History News Network announces the appearance of CLEOPATRIA: A Group Blog. Its name, with its allusions, is found in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake.
"Cliopatria" vaguely recalls the memory of Cleopatra, her beauty, her mystery, and her contingent power. More directly, it invokes the name of Clio, one of the nine muses in Greek mythology. Clio the Proclaimer was the muse of history, who was credited with bringing the Phoenician alphabet to Greece. She is often depicted in western art with a scroll and a small library of books. In his work for the Spectator, Joseph Addison, who perfected the essay and pioneered the novel as English literary forms, used her name as a pseudonym. The Latinate "patria" would refer to one's place of origin, a father's home or a native land. We speak from and of history as our place of beginnings, in which we act, through which we move, and to which we owe some allegiance. As a word of both Greek and Latin roots, to say nothing of the Egyptian allusion, "Cliopatria" is also a barbaric hybrid. It suggests the plurality of our origins and degrees of alienation. We are not obliged to agree with, only to listen carefully and respectfully to, each other.
The historians at "Cliopatria" are:
Timothy Burke, a historian of Africa who teaches cultural studies at Swarthmore. He maintains his own blog, Easily Distracted, and his contributions enliven discussions at Erin O'Connor's Critical Mass, Crooked Timber, Invisible Adjunct, and elsewhere. He has published Lifebuoy Men, Lux Women: Commodification, Consumption, and Cleanliness in Modern Zimbabwe, a monograph with remarkably wide-ranging implications, and with his brother, Kevin, Saturday Morning Fever: Growing Up With Cartoon Culture, a study of the Saturday morning cartoons and Generation X.
Oscar Chamberlain, best known to readers at History News Network for his contributions on a broad range of issues on the HNN comment boards. At the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, and UW, Barron County, he lectures on the history of science and American ante-bellum and constitutional history. Oscar has contributed poetry and a personal essay to The Red Cedar Review. A member of the City of Rice Lake Plan Commission, he hosted Jazz and New Age music programs from 1995-2000 at WOJB, the radio station of the Lac Courte Oreilles band of the Ojibwe.
Kenneth Heineman, who maintained a blog on HNN about a year ago. He is a professor of history at Ohio University at Lancaster and the author of four books: Campus Wars: The American Peace Movement at State Universities in the Viet Nam Era, God is a Conservative: Religion, Politics, and Morality in Contemporary America, A Catholic New Deal: Religion and Reform in Depression Pittsburgh, and Put Your Bodies Upon the Wheels: Student Revolt in the 1960s.
Robert "KC" Johnson, whose struggle for tenure at Brooklyn College is near legendary. KC's impressive scholarship in 20th century American diplomatic and political history is more important to us. Already, it includes many articles and four books, Washington. 20. Januar 1961, Ernest Gruening and the American Dissenting Tradition, The Peace Progressives and American Foreign Relations, and On Cultural Ground: Essays in International History. He expects to publish four more books in the next three years.
Ralph E. Luker, an independent scholar in Atlanta, is the author of The Social Gospel in Black and White: American Racial Reform, 1885-1912 and the Historical Dictionary of the Civil Rights Movement. He edited the memoirs of Mary White Ovington, co-edited the first two volumes of The Papers of Martin Luther King and currently is the editor of The Papers of Vernon Johns.
Mary Catherine Moran's 1999 dissertation at Johns Hopkins, "From Rudeness to Refinement: Gender, Genre, and Scottish Enlightenment Discourse," is already widely cited by historians. An active participant in 18th and 19th century British studies conferences both in the United States and abroad, she has an essay in Frank Trentmann's Paradoxes in Civil Society: New Perspectives on Modern German and British History. Moran is also just completing a critical edition of Lord Henry Home Kames's Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion (1779) for Knud Haakonssen's Liberty Fund series, "Natural Law and Enlightenment Classics." MC, as she is sometimes known, is an adjunct assistant professor of history at Columbia University.
Wilson J. Moses, Ferree Professor of American History and Senior Fellow of the Arts and Humanities Institute at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of The Golden Age of Black Nationalism: 1850-1925, Black Messiahs and Uncle Toms: Social and Literary Manipulations of a Religious Myth, Alexander Crummell: A Study of Civilization and Discontent, The Wings of Ethiopia: Studies in African-American Life and Letters, and Afrotopia: The Roots of African American Popular History. As a documentary editor, Wilson has published Destiny and Race: Selected Writings of Alexander Crummell, 1840-1898, Classical Black Nationalism from the American Revolution to Marcus Garvey, and Liberian Dreams: Back-to-Africa Narratives from the 1850s. His current book, Creative Conflict in African American Thought, will be published by Cambridge University Press. Wilson has been a Fulbright professor at the Free University of Berlin and at the University of Vienna.
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