Yes, it really is 12:27 am and yes, I’m really writing an entry to this blog. I took two Excedrin this afternoon after work to drive away a lurking migraine so that I could be coherent in Archives class. This plan worked, as far as it went, but now it is the early morning, and I really ought to be sleeping in preparation for my first morning at the DCR internship. Instead, I’m up on the computer, searching for a bakery that serves Boston Cream Pie, reading the latest on feministing, answering e-mail, listening to The Corrs Live in Dublin, and wondering when this late-September heat wave is going to end . . .
I do keep meaning to write that post on all the interesting theory we are reading in my History Methods class, but I’ve been frittering away my time building silly wiki pages and silly html pages for my “technology orientation requirement” and rooting around for a digital source for my history paper on using primary sources. The digital archives sources I have access to here, as a Simmons student, are mind blowing and time can get sucked into the void of historical enthusiasm with alarm speed. There’s this project called “Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000” that has an endless supply of women’s history diversions.
I chose a selection from the papers of the Oneida Community, a religious/free love/communitarian experiment that existed in upstate New York during the latter half of the nineteenth century. They report of a “criticism” of one of the women who lived in the community. “Criticism” was sort of like group therapy plus religious testimony: one member at a time would present themselves before the assembly and all the other people would talk about all the ways in which they could improve (morally, spiritually, socially, etc.). Yeah. Not my idea of a fun evening.
Oh, and I’m reading a fluffy novel ostensibly about eighteenth-century spies but which is really a regency romance in disguise (yes, bosoms do heave!) This actually connects rather nicely to the discussion we will be having tomorrow in History about the boundaries between historical fiction and non-fiction history (can the boundaries be drawn? where? are academic historians snobs? is historical fiction an affront to the profession?). That is, if we can make it passed the choppy waters of Foucault’s “The Repressive Hypothesis,” Joan Scott’s “Gender: A Useful Category for Analysis,” and Robert Darton’s The Great Cat Massacre. One fellow student said to me today, “I didn’t understand how they were connected at all!” Since I’m one of the discussion leaders, this is slightly worrying.
That having been said, I had best try to get some sleep, or other students’ struggles with postmodernism will be the least of my worries!