Thursday, October 27, 2011

How Many Witches Were Executed?!?

Jess Blumberg commits a significant error in a new article on the Salem Witch Trials. Once again a journalist with the support and authority of some magazine makes unsubstantiated and indefensible claims about the witch trials. This post takes Blumberg to task.
UPDATE: The editors at have corrected Blumberg’s original article.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 10/27 at 03:50 PM

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mapping Our Way Forward—More Experiments in Pedagogy

Having looked at students’ initial efforts to write cartographic biographies, I am rethinking how I can accomplish the goals I initially set forth. Here I think about some possible ways forward.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 10/18 at 10:02 PM
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Monday, October 17, 2011

“You are Here”—A Special Exhibition on Maps

Haverford College is about to open a exhibition on maps from Magill Library’s Special Collections. I was asked to write the caption for one of the maps, James C. Prichard’s ethnographic maps the accompany his Natural History of Man.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 10/17 at 10:49 PM

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Marketing a Colony—William Penn’s Maps of Pennsylvania

A review of some student work on the “Biography of a Map” assignment. Students consistently looked beyond the map itself, placing it in the context in order to recover the meaning it had for the original maker or the person who commissioned it. This post looks at efforts to understand three maps William Penn had made of his new colony.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 10/12 at 01:26 AM

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Really? Demonology was a Science?

At the recent Science on Tap Jonathan Seitz prompted people to think more broadly about what constitutes a science, both in the past and the present. Demonology, he argued, was a science that tried to categorize and make sense of natural phenomena.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 10/11 at 09:52 AM

Friday, October 07, 2011

Biography of a Map—Further Experiments in Pedagogy

My “Biography of a Map” assignment was intended to get students to think more broadly about historical artifacts and the nature of knowledge claims. I used maps as an opportunity to highlight some of the problems of approaching the past with our own assumptions and questions. Instead, it is important to recover the map maker’s questions and motivations. Maps are synecdochic for natural knowledge in general.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 10/07 at 10:49 PM

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