Blogs > Cliopatria > "TRANSBLOGRIFICATION" ...

Aug 9, 2005 12:56 pm


It isn't that you are no longer"Welcome To My World ...," but I knew others who could spread a more generous banquet for us. So, "Welcome To My World ..." is transblogrifying into"Cliopatria". Please adjust your blogrolls and browsers accordingly. Our name, with its allusions, is found in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake. As with much else in Finnegans Wake, however, I'm not sure what it is doing there.

Our name vaguely recalls the memory of Cleopatra, her beauty, her mystery, and her contingent power. More directly, it invokes the name of Clio, one of the nine muses in Greek mythology. Clio the Proclaimer was the muse of history, who was credited with bringing the Phoenician alphabet to Greece. She is often depicted in western art with a scroll and a small library of books. In his work for the Spectator, Joseph Addison, who perfected the essay and pioneered the novel as English literary forms, used her name as a pseudonym. The Latinate"patria" would refer to one's place of origin, a father's home or a native land. We speak from and of history as our place of beginnings, in which we act, through which we move, and to which we owe some allegiance. As a word of both Greek and Latin roots, to say nothing of the Egyptian allusion,"Cliopatria" is also a barbaric hybrid. It suggests the plurality of our origins and degrees of alienation. We are not obliged to agree with, only to listen carefully and respectfully to, each other.

I am delighted with the group of historians who will join me at"Cliopatria."

Timothy Burke won my attention with thoughtful critiques of my work, here and here. I was intrigued to learn that he is a historian of Africa who teaches cultural studies at Swarthmore. Subsequently, I became a fan of his thoughtful blog, Easily Distracted. Tim's contributions enliven discussions at Erin O'Connor's Critical Mass, Crooked Timber, Invisible Adjunct, and elsewhere. He has published Lifebuoy Men, Lux Women: Commodification, Consumption, and Cleanliness in Modern Zimbabwe, a monograph with remarkably wide-ranging implications, and with his brother, Kevin, Saturday Morning Fever: Growing Up With Cartoon Culture, a study of the Saturday morning cartoons and Generation X.

Oscar Chamberlain is best known to readers at History News Network for his many intelligent contributions on a broad range of issues on the HNN comment boards. At the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, and UW, Barron County, he lectures on the history of science and American ante-bellum and constitutional history. Oscar has contributed poetry and a personal essay to The Red Cedar Review. A member of the City of Rice Lake Plan Commission, he hosted Jazz and New Age music programs from 1995-2000 at WOJB, the radio station of the Lac Courte Oreilles band of the Ojibwe.

HNN regulars will remember Ken Heineman from his blog which appeared too briefly here about a year ago. He is a professor of history at Ohio University at Lancaster and the author of four books: Campus Wars: The American Peace Movement at State Universities in the Viet Nam Era, God is a Conservative: Religion, Politics, and Morality in Contemporary America, A Catholic New Deal: Religion and Reform in Depression Pittsburgh, and Put Your Bodies Upon the Wheels: Student Revolt in the 1960s.

Through no fault of his own, Robert"KC" Johnson needs no introduction to historians or readers at HNN. His struggle for tenure at Brooklyn College, summarized here and here, is near legendary. KC's impressive scholarship in 20th century American diplomatic and political history is more important to us. Already, it includes many articles and four books, Washington. 20. Januar 1961, Ernest Gruening and the American Dissenting Tradition, The Peace Progressives and American Foreign Relations, and On Cultural Ground: Essays in International History. He expects to publish four more books in the next three years.

I introduced myself, here, six months ago. So, welcome to our world ...,"Cliopatria," and its bountiful feast.

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