Friday, February 21, 2014

Charles Savidge in Nebraska History

I just received word from the good folks at Nebraska History that my article on Charles Savidge, a Progressive Era holiness movement pastor from Omaha, has been posted in PDF format online (it was originally published in the summer 2013 issue).

You can access the article yourself here. And yes, the mustache is absurd, even by Gilded Age standards.

My article is a fairly straightforward biography piece, focusing especially on Savidge's particular holiness movement ideology (or theology if you prefer) and how it manifested itself in various unique reform activities. In a lot of ways, my research on Savidge was the doorway through which I was able to enter into the world of American religion in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. By trying to understand the world as Savidge encountered it, I became interested in exploring other questions from the era: the social gospel, religion in the American West, urbanization, romance and love, mass media marketing strategies, interracial religious spaces, and more.

When I re-read the piece earlier today, I couldn't help but wince at my sentence construction, at the scholarship I did not interact with, and at all the other instigators of published-writers remorse. Yet, I also knew that I did probably the best I could for where I was at two years ago as a scholar. I've since started work towards my PhD and have continued to learn and grow and develop. Hopefully in two years I'll look back at work I am doing now with similar feelings of accomplishment and sheepishness.

By the way, for anyone who might be interested, I've previously posted a number of short pieces on Charles Savidge here on the blog. You can access them by clicking this link.