Blogs > Cliopatria > Happy Birthday, Cliopatria

Dec 9, 2007 6:19 pm


Happy Birthday, Cliopatria



If Mark Grimsley forgot to note the day that lives in infamy, I forgot to note the day that lives in history: this humble blog's birthday. Cliopatria was born on 6 December 2003. My first post that day coined a new word,"transblogrification," explored the derivation and meaning of our name, and introduced the founding members of the new group blog."Transblogrification" referred to the fact that my personal blog, Welcome to My World, was being transformed into a group blog, Cliopatria. The new word seems to have had only limited use.

Our name, on the other hand, is a more interesting word. I read over that original post, occasionally, to think about whether we're living up to its promise. To the extent that we do, it is largely due to my colleagues. Timothy Burke and KC Johnson were founding members of Cliopatria and the dialogue between them about American higher education and priorities for doing history gave this group blog much of its early vitality.

Our current colleagues, Manan Ahmed, Chris Bray, Miriam Burstein, Rebecca Goetz, Mark Grimsley, David Kaiser, Daniel Larison, Rachel Leow, Rob MacDougall, Scott McLemee, Jonathan Reynolds, Nathanael Robinson, Hugo Schwyzer, and William Turkel, each bring distinctive qualities, strengths and voices to our discussions.

Thanks, also, to Cliopatria's Contributing Editors, James Cobb, Hala Fattah, Michael Kazin, Wilson Moses, Thomas Palaima, Mechal Sobel, Sean Wilentz, and Sam Wineburg. We'd like to hear from them more often. Finally, we're also deeply indebted to Cliopatria's alumni: Alan Allport, Ophelia Benson, Derek Catsam, Oscar Chamberlain, Jonathan Dresner, Kenneth Heineman, Sharon Howard, Caleb McDaniel, Taylor Owen, Paula Petrik, Greg Robinson, Michael Tinkler, Dan Todman, and Jeff Vanke. Each of them made distinctive contributions to Cliopatria. I should single out Jon Dresner and Sharon Howard for thanks in particular. Jon Dresner is the father of Cliopatria's History Blogroll; and Sharon Howard is the mother of History Carnivals. I still consult with them regularly. Thanks to all of you.


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Jonathan Dresner - 12/9/2007

When the first thesis using Technorati as a primary source is filed....

I wouldn't call myself the "Father" of the blogroll: that's Ralph, for sure. More the "Godfather"....


Kevin Levin - 12/9/2007

Happy birthday to the best group blog in the blogosphere.


Rob MacDougall - 12/9/2007

Amen to that. Happy birthday to Cliopatria but thanks above all to Ralph the unstoppable.


Sharon Howard - 12/9/2007

And I'll second that!


Jeremy Young - 12/9/2007

Some day when I'm an old Professor Emeritus guest-lecturing in a course on "History and New Media" -- which will probably involve computer chips implanted in students' brains by that point -- I'll be telling them about "the old days" when the biggest history blog around got less than 600 hits a day, and some student will raise her hand timidly.

"You knew Ralph Luker?" she'll ask. "The father of history blogging? Really?"

"Oh, yes," I'll assure her. "He even commented on my blog once or twice."


And that student will leave the classroom with a newfound respect for me.

(Okay, a guy can dream, can't he? The point is, if that doesn't happen, it should.)


Manan Ahmed - 12/9/2007

No one else has given more time, effort, energy and sheer willpower to foster a discipline's entry into a new medium. I am always honored to be in his company and to learn from him.

Thank you, Ralph.