Historian and freelance writer. I teach historiography, epistemology, and ancient, medieval, and early-modern history at FIU. I blog on The Boomerang. I write on a book about the Codex Gigas (the Devil's Bible). Pro-wrestling fan. Exophonic. 🇸🇪🇺🇸
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When studying the Viking Age, one decision that needs to be made is how to relate to the sagas. Are they historical sources and can be used? Or are they literature and can't be used? Usually, my students land on the side of yes, despite all their problems, the sagas can be used. But this time around, through critical analysis, my students declared that the sagas can't be used. This is great. But, this also means that the students have declared one of our textbooks useless.
You know you're a historian when the immigration officer accidentally asks you "Why did the Colonists fight for the British?" on your naturalization civics exam, and you catch yourself before launching into a discussion about the Colonists fighting for the British and instead ask her to please repeat the question, and then you bungle the answer like a nervous freshman because your professional self and your immigrant self are colliding inside your head.
Submitted a work order to Facilities because there is a loud white noise in one of my classrooms. I am now being CC'd on every email as my work order is being passed around among people and departments and no one wants to do the job. And for every email, more and more people are being CC'd. 😁
I mean, who needs entertainment? Also, this explains SO MUCH about what is going on (or not going on) at this university.
"The strength of HOW TO BE lies exactly here, in the acknowledgment of new ideas and new developments happening in the encounters, the borderlands, and on the peripheries."
This week on The Boomerang, I discuss Adam Nicolson's new book HOW TO BE. LIFE LESSONS FROM THE EARLY GREEKS (FSG, 2023). Enjoy!
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark abdicated today. Denmark has a new head of state in King Frederik X and a new queen in Mary. Although different dynasties have sat on the Danish throne through the centuries, the Danish monarchy can be traced in an unbroken line to the Viking Age and the reign of Harold Bluetooth (911–985), making the Danish monarchy one of the oldest monarchies in the world.
@histodons @histodon @medievodons #history #histodons #denmark
Today is my Mastodon anniversary! Happy 1 year in the Fediverse to me! 🥳
I'm glad to be here. Glad to be among so many birdwatchers, chattering academics, medievodons, histodons, and other awesome people doing awesome stuff.
Thank you to the creators and moderators of historians.social for creating this space.
This is 🍌🍌🍌🍌. A grave field from the Viking Age has been discovered in the middle of the city of Gothenburg. Right in between Sweden's largest outdoor stadium and the public bath with the Olympic pool. There is so much city activity at this location that it's hard to comprehend that these graves were somehow overlooked...? (Article in Swedish)
Shout out to the ILL department at FIU. Once again they have come through. I found this book in the catalog of the National Library in Sweden. Placed a request through FIU’s ILL, thinking that they would not be able to get it, or it would take forever. Three days later, I get a notification that the book has arrived. 🙌🏼
Oldest ship's grave in Scandinavia has been excavated in northern Norway (the region of Trøndelag, to be precise). The grave reveals that Scandinavians were building ships large enough for long-distance travels already around the year 700. This find also pushes the burial custom of burying people in ships significantly back in time. (Article in Norwegian.)
Buckle in gilded silver depicting Odin sacrificing his eye for wisdom at Mimer's well. When the fastening needle is opened, Odin's face dips forward and the sacrifice is made. The buckle comes from a major sacrificial site in Sweden dated to 0–500 CE. Together with other discoveries at the site, this buckle demonstrates that the Viking Age as a time period has little bearing, that Scandinavians did practice human sacrifice, and that Norse mythology is very old.
@histodons @histodon #history
Come work with me!
The Department of History at FIU is hiring! Tenure track open rank position in Modern European history.
Please share widely, and please do apply if this is in your field. The Department of History is a group of rabble rousers, who don’t take anything lying down. In other words, you’d be working with some really good and smart people. @histodons @histodon @academicchatter #history #highered #job #histodons
This week on The Boomerang. My interview for Foreword Reviews with historian Gary Scott Smith of Grove City College about his book on how Hillary Rodham Clinton's Methodist faith has informed her politics. Enjoy!
This article on the connections that can be made between generative AI and Jewish exegesis published @TheConversationUS blew my mind this morning. 😇 💩 !
Every morning, before campus comes alive and people are everywhere, this little anole sits on this little coconut shell and looks out over the turtle pond. @academicchatter #campuslife #miami #lizard #nature #wildlife #philosophy #pond
3D-scanning reveal that Thyra, Harold Bluetooth's mother, commissioned several runestones and consequently wielded more power in Viking Age Denmark than previously believed. Together with her husband Gorm, Thyra facilitated Harold Bluetooth's consolidation of power. This revision makes sense in the Danish and Scandinavian historical context where claims to power were both patrilineal and matrilineal.
Watched the movie THE VIKINGS (1958) starring Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, and Janet Leigh.
Let's put it this way. THE VIKINGS did better with the knowledge about Vikings available in 1958 than THE NORTHMAN did with the knowledge available in 2022. In other words, I enjoyed this movie a lot more than I expected.
Based on what I witnessed this week, I have this to say: When a student asks if you can please reopen the assignment because she misunderstood your instructions and you say that you will open the assignment for 3 minutes and your face reveals that you think you’re being generous while at the same time you ignore the student swallowing hard so she won’t start crying in front of you, you are not a good educator. You are a cruel human being. @academicchatter #teaching #highered
This week on The Boomerang. Enjoy!
"In The Manuscripts Club, Christopher de Hamel introduces us to a group of people who dedicated their lives to collecting medieval manuscripts. In other words, nerds."
You can't hit the breaks when you're going uphill.
After playing around with ChatGPT, I have decided to allow my history students to use AI. Working out ways to stop them from using it will only create more stress and work than it's worth. I have therefore included instructions in the syllabus about how they can and cannot use AI.
And so I set sail on uncharted waters towards the endless horizon, like generations of intrepid explorers before me.