What I wrote in 2017

In January, I moved my old blog over here to tedmaust.com. I also began my second semester of grad school and was required to blog for my Digital History class. Highlights of those blogs include my latest (or is it last?) post for Stars Hollow Historical Society and a walking tour of West Fairmount Park.

In February I started writing “Research Notes” posts as a practice of trying to get ideas written out and in front of people.

March brought a little flurry of events as I attended two student-organized conferences, the Public History Community Forum (PubComm) and the Barnes Club Graduate Student History Conference. I also was able to attend an American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) workshop about Historic House Museums at Cliveden, which was a really important event for me as I tried to figure out what to write a thesis on. I wrote about all of those events here.


I was wrapping up the semester in April and May so I wrote only a few last Digital History posts. When I was at the NCPH annual meeting in April, however, I did write a ton of tweet. And in May I found time to pound out a list of online resources for AnabaptistHistorians.org though.

I began two internships in June, at Chamounix Mansion and the Powel House. These sparked a few blogs, one serving as an introduction to those sites and another wrestling with some of the big questions in play. In June I also got to see the launch of an exhibit at the Independence Seaport Museum that I had caught a glimpse of in its infancy.

In July, I made a little more progress on my internships and wrote a few more posts about that work. My favorite was a mediation on losing and finding in archives.

I wrapped up my internships at the beginning of August in a flurry of long nights and full days and wrapped up the experience in a post. My internship at the Powel House would eventually produce a threepart blog series, which I think is kinda not bad.

By September, I was back in school and taking two courses that required blogging: Archives and Manuscripts and Studies in American Material Culture. Among the highlights of that month were considering archives as a plot mechanism, considering how history at historic sites is remembered, and exploring creative uses of archival material at the Wagner Institute of Science. I also wrote another post over at AnabaptistHistorians.org on Anabaptists and monuments, though I think I would have more fodder for that post now.

My crowning achievement of October was creating a method of analysis for a boat I jokingly named after Ray Romano. After seeing The Big Sick, I don’t feel so bad. Romano is great in that movie.

November was more blogs for class, including a reflection on the commodification of history (and history workers), and a revisiting of one of my favorite recent Radiolab episodes.

I wrapped up the semester (my third of four) in December with some more class blogs. Highlights include a reflection on monuments, and looking at the role of archives (and historians) in holding offenders to account, especially in cases of sexual abuse.

Of course I wrote a lot of other things in the past year. I wrote a research paper on Chamounix Mansion that I was able to present at the Barnes Club conference. I wrote a literature review for my practicums, much of which bled into blogs here and other papers. While at work this year, I began writing a novel; I’ll post here if anything ever comes of it. And probably most importantly, I wrote the first pieces of what will become my thesis, including a survey of the field of Historic House Museums, which earned me wages from the National Park Service and led to an internship there that I’ve just begun.

2017 was a tough year in many ways, but in my scholarly and professional worlds, I feel like I achieved something, or at least the start of something. 2018 will be much more a year of transition. I have some things that might come together to make sure I don’t starve; if they work out, I’ll tell you about them here. Cheers to the new year!

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