This past week I received an email from a reader expressing concern about what he perceived to be a decrease in the frequency of new blog posts here at Civil War Memory. Here is the deal. Continue reading
Over the past few years there has been no shortage of commentary pointing to the death of blogging. The prediction has been that people would continue to abandon long-form writing for platforms such as Facebook and Twitter which favor short bursts of commentary in exchange for instant feedback. Continue reading
Last week I responded to an op-ed written by Jason Steinhauer, who in recent years has been a passionate advocate for encouraging academic historians and others to embrace the role of History Communicator. Steinhauer recently assumed leadership at the Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest at Villanova University. As I understand it, Steinhauer wants departments to teach and for those already in the field to learn how to effectively engage the general public and share their knowledge through social media and other platforms. Continue reading
Jason Steinhauer thinks so. In a brief op-ed published at CNN Steinhauer calls on academic historians to take up arms behind their keyboards and “interject their expertise into contested exchanges about the past” on twitter. He sees historians such Heather Cox Richardson, Kevin Kruse, and Joanne Freeman as models of such engagement. Continue reading
I am happy to share with you my first piece to appear at Smithsonian.com on the influence of fake news stories on the 2016 presidential election and its implications for how we teach history. Like many of you I am troubled, though not surprised, by the inability of seemingly smart people to spot fake news or distinguish between reputable and problematic websites. Continue reading
I am happy to announce that the first three episodes of Keith Harris’s new podcast, The Rogue Historian, is now live and yours truly is the guest for Episode 1. Keith, as all of you know, is a blogger, historian, and this year a full time high school history teacher. Check out his website for all of his activities. Keith is very active in finding creative ways to share his love of history with the general public.
We focused on the myth of the black Confederate soldier, which is the subject of my current book project. We talked about a wide range of issues related to the subject so definitely check it out when you have a chance.
This year twitter is being embraced by folks who disapprove of proclamations issued by state and local governments recognizing April as Confederate Heritage Month. The hashtag #ConfederateHeritageMonth has produced a healthy clip of tweets over the past few weeks. I have added a few of my own ‘Another Moment in Confederate Heritage Month” tweets, including one today that recognizes the 151st anniversary of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.
And now for your #ConfederateHeritageMonth Moment: On this day, 151 years ago, Robert E. Lee SURRENDERED.
— Kevin Levin (@KevinLevin) April 9, 2016
When historians look back on how the Civil War was remembered and commemorated during the 150th they will have to come to terms with the important role that social media played in shaping and giving voice to the nation’s collective memory.
This morning I decided to join a new Facebook group devoted to black Confederate soldiers. Once approved I responded to two posts. The first, not surprisingly, was a re-posting of the Atlanta Black Star piece that I commented on earlier this week. I simply noted that the accompanying image was that of Union soldiers and not Confederate. The second was a response to a post claiming that Silas Chandler served as a Confederate soldier.
In addition, I noticed that one of the group’s administrators grew up in the Boston neighborhood in which I currently reside. I fired off a quick message. Within two hours I was banned from the group and a few minutes ago I received the following message from the administrator. Continue reading