Anonymous said: The problem with MPoC isn't that she doesn't have a PhD, it's how she presents herself as an academia expert while behaving in a completely unprofessional manner. In addition,she solicits donations and people eat up her words like it's cake.

I think I wasn’t clear in bringing up the PhD issue originally — which was in response to someone speaking as if MPoC was an Academic. 

MPOC is not an Academic scholar, because they are neither a graduate student, nor a PhD or Professor. This does not necessarily equal quality or poor scholarship. All this means is that MPOC is not an Academic, and not in “Academia.” You do not have to be an Academic to know something, you do have to be an Academic to be in Academia. 

I think this has confused some people, however, so let’s clarify a few things about what we mean when we say “academic” and “academia”, because even I have struggled with the definition. 

Wikipedia makes this easy: 

Academia is the community of students and scholars engaged in higher education and research.

For “higher-education” we mean Colleges and Universities, for “students” we generally mean graduate students, and for scholars, we mean someone who usually works at a place of Higher-education as a teacher or researcher. They are most often Professors, and without fail in the United States, a professional Academic is someone with a higher graduate degree or in the process of obtaining one in their area of scholarship.This varies in other countries, but as MPOC and myself are both US bloggers, that is what matters. 

An academic is merely a person who works, studies, and participates in the “community” of academia. 

In the world of academia in the US a doctorate (PhD) proves that you are an expert in your field and have produced significant new research. You have usually passed several years of courses (in the humanities), you have taken “Comps” and perhaps “Orals” both long and grueling examinations which test you on everything you should know and be an expert on, you have taught or TA’d courses, likely published papers, given talks on your research, done your own original research, and written a dissertation of book-length which says something new about what you study and you have defended it to a committee of other people who are already seen as experts in your discipline & related fields. 

Neither of us have a PhD — though I am a new PhD student, who will be going through this process, my blog here started long before I applied to graduate school. So in that sense, it doesn’t matter. 

But in the sense that people believe MPOC is a real academic, is part of academia, or is doing anything other than disseminating other academic’s work and then reinterpreting as they see fit — this is not true. And that matters. A core component of “academia” is peer review and feedback — criticism has to happen, and happens every step of the way

Criticism like “your methodology is inappropriate, your sources are not all peer reviewed and sometimes even prove you wrong, and your claims have very little basis in fact at times, undermining the very real points you could be making” happen. 

Generally these mistakes are bad, whether or not you’re an Academic. These mistakes are “re-do” and turn them back in. Mistakes happen. But mistakes that imply a lack of fact-checking or real research — these aren’t really acceptable on a consistent basis, especially when you claim things you aren’t. 

Look, don’t get me wrong: I’ve asked for money before. I am not perfect, or without flaws, and hell, I have to move across the country so a little extra cash right now would be fantastic. But there is a certain amount of responsibility you take on when you claim to inform or educate people on any subject under the sun and you garner a wide audience to do your research, tell the truth, and not mislead people. 

Anonymous said: It's been shown in canon that Tyler's character, Scott, is actually Latino also. His mother is Latina and his father is white, as far as we know.

Ah, see I don’t watch the show — I’ve only heard passing discussion over his parents’ casting. I’ll correct this. 

todaysdocument:

Geronimo, legendary Chiricahua Apache leader, was reportedly born  185 years ago on June 16, 1829.  

(His native Chiricahua name was sometimes rendered as Goyathlay in English.)

After years of resistance and eluding U.S. and Mexican forces, he eventually surrendered to the U.S. Army in 1886.

Hit the Source: Research, bibliographies, and databases. 
Sources are an interesting thing. If someone throws enough of them at you, you’re inclined to believe that what they’re saying is true, that all the sources are relevant, and that they’re all unbiased and accurate sources. 
This is not always true. Just like the news outlets, some of them have specific biases, or present information in misleading ways. But sources can be incredibly important, and immensely helpful for writing papers. 
Here’s why, as explained by Grinnell:

Citation is important because it is the basis of academics, that is, the pursuit of knowledge. In the academic endeavor, individuals look at evidence and reason about that evidence in their own individual ways. That is, taking what is already known, established, or thought, they use their reasoning power to create new knowledge. In creating this knowledge, they must cite their sources accurately for three main reasons:
Reason One: Because ideas are the currency of academia
Reason Two: Because failing to cite violates the rights of the person who originated the idea. (Implicit or Explicit claims the idea is yours is plagiarism). 
Reason Three: Because academics need to be able to trace the genealogy of ideas 

