Discussion A Pernicious Waste of Scholarly Time

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW:REGISTER HERE!

DRW

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
823
Location
New York
I have not read Hess’s article yet. It summarizes survey results with commentary by some historians.

I see a lot of younger historians using social media quite a bit, so there may be a generational divide between digital natives and the over-50 set.

Some of the best known under-50 historians Tweet, and use Facebook to communicate with each other and the interested public. A smaller number blog. A few make podcasts, though this number seems to be increasing.

Old guys like Gary Gallagher and Guelzo have been pretty constant critics of academics getting deeply involved in social media.
I have trouble working up much interest or empathy in this intramural tiff. From the evidence supplied by twitter over the years, the older and younger generation of academic historians, both the social media literate and the prehistoric, are united in their disdain
for the participants in civilwartalk.com.
 

byron ed

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,676
Location
Midwest
Perhaps you haven't read the forums, theres a couple not held in high esteem here. One has been mentioned alot...Your own usage of "not more then a few" would show they are no more immune then anyone else as i said...
So... We're in compete agreement then: a few college professors are agenda-driven politicos driven by book sales.

Was there something else?
 
Last edited:

byron ed

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,676
Location
Midwest
...the older and younger generation of academic historians, both the social media literate and the prehistoric, are united in their disdain for the participants in civilwartalk.com.
That seems a wild statement. If you don't mind taking just a few minutes more, can you direct us to even two comments by academic historians that mention disdain for civilwartalk.com?
 

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
8,155
Location
Denver, CO
The books are out there. Blogging tries to ignore them. I'd say the Youtube lectures, by Ed Ayers, or Brooks Simpson, create a better sample of thinking about the Civil War.
 
  • Like
Reactions: WJC

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
8,155
Location
Denver, CO
The events of the Civil War get hashed over a lot in blogging. There is not much commentary about how many people left the south before the war, and more left during the war, and then after the war, Union veterans from the south found they had opportunities in the north. The non literate people in the south left a record with their feet. They got north, went west, or went to the southern frontier, if they could.
 

santaisreal

Cadet
Joined
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
11
How much meaningful historical discourse can be had in 150 word increments?
Twitter allows allows for multiple tweets to be strung together in a thread for long form explanations or discussions.

This exact article was being discussed quite a bit on Twitter with a number of historians giving their thoughts on it. I use Twitter a lot and have come across a lot historians that I have read their books but never knew they were doing the social media thing which is cool to me at least. Most of them post interesting article or journals they have come across and link so that their followers can read them as well. Oh, the horror!!!

It seems a lot of these crusty old guys also do not like Civil War studies branching out beyond the battlefields and that kids these days do not want to read an 1100 page volume on the Red River Campaign when there are so many more interesting things to be studied and written about.
 

Dead Parrott

Private
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
135
Twitter allows allows for multiple tweets to be strung together in a thread for long form explanations or discussions.

This exact article was being discussed quite a bit on Twitter with a number of historians giving their thoughts on it. I use Twitter a lot and have come across a lot historians that I have read their books but never knew they were doing the social media thing which is cool to me at least. Most of them post interesting article or journals they have come across and link so that their followers can read them as well. Oh, the horror!!!

It seems a lot of these crusty old guys also do not like Civil War studies branching out beyond the battlefields and that kids these days do not want to read an 1100 page volume on the Red River Campaign when there are so many more interesting things to be studied and written about.
Where can I get this 1100 page volume on the Red River Campaign? PLEASE!! :frantic:
 

EricAJacobson

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
525
I find this both fascinating and annoying. So an author quotes an anonymous source (sound familiar?) which takes a shot at someone who not only blogs, but tweets, has been a teacher, and who has authored at least two books. I find the shot across the bow problematic itself, but it is interesting how some authors believe so many others are beneath them or not worth of inclusion with the "in" crowd. What a bunch of rubbish. I long since tired of academic snobbery. I have no academic credentials, yet somehow managed to write three books, countless articles, and I have worked at a Civil War site where slavery once existed for 15 years. However, I still get judged pretty regularly for not having all the boxes checked.

