Author Archives: michaeljdouma

Review Article on Slavery in Dutch New York

Attendance Humor

Sietze Buning’s “War and Peace”

Coming to the house for breakfast after milking, I asked, “What star is that in the southwest, Dad, still so bright with the sun coming up?” That’s no star, Sietze. It’s moving and it’s coming this way.” In minutes, a floating contraption hovered above our farm. A machine growled and ground out a leaflet which […]

Venture Capitalists and Venture Academics

Some academics spend their whole lives focused on just one topic, but others branch out in many directions. Here is my attempt to coin the term “venture academics” to explain the growing phenomenon of academics who invest in many, and varied higher-risk, higher-reward research topics.

My new contribution to the Journal of Slavery and Data Preservation

How old? Claims for Superannutated, Centenarian, and Super-Centenarian Ex-Slaves

If you search for articles on “ex-slave centenarians” you will discover many claims of formerly enslaved people who  lived not only to 100, but much longer.  In 1981,  William Pinckey of Prince George’s County, Maryland, claimed to be 118, and had been born a slave.   Not to be outdone, Philadelphia’s Mary McDonla claimed to be 135 […]

Book review – Peter de Haan and Kerst Huisman, eds. Famous Frisians in America

We Frisians feel left out. As a group, our numbers in America are so small that we flat-out never get mentioned in history texts. That a book attempting to remedy this appeared at all in time for the 400-year Dutch American anniversary celebrations must be a sign of Frisian stubbornness and resolve. I don’t know […]

Students’ impression of their attendance record

On the Success of the Teach-to-Mastery Approach

My students’ essays this semester are, on average, better written than the average published op-ed or academic journal article. You might joke that academic journals set a low bar, and some of them do, that’s true, but the writing in most major journals in the field of history is pretty good (the American Historical Review […]

Jakub Rozalski and the past meeting the present

A few months ago, I discovered this Polish artist named Jakub Rozalski. His work mixes historical agrarian scenes, folkloric elements like werewolves and gnomes, with futuristic mechanical evils. He sets his work in particular years, such as a series of paintings about “1920” as seen in the top image. It is obviously influenced by the […]