Read and save the PDF here. I have removed the explanations that follow the reasons for a quick read, but I recommend you go back and read them. It also answers the question: “Doesn’t the ownership of ideas reek of Capitalism?”, and gives a great run-down of citing yourself, citing other people, extended quotations, and laziness in writing.  
In summary: Ideas are valuable, they have ‘ownership’ and ‘credit’ to the people who had them, and tracing how and why ideas change can help you learn. Pretending ideas are of your own invention is plagiarism. 
So what about doing research? People paste long bibliographies and that doesn’t seem to do anything. Why are those needed? 
Bibliographies and Annotated Bibliographies are a list of sources regarding a particular subject or topic - or directly relevant to a particular paper. They may look something like this:

— Screencap of Bibliography: Free People of Color and Creoles of Color
Sometimes, bibliographies are annotated, meaning they give a short description of each entry - perhaps a paragraph of information explaining each source, its usefulness, a summary, or other pertinent information. Annotated bibliographies can cut down on the time you spend trying to determine if a source is relevant for you. 
Purdue OWL gives samples of Annotated Bibliographies here. Here’s a student project from U Michigan that shows an annotated bibliography regarding Chicanos and identity. Here's a much more elaborate annotated bibliography regarding Native American history in Federal Documents. You can see there's a big difference between an extensive annotated bibliography, and a concise one. Both formats, however, can tell you what the bibliography's author thinks of the sources. 
This means that the author of the bibliography may be biased or disregard things that aren’t useful to them, but may be helpful to you! 
The accepted citation format for history and art history is Chicago style, a quick guide can be found here.
Citations tell you: Who wrote or edited something, where it was published, who published it, when it was published, and the title. It can even tell you the volume, edition, and translator. 
When you find a book or journal related to something you’re trying to learn more about, you can look at footnotes, or the bibliography in order to find where they got their information. 
Say I’m looking up slave culture in New Orleans:

Donaldson, Gary A. A Window on Slave Culture: Dances at Congo Square in New Orleans, 1800-1862.” Journal of Negro History 69, no. 2 (Spring 1984): 63-72.

I find this article online, and access it through a database. (I used JStor, in this case.) It was published in 1984, so I already know that anything this paper cites came out in 1984 or before 1984. 
The footnotes (or end notes, in this case, because they came at the end of the paper) tell me where the author got their information:

This author even annotated their endnotes, telling us more information about the sources they used. If any of those end notes seem relevant to me, I can write them down, and look for them later. 
But since this was published in 1984, it might also be helpful to see who has mentioned this paper since 1984 for more current information. 
JStor and Google Scholar (as well as other databases) have helpful buttons like these:


"2 items citing this item"
Other items (written works by the author)
References
and Related Items.

Clicking on “2 items citing this item” gives me a list of things published after the article came out in 1984 that cite this. It actually gives me 3 things when I click on the button:


Pinkster: An Atlantic Creole Festival in a Dutch-American Context
Jeroen Dewulf The Journal of American Folklore Vol. 126, No. 501 (Summer 2013) pp. 245-271 Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/jamerfolk.126.501.0245



"Midnight Scenes and Orgies": Public Narratives of Voodoo in New Orleans and Nineteenth-Century Discourses of White Supremacy Michelle Y. Gordon American Quarterly Vol. 64, No. 4 (December 2012) pp. 767-786 

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41809523



Enclosure and Run: The Fugitive Recyclopedia of Harryette Mullen’s Writing Robin Tremblay-McGaw MELUS Vol. 35, No. 2, Multi-Ethnic Poetics (SUMMER 2010) pp. 71-94 Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20720704



They were published in 2010, 2012, and 2013, and while they may not all be helpful, this is how you get a good start looking for things that can help you in your research. It’s a bit like a treasure hunt. You have to follow the directions and clues to find the information you need or want. "Scholarly peer review" is a phrase that means that the information you see has been reviewed, critiqued, or tested by other scholars to see if the information holds up. You can also search for reviews of journal articles. 

Check your sources are related to what you want to talk about or are claiming, see if they are legitimate. 


