art, history, colonialism, and violence: my weekend in the O.C. : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present on 26 May 2009 at 9:30 am #

    [...] I spent the weekend in Ocean County with Rad Readrand his family:  Mrs. Readr, Mini-Rad, Marxist Deluxe, and their rescued greyhound Marcus.  (The [...]

  6. Mongrel Nation « Seminario Permanente de Teoría y Crítica on 28 May 2009 at 11:08 pm #

    [...] May 2009 · No Comments See Historiann on the Tenured Radical on Clarence Walker’s book, and then click through to the TR [...]

  7. Herbert Barger on 18 Aug 2009 at 8:28 am #

    For more accurate reading of the Jefferson-Hemings DNA Study I suggest the reader go to: http://www.tjheritage.org and http://www.jeffersondna.com.

    Dr Walker and Prof. Gordon-Reed are doing a disservice to our nation and their students by writing definitevly that Thomas Jefferson fathered 7 of Sally Hemings children. There is ABSOLUTELY NO PROOF of this! For REAL research by a team of 13 senior scholars please read the Scholars Commission Report from the suggested web pages.

    I assisted Dr. Foster with the test and there was NO PROOF of such a finding. The original Campaign Lie by James Callender in 1802 was proven just that, A LIE, by the DNA test……….NO Jefferson/Woodson match.

    Dr Foster KNEW he was testing a man who descended from the Eston Hemings family and if their oral claims were true, that they descend from “a Jefferson uncle or nephew”, meaning TJ’s brother, Randolph, then there would be an automatic match……and there was. This indicates their oral beliefs were true…NOT THOMAS. Dr Foster refused to give this information to Nature as I had strongly suggested, thus HE and THETY were able to concoct a FALSE headline, “Jefferson fathers slave’s last child.”

    The public is being CONNED by such irresponsible research by these members of academia and Monticello intrepetation of biased results. NOTHING proves TJ guilty as charged by these people. Mt. Holyoke removed Professor Joseph Ellis for one year for LYING to his students as exposed in the Boston Globe. It is to be noted that this SAME Professor Joe Ellis, wrote glowing words about Annette Gordon-Reed’s latest book, The Hemingses of Monticello. He ALSO co-wrote a a damning UNTRUTHFUL report in Nature and in other media.

    Herb Barger
    Jefferson Family Historian
    Founder, Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society
    Asst. to Dr. E.A. Foster

  8. Historiann on 18 Aug 2009 at 9:28 am #

    Herbert, thanks for your comment, but I’ll just suggest that denial is not just a river in Egypt, and Hagiography is not just a Catholic thing.

    Count me in the camp with the impeccable and award-winning scholarship. The American historical profession has rendered its judgment, and the likeliest scenario is that TJ is the father of all of Sally Hemings’ children. There is no other reasonable conclution for those of us who know more than a little about the social and cultural (and family) history of 18th and 19th C colonial American and U.S. Southern plantation communities. Please acquaint yourself with the feminist and African American scholarship on this. You just might learn something.

    I truly don’t understand what’s in it for you or anyone living today to “defend” Jefferson against what you see as spurious “accusations.” He may have been a rapist, as were many, many (if not most) other slave masters in the Old South. He may have had an ongoing and loving relationship with an African American woman. Which is more disturbing to you? (I think he was more of a rapist than anything else, myself, but that’s neither here nor there.) But he’s long dead, and no one is putting him on trial–can’t we talk about this like adults? Why is it so hard to imagine that Jefferson was not the pillar of virtue for the ages that some 19th and 20th C historians invented, but rather a man of his place and time and a prisoner of history, like all of us? He was a wealthy slaveowner, and one of the privileges that wealthy slaveowners claimed was sexual access to enslaved women.

    (And, dude–what’s with the ALL CAPS? In case you’re new to the internets, you might want to know that it’s not more persuasive to be read as screaming in people’s faces.)