HogwartsCrest Gringotts Banker

Harry Potter and the Mysteriously Lacking Curriculum

Within J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, there are few professors as notoriously dull, both in and out of the narrative, as Professor Cuthbert Binns. As Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’s Professor of the History of Magic and the only ghost on the faculty, his role in the original novels can be reduced to punchlines […]... Read More
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Uncovering “The Big One”: The Discovery and Irony of the Cascadia Subduction Zone

When the Corps of Discovery and British fur traders first pioneered the Pacific Northwest, they remarked upon the settler-friendly Willamette Valley. The story that followed is familiar to most. Settlers from the East motivated by cheap, fertile, temperate land and notions of manifest destiny spilled across the continent along the various Oregon trails to stake […]... Read More
Victorious Century

Birds’ Eye View: David Cannadine’s Victorious Century

David Cannadine has loomed large in my own relationship with the British Empire. His response to Edward Said’s Orientalism, Ornamentalism, was one of the very first books that pointed me on the path to becoming a global historian, and I was lucky enough to write a (highly critical) paper on it years later at Oxford. When I saw that he had authored a general history of Great Britain in the nineteenth century as part of the Penguin History of Britain series, I knew I needed to read it.... Read More