This year, the good folks at The Junto blog are focusing their annual March Madness tournament on journal articles. Head over to the Junto and nominate your three favorite early American history articles.
And don’t forget to nominate:
John Fea, “The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian’s Rural Enlightenment,” Journal of American History 90:2 (September 2003).
Let’s see how far the coining of the phrase “rural Enlightenment” can take us. As I have done in previous Junto tournaments, I am organizing my ground game. I am hoping the readers of The Way of Improvement Leads Home blog will rise up from the grass roots and carry Fithian and the “rural Enlightenment” to 1). A spot in the tournament field and 2). at least a first round upset. 🙂
Here is how it works, from the Junto blog:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year here at The Junto, or the month of March Madness! As faithful readers will know, each year we engage in a spirited tournament of voting in some category related to early American history. Last year, it was primary sources. Find out what this year’s theme will be after the jump.
This time around, we’ve decided that our tournament will focus on journal articles. Here are our two big reasons for this decision: 1) for many of our students, articles are cheaper than books because they’re free. Articles become a way for students to get a taste of an author’s larger contribution and historiographical intervention. 2) Although we recognize that scholarly journals can and do pose access issues to non-academics, many journals are taking important steps to improve access, and we’re hoping that the tournament encourages further sharing of articles (on which, more soon!).
Nominations open today and close on Sunday at 5 p.m. EST. Check out the rules below and then add your nominations and seconds in the Comments section. Then, by the power of The Junto‘s bracketologists, we’ll put together tournament brackets, announce the brackets, and open it up for your votes in the very near future.
1) Journal articles can be old or very recent, but should have appeared in a journal rather than an edited collection. If a journal article has been reprinted in an edited collection, however, please mention that in your nomination because it will make it easier for additional people to read it. As with last year, the point of this exercise is to create a giant list of sources–in this case, secondary sources–for research and teaching that encourage us all to think about access issues and how to be good historians.
2) All nominations must be made in the Comments section of this post.
3) If would be helpful if, in your nomination, you included one line about each of the articles you’re nominating. Do you use it for teaching? Did it make you rethink a particular historical moment? Tell us why you care about the article!
4) We ask that you nominate a maximum of three articles that have not yet been nominated. You may also “second” the nomination of three other articles that have already been nominated. If you were going to nominate articles already mentioned you may do so and they will be tallied as seconds.
5) Want to participate in extra nerding out on Twitter? Use the hashtag #JuntoMM16 (because, er, #JMM16 has been taken over by STEM people).
NB: Essentially, each voter can nominate and second up to six articles but only three can be new nominations. Given the number of comments posted last year, please state explicitly which of your articles count as nominations, and which count as seconds. (To see if one of your choices has already been nominated, go to Edit->Find in your browser and type in the name of the primary source.)
Like last year’s tournament, this is all meant to be taken in a spirit of fun. This tournament is not meant to bestow any kind of value judgment on individual works. If anything, it may be a reflection of the “favorite” articles of our readers; but that should not be thought of as implying that it reflects what our readers or this blog think is the “best” article. Last year’s competition inspired lots of interesting and entertaining conversations, and this year we’re hoping to hear from even more of you. We’ll be interspersing the tournament, and following it up, with reflections on articles and their place in the historical profession. Please feel free to join in in the comments, or to use the Twitter hashtag.