Recapping the 2013 Marszalek Lecture

The last 36 hours have been a whirlwind of activity as I participated in the 2013 Marszalek Lecture Series, which involved the contributors to the collection of essays, entitled Of Times and Race, that honored John Marszalek. What follows is a brief outline of the two days, with some concluding thoughts. On Tuesday night, Mike Ballard, Tom Cockrell, Steve …

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Marszalek Lecture on March 20

Many of you remember that several of John Marszalek's former doctoral students had the pleasure of surprising him with a festschrift last March. On Wednesday, March 20, we will be serving as the 2013 Marszalek Lecturer(s). John and his wife Jeanne established the lecture series in 2003, inviting a distinguished scholar to speak each year. …

A Festschrift for John Marszalek

On Tuesday, I had the honor of helping surprise my doctoral advisor, John Marszalek, with news that several of his former graduate students had produced a festschrift. A group of approximately thirty family, friends, former students, and colleagues gathered in Starkville to unveil a new book, entitled Of Times and Race: Essays Inspired by John …

The Evolution of a Book, Part 1: Choosing a Topic

I'm currently finishing up a book manuscript for LSU Press tentatively entitled "Andrew Jackson, Southerner." As I'm completing the writing phase and enter the editing process, I wanted to look back and examine how the book developed. This post will be the first in a series that I'll write looking ahead to the book's publication.* …

The Dissertation Process, Part 2

(Part 1 of this series can be found here) LENGTH OF DISSERTATION My dissertation was 16 chapters long, or, to put it in perspective, 488 pages, sans bibliography. It could have been much longer; I eliminated over 100 pages of text during the drafting stage. (Yes, I tend to overwrite. People who know me as …

The Dissertation Process, Part 1

Last year, I wrote a Facebook note outlining the process that I went through to write my dissertation in 2001-02. I thought it might be useful to post it here for readers who might be graduate students who are pre-comps or who are just beginning the process. I've edited my original note to remove some personal …

My Academic Family Tree

One of the most exciting moments of my first year as a doctoral student occurred as I sat in the office of my advisor, John Marszalek, and heard him say that his doctoral advisor was Vincent DeSantis. The surge of adrenaline that I felt at that moment wasn't because of DeSantis, although he was a stellar scholar in his own right, but …