You may have noticed, there is not much content here. My attention has been directed elsewhere, mainly with postgraduate studies. There are 14 days left (December 15, 2023) in my last class for my M.A. in History program, however, it dosn’t end there. A second M.A. in Public History starts in January and thanks to some advanced planning, completion of the second master’s will be in December of 2024. It will be head down and full-steam ahead to get the public history degree completed on time. The month between the fall and sprint semesters will be dedicated to planning what happens next. One of the top items to be concidered is whether or not to pursue a terminal degree, if so, what major concentration, and where. I will be looking for degree related work throughout 2024 and will revisit the terminal degree question over the summer.
Degree antics aside, this post is an opportunity to ask a few questions about this website that will be reviewed over the winter break; what is this site for, what are its intentions and voice? Will it be a historically focused personal blog or a research publication and portfolio site? There is also the question of research focus which is important if pursuit of a terminal degree is the path forward.
While my primary area of historical focus has remained constant, subsets and concentrations have been flexible. The chronological period has remained relativly fixed to the Industrial Revolution about 1830 to 1939, though the roots of the Industrial Revolution in the U.S. go back to 1790 and Samual Slater’s cotton mill (1790-1808)1 and the Pawtucket labor strike of 1824.2 In the U.K. the first sparks of the Industrial Revolution can be seen as early as the 1760s with James Hargreaves invention of the Spinning Jenny3 (pat. 1770) and James Watt’s improved steam engine4 (pat. 1769). Topically, my interests are centered around the technologies of power, communications, and transportation. Other period considerations include the social and political aspects that allowed industrialization to take root in the first place, topics like social class mobility, international commerce, dependant economies, monopolies, workers rights, and social justice were all developing during this period. Any investigation into the topics above will quickly show how interconnected they all are.
These are questions to explore during the December/January break.
- Gary Kulik, “Factory Discipline in the New Nation: Almy, Brown & Slater and the First Cotton-Mill Workers, 1790-1808,” The Massachusetts Review 28, no. 1 (1987): 164–84. ↩︎
- Gary Kulik, “Pawtucket Village and the Strike of 1824: The Origins of Class Conflict in Rhode Island,” Radical History Review 1978, no. 17 (May 1, 1978): 5–38. ↩︎
- Charlotte Moy, “Who Invented The Spinning Jenny?,” The Economic Historian, January 30, 2023, https://economic-historian.com/2022/07/spinning-jenny/ ↩︎
- “Industrial Revolution Timeline,” Britanica, accessed December 1, 2023, https://www.britannica.com/summary/Industrial-Revolution-Timeline ↩︎