Book Talk at Wistariahurst Museum on Derry City

 The lovely people at Wistariahurst invited me to talk about Derry City and people got to jump in and ask questions, which was really fun.  The talk is a little different, though obvs the themes are the same! Let me know what you think! To learn more about my book, Derry City , click here .  For a 40% off coupon and free shipping, enter (type, don't copy and paste) the promo code 14AHA22 . This offer is good for both print and ebooks, but it is only available through January 31st, 2022 .  

Book Talk at the Malden Public Library on Zoom September 3, 2020

  Want to hear more about my book?  You can watch an author talk here . For a 40% off coupon and free shipping, enter (type, don't copy and paste) the promo code 14AHA22 . This offer is good for both print and ebooks, but it is only available through January 31st, 2022 .  

Two Civil Rights Leaders at the Pearly Gates

It is rare that I speculate about the after life and rarer still that I anthropomorphize it, but I suppose childhood visions of heaven get stuck in our heads.   I amused myself while trying to fall asleep last night with this vision. The line-up was longer than usual at check-in, due to COVID-19 and the sheer psychic exhaustion of 2020.  C.T. Vivian and John Lewis stood in the line and were enjoying a catch-up when someone shuffled up behind them. "Yes, lads. What are we at?" Their first reaction was alarm.  Lads??????  They turned around slowly.  "Oh, it's OK.  It's just John Hume from Derry. Great to see you, John."   "Good to see youse both." As they began with pleasantries fit for men of their situation (Do you think they'll have baps/fritters/fifteens/fill-in-the-blank -- because the doctor has had me on a scarcity diet for the past two decades.....,) they were interrupted by a call from an ambient loudspeaker inviting "Joh

Strawberry Queen

In case you missed it on Historians Cooking the Past , I am posting my essay about my mom,  Janice Weigand Shea, here. June 30, 2020 If he had a tail, my father's would have been wagging. He would dash from wherever he was when the car approached the driveway and stand at the screen door, waiting. "Here she comes! All hail the Strawberry Queen!" My mother emerged from the shadows into the flourescent light of the garage, smile and sneer competing on her face as she kicked off muddy construction boots. "Oh, please." Still, she liked the title. Returning from a 16-hour work day at the pick-your-own strawberry farm she managed with fields in Plainville, Hamden and North Haven, Connecticut, she'd kiss him hello and head to the shower, first peeling off dirt-encrusted jeans and a tee shirt with a big red strawberry on it. My dad would bring her a cocktail or an icy glass of white wine and heat up whatev

My Coronavirus Cooking

Photo credit: Phillipa Stanton I love to cook.  It will come as no surprise to most readers that my response to the suspension of ordinary life in the face of a public health emergency is to retreat to the kitchen and to experience and process this moment through and with food.  Over the next few weeks (or months,) I will be posting images of what I am cooking along with a short reflection on how the food relates to what is happening in my head and in the world. Am I fiddling while Rome burns?  Yes, of course.  I know this.  It is human, though, to try to retain control in spheres where we can, and to nourish ourselves and our loved ones...... The posts are in chronological order, with the most recent post appearing first.  It got difficult to continue to update this, so it is pretty dated.  AUGUST 3, 2020 Fresh Fruit Tarts Three months gone.  Just like that.  For all of that time, my energy around cooking, baking and writing was focused on Historians Cooking the Past

Nancy MacLean to come to Salem State March 5, 2020

I am so excited for this event!

Affective Practices and the Trauma of Ordinary and Extraordinary Life

I've been doing some more reading in this great book  in which I had the chance to include a chapter. It's made me want to generalize a little about emotion and affect in heritage -- to take some lessons away from the work I did for the book and try to apply it more generally. I see it this way: Affective practices simply refuse to be contained within binary frameworks like before/after, war/peace, public/private and us/them and insist on the traces that link ordinary and everyday experiences to histories of conflict. Bodies interrupt discourses as well as participate in them. Visitors, bystanders and participants in heritage practices may confirm, deny or, in this case, simply complicate the goals of heritage in the present.  My work here was in post-conflict societies.  Many post-conflict heritage projects aim to explore and expunge emotional burdens associated with histories and heritages shaped by conflict and forged in violence. But I really think that we