Author Archives: michaeljdouma

Space-time visualizations without a flux capacitor

I’m on tour at various regional colleges, giving presentations about my new book, Creative Historical Thinking. I try to make these presentations interactive, with a number of historical thinking exercises for the audience. One point I have been consistently trying to make is that the ways we conceive of time can fundamentally differ from one […]

Book Review: Alex Rosenberg, How History Gets Things Wrong: The Neuroscience of Our Addiction to Stories (MIT Press, 2018).

A new book by an established philosopher of science challenges the value of narrative explanations, of history, and of purposeful action more generally. Historians, it seems, have been doing it wrong. They have been under the spell of believing that people act with purpose, and that by studying history we can understand human motivations and […]

A Tale of University Bureaucracy, in 89 (or so) emails.

January 10, 2018: M applies for a seminar that I am running. January 15, 2018: I write M to congratulate her on being accepted to the seminar. January 17, 2018: M confirms that she will attend the seminar. January 18, 2018: I inform all of the seminar attendees about the reimbursement procedure. March 9, 2018: […]

Interview about Classical Liberal History

Time, where did you come from, where did you go?

Time flows up and down, or in a circle (a nautilus perhaps); it flows from left to right. Where time comes from, and where it goes, depends on the observer. Every time I present my work on spatial conceptions of time, I ask students to draw their own examples. Not everyone has an image that […]

The Weekly Pill Planner: Design and the Importance of Spatial Views of Time

I’ve been writing about all of the interesting ways in which people visualize time in spatial form: images of the day, the week, the month, the year, and story lines. I think that spatial visualizations of time help with memory, and that they help make us better at remembering the past and preparing for the […]

A Few More Space-Time Visualizations

Space-time synesthesia, a topic that I have explored in my new book Creative Historical Thinking (Routledge, 2018), is the idea that some people reflexively think of time in spatial form. How they do so, however, differs from person to person. Exploring this idea, I have been asking classrooms of college students to days their views […]

Book Review: Sam Wineburg, Why Learn History (When It’s Already on Your Phone)

If the modern history textbook was on trial for corrupting the youth, I’d appoint Sam Wineburg as the prosecuting attorney.  His hatred for the standard 1,000-page neon-flashing over-produced textbook was first on display in his 2001 book Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts.  Now, in this new work, Why Learn History (When It’s Already on […]

Aerial Photographs of my house

In my new book, Creative Historical Thinking, I have a chapter about the history of my house, and all of the different creative ways you can use to learn more about your property. I end the chapter by saying that I don’t know what I will discover next, nor how I will learn more about […]

Alumni Feature (Hope College)

I am featured on the website of my alma mater’s history department. Here.