It’s recently been estimated that Americans spend $19.5 billion on Valentine’s Day. Whether you go all in or prefer to recast the holiday as “Singles Awareness Day,” people have been baring their heart and soul through love notes for centuries. In early America, as long as quill, ink, and paper were on hand — one … More Will you be my 18th century Valentine?
I am addicted to podcasts. Much like the earlier 2000s were the golden age of blogging, it seems that today we are living in a golden age of audio. Podcasts crept into my life very unassumingly. I can’t even name the first one I ever listened to. But like the Netflix-induced binging of television series … More Five on a Friday: Podcasts for a Varied Life
You may have noticed that things have been rather silent on the blog front lately. While not intentional, this silence has mostly been the by-product of a very busy year so far. So many good things are happening, but many of those things have needed lots of attention. After another packed teaching semester in the … More Hello from the other side … of summer research
In our digital age, the contagion metaphor is often part of the language we use regarding the exchange of information. The most popular videos go “viral” online. We share culturally-relevant “memes” via social media that spread like the common cold. But such metaphors are nothing new, especially when applied to migration. As medical knowledge developed in … More Emigration as Epidemic: Perspectives on the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Highlands
On a stifling, late summer evening in September, I sat with my family in my parents’ living room in the wake of Hurricane Florence. We had been without electricity for nearly a week. Windows were raised in an effort to take advantage of any breeze, light traffic on the main road nearby and evening insects … More Chilling tales from the Lower Cape Fear
When I left North Carolina in 2014 for my Ph.D. adventure in Scotland, a new trend was on the rise. Like many other cities in the state, and indeed the country, my hometown of Wilmington also became the home of several new microbreweries as the trend of home brewing and craft brewing swept the US. … More “Beer is a good family drink”: Women and Craft Brewing in early North Carolina
In 1966 historian Gordon Donaldson wrote that, in essence, Scotland’s “greatest export” was its people.  Over the course of five centuries, Scots migrated to every corner of the world. They are, in many ways, a very mobile population. My own research has looked at Scottish families (from both the Highlands and Lowlands) who settled … More Five on a Friday: It’s Tartan Day!