Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Year in Review: My Favorite Music in 2014

It's time for my annual year-end list of favorite albums. I'm no music critic, so my criteria for which albums make the cut follows the Lemon test: I know what I like when I hear it. Normally I'd write a little blurb for each of these twelve albums, explaining why it's a favorite. Unfortunately, I'll have to set aside that little extra flourish this year due to time constraints.

With that said, onto the list!

Favorite Song: Patriarch
Favorite Song: The Dark (Trinity)


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Things I Wrote in 2014

Most of my writing this year was devoted to research papers for PhD coursework. My topics were as varied as the courses in which I was enrolled: I wrote papers about William Gladstone's perceptions of America, depictions of atheism in the early American republic, and Mary Mills Patrick's college for girls in Istanbul and its connections with early twentieth-century liberal American Protestantism and Turkish nationalism.

Along with coursework, my writing in 2014 included blogging (here, at the Religion in American History blog, and at the American Society of Church History blog), writing pieces for more formal/established online outlets (Christian Century, Christ and Pop Culture, and Religion & Politics), and working on history conference papers and academic articles. Here's a list of the highlights from that non-coursework writing in the the past year (and yes, "highlights" is very much a relative term).

Conference Papers/Academic Articles

1) “‘Endless miseries, ruined lives, and social disaster’: Marrying Parsons and Sexual Revolution in the Progressive Era.” - presented at the Religion and Sexual Revolutions Conference at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics.

2) “‘First Pick the Mote From Thine Own Eye’: The Christian Rhetoric of Racial Equality in the African American Press of the Great Plains, 1890-1900.” - presented at the Missouri Valley History Conference and the Conference on Faith and History.

-I am working on submitting both of the pieces above to academic journals sometime in 2015. 

3) “Christian Historians and Social Media” - presented as part of a roundtable discussion at the Conference on Faith and History. You can read the full text of my comments here.

4) "From the Pulpit to the Press: Frank Crane's Omaha, 1892-1896." I recently submitted this article to a history journal, and should have a response back from them sometime in January. Hopefully, I will be able to list this as a published piece when I do a 2015 roundup of my written work.

5) Co-author with Jordan R. Bass and Mark Vermillion, “‘Going Viral’: The Impact of Forced Crowdsourcing on Coaching Evaluation Procedures,” International Sport Coaching Journal 1.2 (2014): 103-108. Mostly I did some background historical research on college coaching scandals, while Bass and Vermillion did the heavy lifting in putting the piece together and connecting the information I collected within a theoretical framework.

Most Popular Blog Posts (1000+ hits)
At both this blog and the Religion in American History blog I can track the page views that my pieces receive. I had three blog posts* this year that managed to get a four-digit hit count:

1) The Fifteen Best NBA Teams Of All Time...If Those Teams Were Organized By Players' College Degrees

2) Zach Lowe, Graduate Student in History

3) The Urban Pulpit: New York City and the Fate of Liberal Evangelicalism (Review)

*I also had two book preview lists posted at the Religion in American History blog that garnered well over 1000 views. Those two posts were easily my two most-read blog posts this year, but since they didn't really require much in the way of writing, I list them separately here. You can access my first preview list here, and my second preview list here.

Non-blog Online Pieces

1) Son of God and marketing Jesus movies to ministers (The Christian Century's "Then and Now" column)

2) A Short History of Christian Matchmaking (Religion & Politics)

3) A Narrow Vision of America’s Great Big God (Christ and Pop Culture)

Academic Book Reviews/Reflections

1) The Urban Pulpit: New York City and the Fate of Liberal Evangelicalism (RiAH blog)

2) Building the Old Time Religion: Women Evangelists in the Progressive Era (RiAH blog)

3) Transcendental Meditation in the Midwest (RiAH blog)

4) The Cross of War: Matthew McCullough's New Book on Christian Nationalism in the Spanish-American War (RiAH blog)

5) Rally the Scattered Believers: Northern New England's Religious Geography (RiAH blog)

6) Capture These Indians for the Lord: Indians, Methodists, and Oklahomans, 1844-1939 and Catholic Borderlands: Mapping Catholicism onto American Empire, 1905-1935 (RiAH blog)

7) Five "First Books" of Note in 2014 (ASCH blog)

American Midwest/West

1) An ASCH Member Heads to Washington: Ben Sasse and the Christian Right (ASCH blog)

2) Take a Stand for Peanuts: Thinking Out Loud About The Irreverent George Norris (RiAH blog)

3) The Minnesota Turn in the Study of Christianity (ASCH blog)

4) Bringing Social Gospel Back (Religion in the American West blog)

Commentary/Reflection on American Christianity

1) Progressive Evangelicals and Christian History (ASCH blog)

2) What God's Not Dead Gets Right (And Wrong) (Putz blog)

3) For Christians, Must Art Always Serve A Purpose? (Putz blog)

4) A Narrow Vision of America’s Great Big God (Christ and Pop Culture)

5) A Short History of Christian Matchmaking (Religion & Politics)

6) The Imagined Atheist in Colonial America (ASCH blog)

Basketball (all from the Putz blog)

1) The Fifteen Best NBA Teams Of All Time...If Those Teams Were Organized By Players' College Degrees 

2) The Most Interesting College Degrees in the NBA

3) College Majors and College Degrees for the 2014 Draft Prospects 

4) Zach Lowe, Graduate Student in History