Small blue hippo with cross eyes and beads of sweat pinging off him, a squirrel taps him on the back and points over his shoulder.

Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping…

Even in my department I occasionally have had to explain that “No, me teaching the Shang dynasty is not playing on home terrain. That’s like a historian of nineteenth century Europe teaching about emperor Augustus and the Roman empire, mkay?” Feel free to replace that with a similar 1800-2000 year interval of your choice. Chinese

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drawing of William the hippo

William the Hippo

In last Friday’s post, you may have noticed a little hippo in the right bottom corner, observing carefully how Squirrel compares the PRC/East Asia to the size of the US. Who’s that little fella? That’s William, the Muhlenberg College unofficial History Department mascot, lovingly borrowed from the Met Museum’s original plush version of the little

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Drawing of a squirrel holding up cutouts of East Asian countries over US map to compare sizes

Look at the size of that thing!

How do you explain to your colleagues that your courses cover an area larger than the US (the main frame of reference), and a couple thousand years more than they usually do, even if they’re historians? My tenure committee itself included people from political science, chemistry, mathematics, film studies/English and more. My first concern was

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