I got back a couple days ago from the annual conference of the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender, held this year in San Francisco. It’s a “boutique” conference – 120 or so women and men gathered to talk about issues that really matter to me. I attended panels considering women and… Continue reading Finding Your People in a Conference Hotel
When I think and write about history, I use words. My book about my father’s transformation from boy to man during his service in WWII relied on the more than 300 letters he wrote home to his family, his diary, and the writings of others in the European Theatre and historical accounts. My current project… Continue reading The Objects of Family History
I spent several days last week working through archived papers of women journalists. I’d been to the National Women and Media Collection at the University of Missouri before, but this time I was concentrating on the correspondence of the women I study, gazing at their professional and personal lives as I leafed through files of… Continue reading In Praise of Carbon Paper
In 1972, Michigan Judge Stephen Roth ruled in Bradley v. Millikin that the requirement to integrate the Detroit Public Schools could not be achieved within the geographical limits of the city. He ordered that the remedy should be a program of busing between inner city and suburban schools. Suburbia erupted with rage: protests, effigy hangings,… Continue reading Was Mom a little bit racist? Am I?
Even when I was young, the obituaries were “must reading” in my local newspaper. I wasn’t a morbid child – indeed, I felt pretty anxious about death (still do, truth be told) – but obituaries aren’t really about death. They’re about lives. As Bill McDonald, obituary editor for the New York Times said, “The obit… Continue reading Reading (and Writing) the Obituary Page
Where were you when? It’s a question we ask about iconic historic events. Where were you when … we landed on the moon? You heard Kennedy was assassinated? The plane hit the second tower? Where were you when? It’s a way to place ourselves in history. To show that we have borne witness to things… Continue reading Where were you when?
It was one month before Mom turned 90 – I knew that. It was three months before she died – I didn’t know that. We were in her small photo-lined room in the assisted living facility outside Seattle. Mom was sunk into her blue velour recliner, a hand-crocheted afghan draped over her always-cold knees. I… Continue reading Mom, Nikki, and the Queen
Ever since I studied structured communication patterns as a graduate student, I’ve had a viscerally negative reaction to “network” as a verb. In this age of social media, though, such usage – and “networking” itself – is largely unavoidable. I’m a bit of a lightweight, but you can follow me on Twitter, like my Facebook… Continue reading Networks – Now and Then
In July of 1979, Bob made history. After several years of protest from women’s groups – especially those around the gulf coast – Bob was the first male-name hurricane. Or perhaps himicane. Jason Samenow provides an interesting history of this change, including the worries of many in the meteorological community that storms named after men… Continue reading Language Matters
I’ve written a lot in the last three decades. My curriculum vitae lists 41 published articles, 21 book chapters, dozens of conference papers, and assorted book reviews and “other” publications. And then there are two textbooks, one that’s one its seventh edition and counting. And my book, War Makes Men of Boys, that tracked my… Continue reading My New Challenge – Creative Nonfiction