Secret Syllabus Redux

Tags: Diddly dum, diddly dum, diddly dum… wee wah wooooooo!

Two and a half addenda to my post about secret syllabi:

1. My colleague Bill Turkel assures me that his graduate course in digital history has no hidden syllabus; the questions he’s assigned his students are exactly the questions he’s wrestling with right now. In which case, I intend to get his students to see if they can hack my TiVo so it works in Canada. This reminds me: Bill’s course here at the University of Western Ontario and Josh Greenberg‘s similar course at George Mason University have unleashed twenty-six new history bloggers on the ‘sphere. Blogrollers take note, and completists despair.

2. The second half of my post was basically a mash note to Eric Rauchway… and that was written before he outed himself as a Whoey! If you thought I was a Rauchway fanboy before this, just watch me now. Eric sees the good Doctor (who?) as one in a long line of English heroes who are “crypto-foreigners,” used by their creators to meditate on what it means to be British. I’d add to his list Christopher Banks, the Consulting Detective from Kazuo Ishiguro’s When We Were Orphans, and, since he’s already opened the door to geek culture, the principals in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The other consequence of Rauchway’s post? If he can talk about Doctor Who at TNR‘s Open University, never again will I refrain from posting something at Cliopatria because I think it might be too nerdy.

2 1/2. I will be hosting History Carnival XL (extra large?) right here at Old Is The New New on Sunday, October 1. Keep those nominations coming to electromail – at – robmacdougall – org (not com) or use the handy form.


The Secret Syllabus

Tags: Aqua Teen Hunger Force; all Rauchway, all the time; is it good? Sir, it is pie.

Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it? The Secret Syllabus. It sounds like one of those erudite, but not too erudite, thrillers by photogenic Harvard undergrads who somehow score million-dollar advances for their first novels. Alas, it’s really just a blog post by me.
Read more


King Crank

Tags: Useless research. Yes, yes, clever of you to spot the irony.

So what was I up to in the Archives of Useless Research, you ask? Here (below the fold) is the prospectus for a paper I’ll be presenting in November at the University of Virginia, for a conference called “Inventing America: The Interplay of Technology and Democracy in Shaping American Identity,” loosely tied to the Benjamin Franklin tricentennial (I just can’t get away from that guy, can I?) and sponsored by the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. (I wonder if the AUR’s hollow earths, perpetual motion machines, and secrets of the pyramids revealed are the sort of invention and innovation the Lemelsons had in mind…)
Read more