An Interview with Sider Institute Director Devin Manzullo-Thomas

Today I’m happy to introduce readers to Devin Manzullo-Thomas, the new director of the Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan Studies at Messiah College. Actually, frequent readers may already recognize Devin’s name, as I’ve mentioned his work from time to time — including his contribution to the Covenant Quarterly issue on Pietism that I … More An Interview with Sider Institute Director Devin Manzullo-Thomas

Commemorating WWII: The Memorial as a Work of Public History

While taking notes earlier this month at the Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial in Rochester, MN, I couldn’t help but overhear the following from another (rather loud) visitor: Kids should come here and read all this stuff because they don’t teach [it] in school. Yes, and no. (Well, more like: yes, and NO!) Yes: there is … More Commemorating WWII: The Memorial as a Work of Public History

Best of The Pietist Schoolman: “All have sinned”

150 years ago today, the courts-martial of over 300 Dakota warriors came to an end with convictions for murder and rape. While Pres. Abraham Lincoln commuted most of the sentences, the day after Christmas 1862, thirty-eight were hanged in Mankato, Minnesota. In commemoration, here’s a post on the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 that I originally … More Best of The Pietist Schoolman: “All have sinned”

Crowdsourcing and the Practice of History

This semester I’m directing an independent study on the theory and practice of public history by a student who’s interested in pursuing graduate study in that increasingly popular field. In our weekly conversation on Wednesday, we talked about his initial impressions of how public historians have tried to define what it is that they do. … More Crowdsourcing and the Practice of History

“All have sinned”: The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862

Last Friday I decided to put syllabus revision on hold and spend an afternoon continuing my tour of World War I commemoration in the Twin Cities by visiting Fort Snelling, the nearly 200-year old former military installation at the convergence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers that trained officers, processed recruits and draftees, and housed … More “All have sinned”: The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862

Dickens World

One week ago today Charles Dickens turned 200. For some, it was the most important thing to happen in England in 2012, a year in which London will host the Summer Olympics for the first time in over 60 years. I’m almost positive it was the most important thing to happen in the English town … More Dickens World

“Cathedrals of the Modern World”: Introduction

Museums are the cemeteries of the arts. (Alphonse de Lamartine) Even their fans must admit that museums can feel like places where the past (or, for the poet Lamartine, art) gets embalmed and entombed. According to historian Jay Winter — already quoted multiple times in this series on exploring the history of World War I … More “Cathedrals of the Modern World”: Introduction