Writing a Thesis Statement - UNC 
Scholarly vs. Non-Scholarly 1 | 2 | 3
Finding Academic Articles
The CRAAP test
Distinguishing among Scholarly, Popular, and Trade Journals
Locating a Scholarly or Professional Journal 
Evaluating Sources
Why Everything Isn’t Available Online and Free
How to Read Citations (video)
Berkeley Primary History Sources
Yale’s Art History & Archaeology source list & Guide
Previous USH-WG Guide

Hit the Source: Research, bibliographies, and databases. 

Sources are an interesting thing. If someone throws enough of them at you, you’re inclined to believe that what they’re saying is true, that all the sources are relevant, and that they’re all unbiased and accurate sources. 

This is not always true. Just like the news outlets, some of them have specific biases, or present information in misleading ways. But sources can be incredibly important, and immensely helpful for writing papers. 

Here’s why, as explained by Grinnell:

Citation is important because it is the basis of academics, that is, the pursuit of knowledge. In the academic endeavor, individuals look at evidence and reason about that evidence in their own individual ways. That is, taking what is already known, established, or thought, they use their reasoning power to create new knowledge. In creating this knowledge, they must cite their sources accurately for three main reasons:

Reason One: Because ideas are the currency of academia

Reason Two: Because failing to cite violates the rights of the person who originated the idea. (Implicit or Explicit claims the idea is yours is plagiarism). 

Reason Three: Because academics need to be able to trace the genealogy of ideas 

Read and save the PDF here. I have removed the explanations that follow the reasons for a quick read, but I recommend you go back and read them. It also answers the question: “Doesn’t the ownership of ideas reek of Capitalism?”, and gives a great run-down of citing yourself, citing other people, extended quotations, and laziness in writing.  

In summary: Ideas are valuable, they have ‘ownership’ and ‘credit’ to the people who had them, and tracing how and why ideas change can help you learn. Pretending ideas are of your own invention is plagiarism. 

So what about doing research? People paste long bibliographies and that doesn’t seem to do anything. Why are those needed? 

Bibliographies and Annotated Bibliographies are a list of sources regarding a particular subject or topic - or directly relevant to a particular paper. They may look something like this:

image

— Screencap of Bibliography: Free People of Color and Creoles of Color

Sometimes, bibliographies are annotated, meaning they give a short description of each entry - perhaps a paragraph of information explaining each source, its usefulness, a summary, or other pertinent information. Annotated bibliographies can cut down on the time you spend trying to determine if a source is relevant for you. 

Purdue OWL gives samples of Annotated Bibliographies here. Here’s a student project from U Michigan that shows an annotated bibliography regarding Chicanos and identity. Here's a much more elaborate annotated bibliography regarding Native American history in Federal Documents. You can see there's a big difference between an extensive annotated bibliography, and a concise one. Both formats, however, can tell you what the bibliography's author thinks of the sources. 

This means that the author of the bibliography may be biased or disregard things that aren’t useful to them, but may be helpful to you! 

The accepted citation format for history and art history is Chicago style, a quick guide can be found here.

Citations tell you: Who wrote or edited something, where it was published, who published it, when it was published, and the title. It can even tell you the volume, edition, and translator. 

When you find a book or journal related to something you’re trying to learn more about, you can look at footnotes, or the bibliography in order to find where they got their information. 

Say I’m looking up slave culture in New Orleans:

Donaldson, Gary A. A Window on Slave Culture: Dances at Congo Square in New Orleans, 1800-1862.” Journal of Negro History 69, no. 2 (Spring 1984): 63-72.

I find this article online, and access it through a database. (I used JStor, in this case.) It was published in 1984, so I already know that anything this paper cites came out in 1984 or before 1984. 

The footnotes (or end notes, in this case, because they came at the end of the paper) tell me where the author got their information:

image

This author even annotated their endnotes, telling us more information about the sources they used. If any of those end notes seem relevant to me, I can write them down, and look for them later. 

But since this was published in 1984, it might also be helpful to see who has mentioned this paper since 1984 for more current information. 

JStor and Google Scholar (as well as other databases) have helpful buttons like these:

image

"2 items citing this item"

Other items (written works by the author)

References

and Related Items.

Clicking on “2 items citing this item” gives me a list of things published after the article came out in 1984 that cite this. It actually gives me 3 things when I click on the button:

kokujinkun answered: Hm. Can you cover repression? That seems like enough of a topic in itself. Relate how repression effects what a person can or will learn. :D

Did you mean repressed information? I’m really aiming for a research and information oriented collection of references, not anything psychological. 