Some of this boils down to jealousy and the facts that some of us are not playing by the rules the old crowd brought down from the summit of some mythological mountain of merit.
 

Eric Wittenberg

2nd Lieutenant
Keeper of the Scales
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,468
Location
Columbus, OH
I find this both fascinating and annoying. So an author quotes an anonymous source (sound familiar?) which takes a shot at someone who not only blogs, but tweets, has been a teacher, and who has authored at least two books. I find the shot across the bow problematic itself, but it is interesting how some authors believe so many others are beneath them or not worth of inclusion with the "in" crowd. What a bunch of rubbish. I long since tired of academic snobbery. I have no academic credentials, yet somehow managed to write three books, countless articles, and I have worked at a Civil War site where slavery once existed for 15 years. However, I still get judged pretty regularly for not having all the boxes checked.

Some of this boils down to jealousy and the facts that some of us are not playing by the rules the old crowd brought down from the summit of some mythological mountain of merit.
Totally agree, Eric. I'm right there with you, brother.
 

archieclement

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Messages
4,448
Location
mo
So... We're in compete agreement then: a few college professors are agenda-driven politicos driven by book sales.

Was there something else?
No I would say that was my point with college professors are no more immune then bloggers or anyone else. I have no more issues with the bloggers I follow then I do the professors. Both are generally authors. When I do have an issue with either, dont waste much time following them.........
 

Kurt G

Sergeant
Joined
May 23, 2018
Messages
887
Back in my college days I had a history professor with a Phd who had written a couple of books . In his Michigan history class he claimed Jeff Davis was wearing a dress when he was captured and that Indian trade guns were excessively long ( which they weren't !) because traders demanded as a price for the gun a stack of beaver pelts as tall as the gun . You did not dare to question his lectures .
 

DRW

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
823
Location
New York
That seems a wild statement. If you don't mind taking just a few minutes more, can you direct us to even two comments by academic historians that mention disdain for civilwartalk.com?
I've read several dismissive comments on twitter, blogs and emails, including from academics I admire and have met. Some will openly admit to lurking here. I've invited academic friends to lead discussions of their books here, and not one will take the bait. I'm not aware of full-time academic historians who dare participate in CWT under their names, or who will admit to doing so publicly. Can you name any?
 

byron ed

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,676
Location
Midwest
No I would say that was my point with college professors are no more immune then bloggers or anyone else. I have no more issues with the bloggers I follow then I do the professors...
but your response to "...it's getting harder to safely take anyone at face value about anything" was:
Which is true of college professors as well as bloggers...
Which is it?
 
Last edited:

byron ed

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,676
Location
Midwest
...I'm not aware of full-time academic historians who dare participate in CWT under their names, or who will admit to doing so publicly...
Then why this wild claim?...
...From the evidence supplied by twitter over the years, the older and younger generation of academic historians, both the social media literate and the prehistoric, are united in their disdain for the participants in civilwartalk.com.
Rather, let's suppose there are historians united in disdain of civilwartalk.com, there apparently being no retrievable evidence of it on Twitter or social media, yes?
 
Last edited:

archieclement

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Messages
4,448
Location
mo
but your response to "...it's getting harder to safely take anyone at face value about anything" was:


Which is it?
Huh? Its rather self explanatory, neither is anymore immune then the other to being hard to safely take at face value.........they both can be susceptible to having agendas or bias they are pushing.
 

WJC

Brigadier General
Moderator
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Messages
12,413
***Posted as Moderator***
Let's stay focused on Mr. Hess' article and his assertions concerning the influence of social media on Civil War studies.
 

Joshism

Sergeant Major
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
2,161
Location
Jupiter, FL
neither is anymore immune then the other to being hard to safely take at face value.........they both can be susceptible to having agendas or bias they are pushing.
The perception seems to be that academics are trusted less by the public for being part of the establishment while academics distrust non-academics because they think they're unreliable.

What we need, as has been discussed here in the past and suggested my some conference speakers, is more efforts to bridge the gap.

Distrust does not bode well for the study of history. When you can't trust anybody and there's polarization it makes people want to quit entirely.
 
Top