An Historian's Summer "Vacation"
What do historians do in the summer? A lot! This summer I'll be keeping track of my activities in this blog, giving you a sense of what I do when I'm not in the classroom.
Much of an historian's work is done behind the scenes - in archives, libraries, our offices. What students see in the classroom or what gets read in journal articles or presented in conference papers is the result of a great deal (yup - years and years) of research, interpretation and analysis, and communication of our conclusions. It's never as simple as "telling the stories of the past," although I do have a personal bias to well-told stories. My plans for this summer include a number of research trips, three conferences (and preparation of the papers to be presented), beginning revisions on a manuscript that is going to be submitted for peer review at the end of this year, and preparation of the three courses I'll be teaching in the fall. Those courses are: History 251 ~ Pre-Civil War USA; History 348 ~ Religion in Canada; and History 403 ~ Engendered History. Into that very busy schedule, I hope to be able to squeeze in some family time. I'll try to mix a bit of my family life into my blog this summer, just so that you can see how our families cope with the rhythm of academic life.
Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I have taught at TWU for 4 years. And that's as long as I've lived in the beautiful Fraser Valley. British Columbians say that every sunny day is worth 20 days of rain; I am praying hard for sunny days this summer because I've discovered that it sure seems to rain a lot here. Before I moved here, I lived in Alberta (the next province over) and prior to that, I've lived in almost every Canadian province and in Tanzania in Africa. I am TOTALLY passionate about history and the people who have lived it. My specialties are gender history, Atlantic history, religious history, and war and peace. My PhD incorporated the first three areas and I've added the fourth into my current research programme. On a personal level, I am married to a cowboy (yes, an actual working cowboy) and I have four children (two boys and two girls). We love to hike, go horseback riding, garden, and travel when we get the chance. Somehow along the line we also managed to pick up a number of animals - five horses, two dogs (a red Doberman and a pointer-cross) and three cats.