I’m going to write a second guide to research today and then post it later. My hopes are to include basic information about sources, citations, and the purpose of a bibliography (and why directly copy-pasting it from wikipedia will only get you so far.) 

If you have anything you’d like me to cover, and explain (without actually doing research for you), I’d be happy to hear it. Please submit to my ask - or reply to this post, if it’s a short request.

Any requests?

themuseologist:

I believed this would be beneficial for people researching for school papers, in college, for writing, and so on. This guide is mainly directed towards people who can access a College or University’s library systems because that is what I am most familiar with. However, this should help other people in a few places. 

The basic steps of research are:

  • choose a topic
  • narrow your focus within that topic
  • choose your thesis (if your thesis was not given as part of your assignment)

When you have a subject to research, then you can begin.

The above images describe how to run an efficient google search, and how to read Library of Congress system call numbers. When attempting to find a book within a research or university library in the United States, knowing the general set-up of the LOC system is invaluable.

When in doubt: Ask a Librarian. Having worked within a Library’s special collections & archives, I’ve both helped people find some pretty obscure things, and asked other librarians for help on equally obscure research. Librarians are trained to be able to help people research, find, and retrieve information. Their degrees are library and information sciences — and many academic librarians are specialized. They are familiar with things you may not be — finding things on microfilm, or special collections works, finding obscure keywords, running a variety of database searches, etc. 

If something cannot be found through your institution’s library, check the ILL (Interlibrary Loan - info here)

This is an incomplete guide, but a nice starting point. 

(Source: themuseologist)

Bibliography: Free People of Color and Creoles of Color » New Orleans Research Collaborative - History and Culture Resources on New Orleans

Early on, New Orleans’ three-tiered racial hierarchy and large population of free people of color (in French, gens de couleur libres) distinguished it from other North American cities. During the colonial and antebellum period, free people of color enjoyed relative affluence and freedom in comparison to enslaved Africans and people of African descent. However, they did not enjoy the same social, political, economic and educational privileges as whites in the city. Even before the Civil War, many free people of color began to describe themselves as “Afro-Creole” or “creoles of color,” adapting the term “Creole” to denote their pre-colonial heritage. Scholars continue to study how the population of free people of color became so substantial in New Orleans; the racial classification of Creoles of color in various time periods; and their roles in colonial, antebellum and postbellum New Orleans society.

lemongrabmypenis said: I love both yours and MPOC blogs. it really a shame that there is such a spit in terms of how history should be seen, recorded, and studied. I think both of you guys have your valid points when it comes to the history of POC.I have seen both your way and MPOC way of studying history in academia. I just don't think that there is one way to think about history. There are just so many factors involve in history that there can't only be one way to study history.

butterypoundcake:

ushistoryminuswhiteguys:

Without trying to seem glib or flippant — this is essentially the little leagues. Actual academia (i.e. professors and to a lesser extent, the graduate students under them) often have career long disagreements about things. 

So to begin with, “academia” is the world of Higher-Ed and research in this sense. And like any other community — there’s going to be a lot of disagreement. That’s actually what keeps history lively, interesting, and keeps us learning. It’s a community of people who are pushing each other and peer review happens. Often. And it’s not always nice.

Explaining I think someone is wrong on an internet forum? Well, people will see - but I don’t find it altogether different in concept from submitting a review to a research journal and explaining I think something about the execution of an article was wrong. And that happens. Typically, you can either take the defensive (maybe the person was wrong), or you can examine the criticism, understand it, and go on to improve. 

And then for my second point: MPOC is not a historian academic. They’re simply not an academic — and it shows. And people like that — people want to invest in people “just like them”. I understand why, as I said before I’m first gen on my mother’s side (she raised me) and I worked very hard to be a latina who was good at school. Not everyone will take this path. 

But here’s two things:

1.) If experts in their field are held accountable to explaining what they do or know to everyone, then education and knowledge becomes more open. Experts are valuable. People training to be experts hope to achieve this. But you can use the tools of expertise to share what you know with others - and nowadays anyone has the opportunity to do that which can be great. 

