EAS Miscellany: The digital companion to Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.
Miscellany. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a miscellany is “a mixture, medley, or assortment.” In its early American context, miscellany typically describes the published collections of essays, poetry, recipes, satires, and songs that became so popular during the eighteenth century and were the forerunners of modern magazines.
EAS Miscellany is the digital companion to Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Like its eighteenth-century printed predecessors, it features an eclectic range of content, from posts written by the journal’s authors, to interviews, reviews, forums, resource guides, multimedia sources, and other materials that don’t fit easily within the printed journal. EAS Miscellany provides a space where a diverse and interdisciplinary group of early Americanists can reflect on the primary sources, pedagogies, and issues that shape the field, and explore its contemporary relevance.
The mission of EAS Miscellany is to bring early America into the present. By continuing to learn from our past, we hope to foster dialogue between scholars, students, and others about what early America was, and what it is for us today. Whereas the goal of eighteenth-century miscellanies was entertainment, EAS Miscellany seeks to be educational, thoughtful, and provocative. In short, it aims to spread knowledge. The Pig of Knowledge, or the Learned Pig–our site’s mascot–became a fashionable symbol throughout the British Atlantic world beginning in the 1780s, after an owner trained his pig to spell out answers to questions by pointing to lettered cards. It was often used in satires to critique class-based notions about education and suggest that knowledge should be widely available.
EAS Miscellany was launched in 2022 by Rosalind Beiler and Judith Ridner during their tenure as co-editors of Early American Studies. The website is a collaboration between the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Central Florida’s Center for Humanities and Digital Research. It was designed by Mike Shier, journals manager for the College of Arts & Humanities at the University of Central Florida, with the assistance of Rhiannon O’Neil, digital editorial assistant for Early American Studies and an M.A. graduate of the University of Central Florida.
Rosalind J. Beiler, Early American Studies, Co-Editor (2021- )
Rosalind J. Beiler is Associate Professor of History at the University of Central Florida. Her research interests include early America, Atlantic history, migration, and public history. She is the author of Immigrant and Entrepreneur: The Atlantic World of Caspar Wistar, 1650-1750 and co-director of the digital project PRINT – People, Religion, Information Networks, and Travel – the Dynamics of Migration in the Early Modern World.
Judith Ridner, Early American Studies, Co-Editor (2021- )
Judith Ridner is Professor of History at Mississippi State University. Her research focuses primarily on the frontier and immigrant communities of early America. She has also worked in oral, public, and digital history, and material culture. She is the author of A Town In-Between: Carlisle, Pennsylvania and the Early Mid-Atlantic Interior and The Scots Irish of Early Pennsylvania: A Varied People. She is currently writing The Dirty History of Soap, a material history of this ubiquitous substance, from the ancient world to the present.
Laura Keenan Spero, Early American Studies, Associate Editor (2016 -)
Laura Keenan Spero is the Coordinator of Scholarly Programs at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the Associate Editor of Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. She received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Pennsylvania and has held postdoctoral fellowships from the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at the American Philosophical Society. Her research and teaching interests focus on Native North America, women and gender, and colonialism in the Americas.
Mike Shier, Web and Design Specialist, EAS Miscellany (2021- )
Mike Shier is a Research Specialist in the Center for Humanities and Digital Research at University of Central Florida, where he is also the Journals Manager for the College of Arts and Humanities and Graduate Faculty in its Texts & Technology Ph.D. program. He is the creative nonfiction editor for The Florida Review as well as its managing editor. He provides editorial and production support for many journals, including the Journal of Themed Experience and Attractions Studies,Florida Historical Quarterly,Prose Studies, and Early American Studies and EAS Miscellany.
Rhiannon O'Neil, EAS Miscellany, Digital Editorial Assistant (2021-2022)
Rhiannon O'Neil is a 2021 M.A. graduate of the University of Central Florida’s public history program whose current research investigates the relationship between gender and clothing, identity, and performance in colonial America. Rhiannon collaborated on the digital exhibit Bending Toward Justice: Voter Rights and Voting Suppression and has edited student-written blog posts for PRINT – People, Religion, Information Networks, and Travel – the Dynamics of Migration in the Early Modern World.
Carina Seagrave, EAS Miscellany, Digital Editorial Assistant (2022- )
Carina Seagrave holds her M.A. in Mass Communications with a focus in Journalism from the University of Florida. During her time at UF, her research focused on the social media usage of non-profit organizations to recruit volunteers. Carina’s B.S. is in English Literature and Religion from the Florida State University. Her research interests are based in gender studies and true crime podcasts, and how these podcast impact vigilance in women.
Casey Wolf, EAS Miscellany, Digital Editorial Assistant (2022)
Casey Wolf holds a B.A. in history with a minor in digital humanities from the University of Central Florida, where she is currently an M.A. student in public history. Her desire to share her passion for the past with others led her to participate in several student-focused, digital-crowdsourcing projects. She is especially interested in understanding how digital tools can increase engagement and facilitate access to the historical record while also bridging the gap between academic and public history.
Each author on EAS Miscellany is an independent contributor whose opinions are their own and not necessarily shared by the editorial team or other contributors.
To cite materials found on EAS Miscellany, please follow the Chicago Manual of Style or Turabian. For example:
Author Name, “Article Title,” EAS Miscellany, date of the post, URL.
Jane Patel, “Clothing and Self-Presentation in the Colonies,” EAS Miscellany, February 9, 2022, URL.
EAS Miscellany is an open-access companion to Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.