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93 events in 13 months (whew!)
Thank you for making this an amazing year for "History, Disrupted"
History, Disrupted was released one year ago, in December 2021, but a book about the effects of social media on history was an idea years in formation. Along the way, I spoke to several literary agents and publishers about it.
“Too scholarly,” I was told.
“Too niche,” they said.
“No one will read it,” I heard a lot.
Despite what agents and publishers said, it has been read. All over the world. It’s been an Amazon best seller in six categories. It’s been praised by readers and critics. And in 13 months since becoming available for pre-order, we’ve done a combined 93 events and media appearances.
For this, I can only say THANK YOU!
Thank you for believing in this idea.
Thank you for recognizing this as an important topic.
Thank you for reading the book.
Thank you for supporting me on this journey.
But, we’re not resting on our laurels.
We still have a lot of work to do to instill media and historical literacy into society and embed humanistic values into our increasingly tech-dominated world.
When I look across the media, social media and political landscape I still see:
Rigorous historical analysis in short supply, particularly in the mainstream press and on social media platforms.
Tech and social media companies resistant to integrating humanistic thinking into their modes of operation.
Public history—and, indeed, many expert-centric forms of knowledge that have an intrinsic value to society—severely endangered.
History education and history communication chronically underfunded.
We need to take the ideas from History, Disrupted and put them into action. So, in the New Year, I ask you to join me by teaming-up, partnering, collaborating and combining our efforts. Let’s work to invest in making our society more media and historically literate, for the sake of democracy, human rights and civic understanding.
If you’re a journalist or a media company, let’s talk. If you’re working on civics or media literacy projects, let’s connect. If you’re inside a corporation, government agency or a university, let’s chat. If you’re a like-minded partner organization, let’s strategize. Let’s use the knowledge of the past to guide us towards a brighter future.
Not in a position to collaborate, but want to help make this work possible? You can also make a donation.
2022 was a terrific step in the right direction. Let’s make 2023 even better.
And, in case you missed it…
From NPR and C-SPAN, to SxSW and the State Department, here are the 93 events / media appearances that made this an exciting year:
We began by discussing the future of storytelling at the UK’s Being Human Festival
After which The Jewish Telegraph in Manchester, England, interviewed me about my Jewish upbringing
History News Network published my op-ed “Veracity or Virality? How Social Media are Transforming History”
We did a book release party in Washington, D.C., graciously hosted by Lost City Books, which aired on C-SPAN
The same week I was interviewed by my alma mater, The George Washington University
And took part in conversations with the Foreign Policy Research Institute, Made By Us, and Civics Unplugged.
We did an amazing book release party in New York City co-hosted by Lululemon and The Sugary Effect
Then went on Efecto Naim and NPR again, this to talk about how the war in Ukraine has played out on social media.
I traveled to SxSW in Austin, TX, for a panel on trust and institutions with SHE Media, got interviewed by Rolling Stone, and talked about the history wars with Made By Us
Followed by a trip to the National WWII Museum to talk about history as a video game.
I spoke to history students at The George Washington University and West Chester University; PhD students at the University of Virginia; and journalism students at the University of Oklahoma.
Then went on NPR for a third time to talk about the web’s reality warp
I chatted with the AskHistorians podcast on Reddit, and with the New Books Network podcast
We held a book release party in Philadelphia hosted by Philadelphia 250 and The Athenaeum
Then I spoke to the U.S. Department of State and the Society for Historians in the Federal Government.
Ethic published a piece about me called, “It is essential that students relearn history”
Then I flew to Europe for a lecture and workshop with Corvus, currently housed at KU Leuven in Leuven, Belgium.
I took a train to the University of Luxembourg for an event with the Centre for Contemporary and Digital History
The back to Brussels to meet with the European External Action Service, European Parliament and the Transatlantic Alumni Network.
I delivered a keynote address to a U.S. Army Reserve unit at Fort Carson, Colorado about how soldiers and scholars are united in the fight for liberty and justice for all
Then wrote an op-ed for TIME Magazine called “The Era of Self-Evident Truths are Over,” which became the basis for a July 4 lecture at the National Liberty Museum.
Argentina’s second largest newspaper, La Nacion, reviewed my book
I went on the Professor Buzzkill History Podcast again to talk about a vintage newsreel that went viral
Times Radio in London, El Pais in Spain, and Canvas8 in the UK each interviewed me, then I traveled to Europe again for two panels at the International Federation for Public History conference, one about social media and the other about video games.
Our friends at All Tech is Human released their Summer Reading List and their Responsible Tech Guide, both featuring History, Disrupted; and, the art installation and event series “A Species Between Worlds” hosted a stimulating debate among me, Jonathan Haidt and Sinead Bovell.
And delivered keynote addresses to Austin Community College, Episcopal Academy, and the American Association for State & Local History
Meanwhile the book was featured in the November issue of the Foreign Service Journal
And we launched a collaboration with New York Adventure Club, which was originally intended to be an eight-part series but was reduced to three parts because I had to have surgery (I’m fine).
I spoke with students and faculty at Krems University in Austria and the Freie Universitat in Germany
And we held an event at the Embassy of Lithuania of Washington, D.C., moderated by Vivian Salama of The Wall Street Journal.
I traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio, to appear at the Books by the Banks Festival
And returned to the National Liberty Museum to speak to educators from the Council of State Social Studies Specialists.
I delivered the Henry F. Schorreck Memorial Lecture at the National Security Agency
We also produced an in-depth report on what TikTok is doing to people’s understandings of history.
Co-hosted a six-episode podcast series called “Reframing History.”
And this newsletter saw a 278% growth in subscribers, with 34 dispatches sent totaling more than 50,000+ page views.
It was a stimulating year, part of an extraordinary and unlikely journey. I’m grateful to you for being part of it—whether you’ve just joined or been here since the beginning.
More in the year ahead. If you’d like to invite me to speak, please contact me.
In the meantime, be safe, stay warm, and have a meaningful holiday season.
All best wishes,
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