Following the Leads

Toulouse

La mendiante à la sébille. Jacques Callot, 1723. BnF Gallica.

La mendiante à la sébille. Jacques Callot, 1723. BnF Gallica.

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Reweaving the Past: Revisiting the Social Nature of Textile Trade Networks Between France and New France

Detail of a seventeenth-century merchant's house in Villebourbon

Detail of a seventeenth-century maison-usine in Villebourbon

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Being Present to Explore the Past

Standing on the smooth stones of Ballycastle beach in Co. Antrim. The sea spray makes the colors incredibly vivid. (Photo by the author)

Standing on the smooth stones of Ballycastle beach in Co. Antrim. The sea spray makes the colors incredibly vivid. (Photo by the author)

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English Archives and the Allen Family of Bacon’s Castle: Seeking Answers, Finding Questions

This July, with generous funding from a Charles Center Summer Research Grant and additional support from other William & Mary sources,[1] I traveled to the United Kingdom to undertake archival and field research toward my doctoral dissertation project. The primary subject of my work is a site in Surry County, Virginia, which includes Bacon’s Castle, best known as the oldest surviving brick dwelling in [English] North America, and the plantation household associated with it. While I am interested in the entirety of the site’s life-history, including its “afterlife” as a historic landmark and museum, my current focus is on the relatively elusive seventeenth-century phase, marked by early English settlement including construction of the brick house and formal garden attributed to the Allen family. [2]  I hope to both shed light on the identities and lived experiences of the diverse people who built and inhabited the site—including indentured and enslaved members of the extended household alongside the plantation owners—and to connect them to wider local, colonial, and transatlantic contexts. As a historical archaeologist, I take a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the past, drawing on theories and methods from anthropological archaeology, history, and other fields, and considering artifacts alongside documents, as well as other sources like architecture, works of art, and environmental evidence.

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Finding Meaning in Choreography

The finale of Orchesis’ Evening of Dance was composed of four sections, which, altogether, chronicled the trajectory of global technological innovation.  Choreographic phrases reflected degrees of technological change, from stability to rapid modernization. I faced both the challenge of conveying industrial progress and idyllic peace to the audience, and also explaining to the dancers how these movements represented my vision. In this blog post I will discuss the inspiration behind three phrases, the way the music informed the movement, and the way I explained the meaning to the dancers. 

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Parkinson’s Disease And The Connection with Alzheimer’s

When I had interviewed with Matt Farrer in March my first impression was that he was just as impressive as his work. Dr. Farrer is a Parkinson’s disease researcher. In the last few weeks speaking with my colleagues I have heard them say exactly what I had gathered in my research before contacting him. His work has helped shape the entirety of Parkinson’s research.

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Reflection of The Camino de Santiago Part 2

We got up at around 7 am, then walked for about 15-20 miles, handed out surveys along the way, found our stay and a place to eat in the next town, then repeated each step for the next day. Sounds easy right? The answer for me was both yes and no. Although I adjusted to the routine easily, I soon however started to get back pain, realizing I may have over packed. Fortunately, I did not get any blisters on my feet, but I experienced sharp pain within the arch of my foot as we would get closer to the next town daily (probably due to not breaking in my hiking shoes). To make the journey a bit harder, the terrain was a bit hilly, accompanied by the hot sun. However, with all the obstacles I mentioned, I did experience a great deal of peace when walking the Camino, as being in nature definitely takes your mind off the physical stresses you may feel. Every day, I was fortunate enough to witness the beautiful landscape of northern Spain, I got to meet amazing people, and just walk for miles to the sound of nature. 

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Reflection of The Camino de Santiago Part 1

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Surveillance, Security, and Privacy, Part 2: When Trolls Come Knocking

It started as a niggling thought in the back of my mind…but it has since grown to a scale at which I can see the train wreck coming.

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Surveillance, Security, and Privacy, Part 1: The Ethics of Surveillance

In an age of open access, widely available public information, and instantaneous search results, the ethics of surveillance and privacy are becoming a pressing topic with which researchers must grapple.

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