2.) There is a certain amount of professionalism expected from “experts” or grad students that MPOC just needs to put forth, regardless of whether or not you, or I, or anyone else agrees with them. Things like “well my geography is bad so I didn’t check.” If you told your TA that, do you think they wouldn’t mark you off? We all make mistakes, but they shouldn’t be a consistent issue. Implying “Urraca was muslim.” is just factually wrong. I can argue their placing the importance of skin coloring over societal treatment or context is wrong, I can imply I disagree with using UScentric theory on medieval Europe and it is baffling and unheard of, I can say their treatment of Jewish and Romani history in Europe is spotty at best, I can tell you they don’t understand historiography, periodization, or revisionism very well—

—but at the end of the day my problem is they get things wrong that they shouldn’t be getting wrong at all. Basic things. And when this is pointed out, the response is either “I’m bad at it,” (not very assuring!), or “I’m just using nuance here.” which is frankly, absurd. 

So you’re right - there is no one way to study history. But there are some really silly ways, I’m finding. Still, I’m sure Dan Brown will find something of value over there for his next novel. 

 A little disagreement here:

 I don’t have too much of a problem with MPOC not being an academic. There are some good independent researchers out there who pay attention to peer reviewed works, do their best to gain access to scholarly materials, study languages, know a thing or two about good methodologies, and so on. MPOC just happens not to be one of them. I have seen some people engaging in independent work that doesn’t suck in some of the pagan reconstructionist and magic/occult communities who haven’t taken courses in the subject matter, and while it can be argued its from perfect one can I believe have critical thinking skills even without a PHD. 

 Let’s not forget here that once someone has a degree they’re often taken seriously without question, and there are people who have graduated XYZ programs only to become hacks or quacks later in life, and/or get away with publishing awful books like The Female Brain, amongst other things.

 My issue with her is not being an academic, because academics are people too and can be wrong get away with a lot of things they shouldn’t, and institutions do have power and resource problems. My issue is her poor methodology and lack of intellectual honesty and a lack of interest in the truth. There are people with degrees out there that get away with the same publishing pseudo archaeology books, so I want to avoid the Appeal To Authority Argument.

Pre ETA: I want to make it clear though despite what I said I’m the last person who’d argue for surgery from a dentist or surgeon without proper training, credentials and so on, we need programs like that in order to avoid medical errors and independent research can only help you go so far.

I think we’re actually in agreement, re:  ”I don’t have too much of a problem with MPOC not being an academic. There are some good independent researchers out there who pay attention to peer reviewed works, do their best to gain access to scholarly materials, study languages, know a thing or two about good methodologies, and so on. MPOC just happens not to be one of them.” 

In fact, that’s exactly what I’m saying here. “You can use the tools of expertise” (good methodology, scholarship, etc) and “share what you know - anyone has the opportunity to do that.” - without being an “academic” in graduate school/PhD/Professor/etc. 

I am not arguing that the only people that matter are experts. I am arguing that there is a certain amount of basic decorum and effort to be expected from someone touting themselves as an educational resource. 

This isn’t an Appeal to Authority argument, so much as exactly what you said — independent and armchair historians can be awesome. (Hey, you can significantly see the difference between my other history blog four years ago and what I post today because I started taking it seriously!) 

I bring up her not being an academic because the OP said “studying in Academia”. In that sense, she isn’t, and that’s worth noting because again, Academia disagrees all the time. Like you said, there are people who get their degrees and then go on to argue aliens made the pyramids, and the real issue is bad scholarship, methodology, and intellectual dishonesty. 

I apologize if my language did not make this clear, as I only meant to differentiate that this is common in “academia” and that treating MPOC as “academia” is misleading. I actually discourage using my blog as a primary source for higher-ed research because that’s not its purpose or function (and frankly, I don’t want to be responsible if your professors mark you down for using a blog)

This acrylic-on-canvas painting, titled “Racism/Incident at Little Rock,” is one of Ulloa’s most famous works. Created in 1957, it’s a commentary on the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark.  - VCStar

Domingo Ulloa is known as an “Undiscovered Master”, and in 1993, was formally declared the “Father of Chicano Art” by the California State Assembly. 

September 25, 1957, became a historic day in the Nation when nine courageous children risked their lives to attend Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Confronted by a hostile crowd and escorted by the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne, they shouldered the burden of integrating a then segregated public school system.   Although the Supreme Court’s Landmark 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education struck down racial segregation in public schools, it was the courageous actions of these nine young champions of school integration that tested the strength of that decision.  Their actions not only mobilized a Nation to insure that access to a quality education was granted to all Americans, but they helped to define the civil rights movement.  They became known as the Little Rock Nine.

- Little Rock Nine Foundation