Experiencing the Pandemic

Last semester, I taught a course on public history called “History Outside of the Classroom.” This was my first time teaching that course–really, it was my first time teaching that kind of course at all. I was interested in it, though, because I thought that the pandemic presented a unique opportunity for students to do a different kind of historical work than they usually do in my classrooms.

So, I organized the class around gathering materials for an online exhibition about the Merrimack community’s experiences during the pandemic. Students were tasked with legally and ethically acquiring relevant artifacts and interviews, as well as preparing them for exhibition. Altogether, they did a fantastic job–as I told them repeatedly, I think they created something of real historical value. I’m very pleased to now share their work with the public. Please have a look at Experiencing the Pandemic: a Merrimack College Public History Project.

Another Review of Between Dixie and Zion

From Eve Spangler in the Journal of Religious History: “Robins correctly identifies the ways in which Orientalism shaped the major questions that constituted the internal Southern Baptist conversation about Israel and Palestine: the suffering of the Jews, the call to missionary zeal, and the ambitions of the Western powers for global dominance even before the Cold War. He uses archival materials adroitly and thoroughly. He writes gracefully and clearly. He takes us deftly through a rich array of debates to show how the original Southern Baptist scepticism about Zionism and Israel morphed into unconditional and aggressive support….Robins’ book is an important contribution to the history of American religious communities’ role in the Middle East. It will be useful as a text for courses in theological seminaries and in the sociology of religion.”