While innocently eating my lunch and paging through the most recent issue of Vogue Patterns, I discovered this very nice write up of my blog. What a surprise! It came at a propitious time, since my first blog post was almost exactly five years ago.
When I started this blog, I was still working full time as a history professor at the University of California, Irvine. (The town is halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego). My original research field was early Soviet history with a focus on Soviet culture. I gave courses in Russian history and European history, but in the last years of my employment I branched out into American history. My favorite new area of research was American fashion history, which I taught the last five years before I retired in 2011.
Since academics are always looking for the next book project, I had begun research for a book on older American women and fashion beginning in 1900. It’s a huge topic and I was struggling to figure out an organizational structure. My husband, also a historian, urged me to start a blog instead. This format is such a good fit for me. It lets me do what I love most—research and writing. As an added bonus, my husband helps a lot by suggesting new topics, acting as an editor, and working as my on site photographer.
Is the blog format dying? Many people are now speculating that new platforms, like Instagram, will take its place. I’m a big fan of Instagram, but it doesn’t have the mixture of images and text that makes blogs so compelling. So I intend to continue blogging for a long time to come. Why not take part? If there is an interesting older woman in your life, share her story here.