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Recent Things Elsewhere

21 Dec

Just a quick roundup of stuff I have done on other sites in recent months.

The American History Too! podcast continues to go from strength to strength. Recently, Mark and I (and our excellent guests) have discussed the 1925 Scopes Trial, Irish-Americans and the American Civil War, and women, murder, and criminal justice in late nineteenth/early twentieth century America.

The marvellous Pubs & Publications blog (run by graduate students at the University of Edinburgh’s School of History, Classics, and Archaeology) asked if I could submit a guest post on the year after finishing the PhD.

At the British Association for American Studies United States Studies Online blog, I’ve contributed a couple of things over the past few months. I talked about the ‘Islamic bomb’ for the excellent Islam in America feature, and about teaching nuclear history for the Teaching America feature.

Faltering Steps

1 Dec

One of the daunting aspects of starting a doctorate is the constant, niggling fear that somebody, somewhere, is doing exactly the same thing as you. This low-grade paranoia seems to be par for the course unless you are sufficiently confident that your topic area is obscure enough that nobody could possibly be researching the same thing.

My initial proposal was to examine how issues of race an racism might (or might not) have affected U.S. nuclear planning in the Asian region. I would do this by studying in detail a number of case studies, most likely the Korean War and the First and Second Taiwan Straits Crises. Little did I know…

Just after I began my Ph.D, I was informed that a book had recently appeared that covered very similar ground to me. Scratch that, it covered precisely what I was planning on doing. After Hiroshima: The United States, Race, and Nuclear Weapons in Asia, 1945 – 1965 (Cambridge, 2010) by Professor Matthew Jones is an excellent piece of work that appeared in the lull between my Ph.D proposal being accepted and my starting at the university (1).

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The First Test

21 Nov

The Atomic Age is intended to be a repository for two three things:

1) General items on or about nuclear policy and strategy during the Cold War.

2) A repository of stuff relating to my Ph.D studies.

3) Thoughts on the process of learning to be a functioning academic, including musings on teaching, creating syllabi, and interacting with the wider academic community.

My desire is to make this blog as accessible and informative as possible, worthwhile for both the lay person and the academic reader. Technical and theoretical language will undoubtedly creep in at times but hope there will be enough explanatory material to enable comprehension and understanding. That’s the hope anyway.



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