A Summer Blogging

Earlier this summer I was named one of three graduate student guest bloggers at the American Historical Associations “AHA Today” blog.  It was a wonderful learning experience, and it was great working through the editorial process with the blog’s editor, Kritika Agarwal. Writing’s a painful process, but receiving edits is particularly agonizing, so I appreciate her patience, advise, and support. Big thanks for helping me with these blog posts go out to my adviser, Dr. Susannah Ural, as well.

I’ll let the end-of-season reflections I submitted speak for themselves:

Writing for AHA Today has been a more difficult but rewarding experience than I initially thought it would be. I usually discuss my work in class or at conferences with people who are already familiar with what I do, so writing succinct posts for AHA Today’s larger audience forced me to really refine how I described my research and experiences. With the help of the blog’s editor, I struggled with the hard task of tightening up my writing, staying focused on the series’ overarching theme, and parsing out aspects of my research readers would be able to relate to. The task of writing about my research for a wider audience also helped me develop new conclusions and lines of inquiry about my topic. Time and time again, I found myself returning to my primary sources with new questions while I composed drafts for my monthly AHA Today posts. In the end, this experience has made me more confident with my research and excited about writing more in the future.

My blog posts for AHA Today can be found via these links:


Allan Branstiter is a writer and Ph.D. student studying U.S. History at the University of Southern Mississippi. Currently residing in Los Angeles, California, he is writing a dissertation examining the experiences of Civil War veterans in the American West. He is a veteran of the Iraq War and a former candidate for the North Dakota State Senate.

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