Best news I saw today: the National Park Service has just announced that they have acquired the site of Chief Powhatan’s village where he ruled over his mighty confederacy (and which may be the site of Pocahontas’s saving of John Smith’s life). It will be a while before it is interpreted and open for business, but when it is it will definitely add to the experience of visiting the whole Jamestown, Yorktown, Williamsburg corridor.
Mayor, congressman, UN ambassador, and Civil Rights icon, Andrew J. Young has seen Free State of Jones, and he really liked what he saw—Especially in regards to what it says about white-black alliances. Check out his endorsement of the film. Also, the Journal of the Civil War Era has now weighed in with a review of the film. A strong consensus is emerging among historians that while flawed, it is still a good and powerful film that deserves a large audience. If you have not seen it yet, what are you waiting for? (I am offering extra credit to one of my classes if they go and see the movie. I can’t wait to hear their reactions).
Actor Josh Radnor tweeted out that filming of the second season of Mercy Street wrapped up today, so we have that to look forward to! (Are we living in a golden age of Antebellum and Civil War pop culture? Let’s keep it going!)
We all know that Broadway’s Hamilton is being used in the classroom these days, but here’s a piece from the Washington Post that might give you educators out there some ideas and/or inspiration.
And speaking of pop culture in the classroom: Is Game of Thrones a good way to get students interested in medieval history (or history in general?) Dr Carolyne Larrington, who teaches Medieval English literature at Oxford thinks so, arguing that using a modern reimagining of medieval war would be “really valuable” in “awakening” an interest in the real thing. She’s published a book about the similarities between characters and events in Game of Thrones and real historical figures and events. I’m putting that book on my list, right now.