My friend Historianess (aka Rebecca Goetz, Professor of History at Rice University) is back! She began blogging as "Musings of a Graduate Student" back in the Stone Age (2002), when bloggers had to chisel out their posts on stone tablets, later to be deciphered by experts in ancient scripts. A few years ago, she went on semi-hiatus as she worked on completing what is going to be a major book (coming out with Johns Hopkins later) on conceptions of race and religion in colonial Virginia (more on the book when its due date is closer). Now she has revived Historianess, with some new clothes and a new move Uptown to a wordpress.com address!
In one of her initial posts, she takes on a hardy perennial of colonial religious history -- religious New England versus the irreligious grasping Chesapeake colonies. It makes for a nice contrast in class, useful for a pedagogical tool for students -- which was the "real" early America? Are we more religious, or are we more material, as a country, or can one draw such contrasts. Hardy perennials for the undergraduate classroom discussion-starter, like the little batch of sourdough that you keep using to bake bread.
But like most oversimplifications, or like the sourdough left out uncovered and ready for the resident cat to lap it up, it doesn't hold up very well to much scrutiny or exposure. She writes: