The Many Meanings of the Fourth of July

Declaration of Independence, Dunlap Broadside (1776) Over the past few years, we’ve steadily grown our collection of readings related to U.S. Independence Day as well as Ben Franklin’s World episodes detailing the early American history of the Fourth of July. It’s time we put it all in one place.  Frederick Douglass famously questioned Americans in 1852, “What to… Read More

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A Few Thoughts on Holidays in #VastEarlyAmerica

by Nadine Zimmerli, Associate Editor of Books "We had no ardent spirit of any kind among us" Member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, December 25, 1805 'Tis the season. I am daily reminded of this by cheerful notices in my inbox from my alma mater's bookstore and other retailers, which interrupt the steady flow of more relevant messages from OI authors and from colleagues at the University of North Carolina Press. The juxtaposition is a stark one, because the retail and the publishing messages structure my annual calendar in divergent, and conflicting, ways. Emails prompting me to buy gifts or to donate to charitable causes are centered on the upcoming holidays, culminating in celebratory gatherings with friends and family in late December. Work-related messages are focused on the annual meeting of the American Historical Association in early January (one of the most important conferences for editors) and a bi-annual marketing meeting at UNC Press the second week of January, when we'll discuss publication schedules and the best strategies for promoting Fall 2018 books. Even though academic life follows the well-known rhythms of the holidays, with the fall semester ending in mid-December, the festive season does not at all align with the rhythms of academic publishing. It even poses a bit of an unwelcome interruption right before two crucial meetings. Read More

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