Of Things Ancient and Medieval
I'm eighteen months late to this story, but that's nothing to ancient historians. A few weeks ago, I saw an odd comment on Paul Halsall's English Eclectic:"I moved, and have been trying out as a mortgag[e] broker." If you don't know who Paul Halsall is or why that struck me as so unusual, you should. He is the creator of the remarkable Internet History Sourcebooks Project. It includes primary source documents in Ancient, Medieval, and Modern History, as well as African, East Asian, Global, Indian, Islamic, Jewish, and Women's History, texts in the history of science and a guide to gay, lesbian, and transgender history.
After completing his doctorate at Fordham in 1999, Halsall took a tenure track position as Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Florida. There, he was out as a gay activist and, in May 2005, complained on local television about a police raid on local gay bars. Within an hour of his public complaint, Halsall was arrested by the police for selling cocaine to an undercover agent. He was first suspended and, then, his resignation demanded by University officials. In court, Halsall pled nolo contendere, but the damage was done. For more information, see David Meadows's Rogue Classicism; the comments, including Halsall's own, at N. S. Gill's Ancient/Classical History and Scott Carson's An Examined Life; and this site for Halsall's defense.
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Alan Allport - 1/18/2007
Much as I appreciate Dr. Halsall's work and sympathize with his predicament, the evidence that his downfall is all the conspiratorial work of The Man seems, on the face of it, a bit shaky.
Jonathan Dresner - 1/18/2007
Yeah, the Fordham project has always been one of my favorite examples of the power of information technology to enhance our work and to magnify its effects beyond our publishing and direct teaching.
We do not need more real estate brokers. (Cynically speaking, given the glut of Ph.D.s, we don't actually need more historians, either, at least not for formal positions, but you know what I mean, right?)
Manan Ahmed - 1/18/2007
IHS and Halsall's work on bringing history online has always been inspirational to me. I wish him all the best and hope that history does not lose him to brokering.
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