Tomorrow I’m off to Washington, D.C. to spend two days at the Library of Congress, studying baking powder. This is for my biography of Harvey W. Wiley, the first head of what would eventually be called the FDA. I’ve been writing the chapters one food at a time, and while I thought studying alum would lead me to adulterated white flour it turns out Wiley spent most of his time on alum arguing with the baking powder interests. Perhaps I’ll even figure out what baking powder does without having to watch an old episode of Alton Brown’s “Good Eats.”
Oh yeah, in the middle of those two days I’ll be at a convention full of historians talking about MOOCs with my old friend Historiann and my new friend (and former frequenter of the comments of this blog), Jeremy Adelman. I would post my paper here, but they tell me we’re all going to be in the teaching section of AHA Perspectives in February so you’ll have to wait ’til then to read it (a month later if you’re not a subscriber). I did, however, just give my permission for HNN to tape my session. If all the paperwork went through, I’ll link there in a new post when I see it up.
If you’re around, I might also run into you at a couple of receptions. I think I might leave the Manuscripts Reading Room early on Thursday to go to this one, which strikes me as an excellent idea. And hopefully somebody will tell me where the Wisconsin reception is this time around. Maybe the chair could tweet it this year…hint, hint? Or did Scott Walker outlaw discretionary spending altogether?