Active Projects

A remarkable, and may I add “restricted,” document discovered deep within the archives of the British Library revealed much of the politics that surrounded Admiral John Byng’s court martial as well as the subsequent government inquiry into how the island of Minorca fell to the French in April of 1756. Those two went together. But prior to both, the Newcastle government collapsed: too many (more…)

Several new projects of late have cropped up and like all projects do they’ve commenced to consume a great deal of my time. One of them is even related to history. Go figure.

So I thought I’d share it with you (or at least give you fair warning) so that the few that do follow this here blog can keep me honest, keep me pestered, and get me to finish it within the next couple of weeks or so. (more…)

OK, folks. Sorry for the delay. Below is part two of my conference paper “Artful Emissaries”: Media Abuse and Popular Protests in 1756 Britain.” The introduction for this paper has already been published on this here blog (a totally copyright protected site – no plagiarists, please… and can be accessed by clicking here and here). Part II introduces you – the reader – to how news was presented and distributed to people in England in the 1750s. Forthcoming, or Part III and Part IV, will be a brief on the Byng Affair, or placing it in context; and then a detailed explanation of the media manipulation surrounding the Byng crisis. Enjoy, and as always, feedback highly encouraged. (more…)

OK, the first setback of the academic year is here. The small (only $300) traveling grant that was to get me from Chico to San Antonio Texas did not arrive. More precise, I was passed over. Bummer.

Not so bad. I suppose. It may mean that I may have to cut my trip to the conference by a day, perhaps two.

For those that don’t recall, or were not part of this blog when it first ventured forth… on January 18 of 2011, I posted in the projects section details of the trip. It’s part of the PCA/ACA national conference. I’m on panel number one, and I get to discuss my research on media abuse during the early days of the Seven Years’ War.

The fun starts on the 20th of April and is to last on to the 23rd. For those that do math (blech!) that’s four days and three nights of schmoozing, networking, and making contacts. Well, make that three, er, maybe even two, for that may be all I can afford.

I will approach the History Department here at CSU, Chico…but with the budgetary state of the CSU system… I think not.

Worse things I suppose. I’ll keep everyone updated.

Minorca’s loss, however, must be set in context. The French takeover of the island hit the London press nearly two weeks prior to George II’s formal declaration.[1] Further, the loss came at the tail end of numerous other known defeats, especially the rout of General Edward Braddock’s army in the backwoods of Pennsylvania by French and Indian forces the year prior. Additionally, the movement of French troops and materials in the south of France seemed well known by many, and reported upon by a few newspapers earlier in the year.[2] Thus, an additional British defeat at the hands of the French certainly placed the Newcastle administration in an unenviable position of further defending its war and foreign affair policies.


San Antonio bound in April – not that Texas is a favored destination. But that’s where the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA) will be holding a conference entitled “Protest Issues and Actions.” I glommed onto a few key words from the call for papers announcement last November: “protest, past, dissent, rhetoric, politics, impact, and media” to come up with a brief title and abstract.  (more…)