Faculty Research & Creative Activity


Crowdsourcing the Early Modern Blogosphere

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2013


What connects the blogosphere with the early modern period? How do "cut-and-paste" methods of copying, (re-)reading and (re-)writing dominate both the practice and the era? These unorthodox questions begins this analysis of those history blogs which comment on the period we now label "early modern." The pre-history of the blogosphere is found in the same post-World War II era that saw the expansion of the term "early modern.” The early modern concept developed out of a stadial view of history embraced by modernization theorists. Yet early modern historians have been quick to jettison macro-analysis for microhistory. Likewise, there is a tension in the framework of the blogosphere between the particular (packet-switching) and the universal (network). The numerous blogs that deal with early modern themes, can be examined according to how they define their content and era, who are the author(s) and their (academic or non-acadmeic) backgrounds, and who links to whom? The early modern blogosphere is particularly focused on and well-suited to the analysis of what has been dubbed "Print 2.0": the era of late-17th and early-18th Century, during which ephemeral pamphlets and newspapers became widely available.