Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'm not writing so much as to start a new thread (but you are all welcome to comment here as you see fit)--Afton has got us off to a good start this week--but rather just to say hello as I travel to my mining conference in Creede, Colorado. My friends and I arrived in Jerome AZ last night just before dark. Early enough to take a look around this historic old mining community.Taking copper ore out of this mountain, Jerome was the leading ore producing site in north America for many years until its death in the mid-1950s. From the 50s to the mid 70s it remained a classic ghost town (really nearly abandoned) and then "hippies"move back in and soon "hippies" became artists and a massive restoration was underway. I'm sitting in a little park overlooking the old blast furnace and below me the valley that stretches as far as the eye can see. Jerome is at 5500 feet--a mile high as the local cafe advertises. It is a also described as one of the "wickedist" towns in the west, saloons and brothels marked Jerome's "best" years.

But, like most of American history--and the history of the slave trade--its only when we get closer to we see the interesting and varied threads that make up the whole cloth. I'm off to Creede, another former mining ghost town, to discuss the contributions of a former slave and black man--Fred Coleman--to the discovery and mining of gold in--yet another--former mining town (now restored)Julian California. As these old towns--ghost towns--rediscover their pasts they are also rediscovering the interesting and diverse population of people who contributed to their original development. Fred Coleman's history--his contributions to Julian-- has only in recent years been acknowledged. The slave trade snuffed out millions of lives and disrupted--destroyed the cultural fabric of west Africa, but it also brought (however unwillingly) millions of black people to north and south America--people who have made an enormous contributions to the "American"cultural fabric. From my park bench in Jerome, I wish you folks a good day and fun with your researching and our discussions.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Outstanding Paper Award

I'm proud to report:

Emerald Literati Network

2009 Awards for Excellence

Every year Emerald invites each journal’s Editorial Team to nominate what they believe has been that title’s Outstanding Paper and up to three Highly Commended Papers from the previous 12 months. Your paper has been included among these and I am pleased to inform you that your article entitled Constructing the Cafe University Teaching and learning on the digital frontier published in On the Horizon has been chosen as an Outstanding Paper Award Winner at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2009.

The award winning papers are chosen following consultation amongst the journal’s Editorial Team, many of whom are eminent academics or managers. Your paper has been selected as it was one of the most impressive pieces of work the team has seen throughout 2008.

Further information regarding the Awards for Excellence can be found at the following site:


Rum, Slaves and Molasses: Slavery and the Slave Trade in the Americas

Been a little while since I've had occasion to return to my blog and share thoughts with friends and colleagues worldwide. I'm beginning a new online term with students at St. Edwards University in Austin, TX this summer 2009. The course is one of my favorites: Rum, Slaves and Molasses: Slavery and the Slave Trade in the Americas. I love to teach it. The course grew out of my much older, more conventional course devoted to slavery and incidentally to the slave trade offered at several institutions but especially St. Lawrence University the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. After opening an extension of the University Without Walls program (Skidmore College) in the beautiful Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda my interest sharpened to the African slave trade to the Americas but especially the Caribbean. My wonderful students on Antigua introduced me to new ways of viewing the trade in human cargo and to the languages and folkways left in the wake of the horrific trade in humans. People make the best of difficult, horrible circumstances. The peoples carried off the many coasts of Africa, the African Diaspora, survived--indeed, prospered. Their experience and their survival merit our attention and admiration. I'll have more to say and share as the course gets underway next week.