Back in the ring…

Posted on May 11, 2009 by


O.k., let me take another deep breath… and exhale… I’m back.

Just trying to get the wheels turning again on this particular track, but I’m definitely feeling the need to get back to some rigorous discussions on the Civil War. Once again, I appreciate all of the supportive comments on this blog as I made my way through the graduate program over the last year and a half. Comments here haven’t simply stimulated my thoughts about the Civil War, but they have also influenced my understanding of how we should read and write for the Web, differently than we do for print. Not to oversimplify it, but, the design of social interaction on the Web requires us to think harder about the manner in which we interact as we discuss history in that space. When making the transition to the Web, I believe that carrying practices over from writing and reading for print media need to be tweaked, and sometimes quite a bit. In some sense, I believe that many of us (not excluding myself) are having a difficult time escaping a curious sort of “magnetic pull of print” as we make the plunge into the very different space of the Web. This is actually something that I really hope to expand on in a college course of my own in the not-so-distant future.

Nonetheless, here, in this blog, I plan to continue looking at both the way we think about the Civil War and how we “remember” it (at least that’s the primary focus here). We can’t continue to bathe ourselves in overly simplistic understandings or generalizations to satisfy something within ourselves that is so incredibly distanced from the complex facts that surround our history. Sometimes I think that the conflict in understanding history is defined through two primary categories (though I’m open to other possible categories). Either 1) we care about history enough to appreciate the facts and complexities and that rules our understanding of history, or 2) we care more about ourselves and manipulate historical details to satisfy something within ourselves. What’s the first priority in terms of grasping an understanding of history… history or ourselves? I consider myself a “Category 1” person. Thinking of history with open minds, I believe, requires all of us to break from many things (again, a sort of magnetic pull, similar that mentioned above?) that hinder our ability to understand history as it was and not simply history as we want it to be. Obviously, that’s not an easy process, but don’t misunderstand me. Considering possibilities is also not some violent act of virtually “ripping” one particular understanding from a person and casting it to the side. We need to figure out how to consider the importance of “memory” within the context of understanding history.

My objective in this blog and in my info-compilation blogs is to encourage readers to think in terms of possibilities. I like to challenge readers to think about possibilities and I especially enjoy challenging readers to think outside what are, in fact, a number of boxes. It just happens that most of what I know focuses on the South… which of course, is not to be confused with or limited to a (not THE) Confederate perspective.

Stay tuned… all channels here (this blog and my info-compliation blogs) are about to go active on a regular basis again…