Thursday, May 18, 2006

Bad History Gets Better.... is that good?

When I posted notice of the First Carnival of Bad History, fellow Cliopatriarch Jonathan Reynolds quipped "Methinks we are only beginning to scratch the surface!"

Four (and a half) CoBHs later -- several of which have featured my work -- I think it's safe to say that we've scratched a lot of surfaces over the last year, but there's lots of pristine bunk out there, just waiting for bloggerly attention. Though I think professional historians have a special obligation to be tech-savvy and publicly outspoken on matters of historical interpretation and discourse, the Skeptics Circle community has been very engaged with historical illogic (e.g. Holocaust denial rebuttal here or here), and the CoBH itself was founded by the eminently skeptical John McKay.

I love this carnival -- its broad participation, its irreverent intolerance for ignorance, its potential as an educators' tool -- and I'm really honored that John has invited me to join the administrative team. It might seem odd for a professional, credentialed historian to take this step -- surely "Carnival of Bad History" will raise a few eyebrows on an academic cv -- but I intend to see this become one of the premier gathering grounds for reality-based snark, furious fact-checking and historical fun.

There will be a few changes coming: After the next quarterly installment, currently scheduled for June 20th, the CoBH will be going to a monthly schedule! It's a cliche, I know, but the blogosphere moves too fast for a quarterly event to maintain anyone's attention, and a healthy carnival needs a good rhythm and regular attention. The increased pace, though, means that we really need hosts! The next edition is scheduled for one month from now, and then we'll have one a month after that, etc. Contact John or I to volunteer, and make your mark in one of the most talked-about carnivals in the blogosphere! Or, if you just want to contribute material, you can send links to us or submit them here; nominations can be of other people's work as well as your own, if it deserves inclusion.

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