Dear readers, after three years of writing and publishing posts for TZR, I have decided to suspend new posting with the blog indefinitely. I am writing this post in order to explain my decision. I first created TZR on Saturday afternoon, February 1, 2014. At the time, I was contributing to the collective, public-history blog of the History Graduate Student Association at Loyola University Chicago, The Lakefront Historian. I enjoyed writing for this blog so much that I decided to embark on a project of my own.
Over the next three years, I featured TZR posts about History in a variety of different formats, including book reviews and précis, personal reflections, notable quotes, news and announcements, class lectures, interviews, recommended resources, links to online materials, and feature-length articles. The feature-length articles ranged from research prospectuses to bibliographical essays, historiographies, and research papers.
During these years, I always intended TZR to be a supplement to, and a release valve for, my more-formal studies in graduate school. As such, I never adhered to a reliable or consistent posting schedule. Instead, the only way I felt that I could make the blog work with my school commitments was to partner it with my academic course-work, adapting and posting materials that I had to complete for my teachers anyway. This strategy meant that, while my posts often aligned closely with my personal research interests, they more-generally reflected the assignments that I was given by my professors at any particular moment.
Recently, I passed over a threshold in my journey towards my degree. During the 2016-2017 academic year, I started conducting research for my potential dissertation project. Since I plan to publish this research in a more formal venue some day, I chose not to post about it on TZR. Then, in the spring of 2017, I finished with my graduate course-work entirely. As a result, I am no longer being assigned and producing papers for school that I can re-post on TZR. Rather, I am focusing my time on studying for my comprehensive examinations and preparing for my dissertation prospectus, both of which are supposed to occur in the fall of 2018. If I successfully complete these two stages of the doctoral process, then I will begin several years of intensive research and writing for my dissertation. Like much of the work that I undertook in the 2016-2017 school year, I will be saving these writings for publication in a forum other than TZR.
In order to focus on the tasks ahead, and to make a clean break with my years of course work, I have chosen to suspend all new posting on TZR indefinitely. I will keep TZR active online so that people can read previous posts, but I will refrain from publishing new material while I pursue my comprehensive examinations and work on my dissertation. While I hope to develop new methods of sharing my historical research with the public, I do not know if I will do anything with TZR in the future. If I decide to return to this blog one day, hopefully, by that time, I will have completed the program at UC Davis, received my PhD, and achieved a level of professional freedom that will allow me to more fully dedicate myself to engagement with the public about History.
Thank you for your support over these past three years and best wishes,