Experimental History with Martha Hodes

A few months ago I heard Martha Hodes speak about her latest book, The Sea Captain’s Wife. Most of the questions from the audience centered on the accessibility of her writing and its appeal to a mainstream audience. During the presentation she championed the need for better History writing, even suggesting that dissertations should be written in a more informal or experimental style. Her talk led me to her article in Perspectives: “Experimental History in the Classroom.”

I’ve been reading through each text that she mentions in her article, and have compiled a list below (with hyperlinks when possible) for others who are interested in reading more works of Experimental History:


John Demos’ The Unredeemed Captive
William S. McFeely’s Sapelo’s People
David Farber’s Chicago ’68
Robert A. Rosenstone’s Mirror in the Shrine
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s A Midwife’s Tale
James Goodman’s Blackout
Suzanne Lebsock’s A Murder in Virginia
Russell Banks’ Cloudsplitter
David Dante Troutt’s The Monkey Suit
Daniel K. Richter’s Facing East From Indian Country
Simon Schama’s Dead Certainties
Richard White’s Remembering Ahanagran
Shahid Amin’s Event, Metaphor, Memory
Greil Marcus’ Lipstick Traces
Richard Price’s Equatoria
Geoff Dyer’s Out of Sheer Rage
Ben Yagoda’s The Sound on the Page
John Clive’s Not By Fact Alone

Journal Articles:

Carl Becker’s “Everyman is His Own Historian
John Clive’s “The Most Disgusting of Pronouns
Daphne Patai’s “Sick and Tired of Scholars’ Nouveau Solipsism”
Ruth Behar’s “Dare We Say ‘I’? Bringing the Personal into Scholarship”
Elsa Barkley Brown’s “Polyrhythms and Improvization: Lessons for Women’s History”
Brook Thomas’ “Ineluctable though Uneven: On Experimental Historical Narratives”
Greg Dening’s “Performing on the Beaches of the Mind
Suzanne Lebsock’s: “Truth or Dare: On History and Fiction


American Experience: A Midwife’s Tale
American Experience: A Murder at Harvard

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