Author Archive | Isaac Land

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The Coastal History Blog

Blog 27: “The Sailor’s Yarn” Visitors to Salem, Massachusetts are likely to make a beeline for anything related to the celebrated witch trials.  A few older tourists will notice the sites connected to Nathaniel Hawthorne (my generation was probably the last to read The Scarlet Letter in school as an obligatory part of the American […]

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    The Coastal History Blog

    Blog 26: “Conference report: Charles Dibdin and his World” Over Thanksgiving, I had the privilege to participate in what was apparently the first ever conference devoted to Charles Dibdin the Elder (1745-1814).  In what follows, I will not reproduce information easily enough discovered on the conference website, nor will I suggest that the conference reached […]

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      The Coastal History Blog

      Blog 25: “The Encroaching Coast” Most people wouldn’t associate northern Indiana with shipwrecks, but Lake Michigan has its share of them.  The J.D. Marshall sank in 1911, where it remains, just a stone’s throw offshore from the Indiana Dunes State Park.  It was a “sand sucker,” employed in pulling up sand from the lake bed […]

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        Blog 24: “Port Geography at the Crossroads” Cloistered subfields predictably produce cloistered scholarship. Cloistered scholarship is, as a rule, quite dull.  Why, then, does cloistering exercise such a fatal attraction for so many academics? A new article in the Journal of Transport Geography confronts this dilemma in an unusually honest way.  “Port Geography at the […]

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          The Coastal History Blog

          Blog 23: “Sailors on Bicycles” The first time I considered sailors in port as an academic subject was back in 1993, when—as a graduate student in search of a dissertation topic—I read the first chapter of Marcus Rediker’s Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Reactions to Devil varied, to be sure, but few […]

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            Blog 22: “The Trained Researcher’s Eye… and What It Misses” Many historians, young and old, nurse the lingering hope that their next round of research will uncover that career-making revelation, their personal equivalent of Carlo Ginzburg’s benandanti or Robert Darnton’s Great Cat Massacre. But if it turned up right in front of you, would you […]

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