Monday, January 09, 2006

Cliopatria honors The Rhine River: Best Series of Posts

At the panel Were All the World a Blog at the AHA annual meeting in Philadelphia, Cliopatria honored my three part series, The Geographical Turn (Parts One, Two, and Three), with an award for 'Best Series of Posts.' From the citation:
The judges thought that, of the nominations, this was the best example of historical scholarship. It was a well-written, thoughtful and accessible essay about an important historiographical movement that may be unfamiliar to many non-specialist readers, while for academic historians it discussed a less familiar aspect of a well-known subject. As such, it represented an excellent example of the uses historians can make of blogs both to explore their ideas and to increase understanding of the past and of the discipline of history.
I was there, blushing, to accept the award from Ralph Luker and from the judges, Sharon Howard, Timothy Burke, and Another Damned Medievalist. I would like to thank all them, as well as Marc Comtois, who not only nominated the post, but whose own series (nominated as well), motivated me to write thoughts about historiography and geography that had been running through my mind for months.

All of the winners are worth checking out:
Congratulations to everyone!


At 3:54 PM, Blogger Marc said...

Congrats Nathanael! It was truly a great series and--just like the committee said--was a great example of the type of scholarship that history blogging can bring to the table. Thanks also for mentioning me. I didn't expect to win, so the nomination itself was a surprise for me. I'm glad I played at least a small part in inspiring your excellent work. Again, congratulations and keep up the good work.

At 12:31 AM, Blogger air said...

Congrats. I just read the series and I really liked it.

You said that geography was on the decline by the time that "The Mediteranean" was published, but do think that it was only later with the rise of cultural history that the final nail was put into the coffin, so to speak? I mean, and correct me if I'm wrong, but the Annales continued to be concerned with geography until the cultural turn right?

At 7:46 AM, Blogger Nathanael said...

Marc, thank you. Sorry I stole your spotlight.

AIR, thank you, too. Your right, Annalistes continues to use geography, but as an analytical tool. I didn't inspire the historical imagination anymore, and I would argue that the so-called third generation were very conventional in how they defined their subjects in terms of space (certainly in comparison to Braudel.) Braudel's Identity of France, to which I refer often, is itself rife with tensions. He tries to apply the innovation of The Mediterranean to the conventional boundaries of France.

The cultural turn was not quite the nail in the coffin of geography as it was the Annales. After WWII, geography didn't have much prestige, and that reflected on how other disciplines used it. Postmodernists have not turned to it to inform their spatail analyses, and few geographers have let themselves be inspired by culture ... at least until recently. But that is another subject that probably deserves its own post.

At 12:30 AM, Blogger Geitner said...

Nathanael, this is fabulous news -- your award is richly deserved. I found out the news just tonight and have noted it at my blog. Congratulations!

Geitner Simmons


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