Here's what I have on offer: I'm a historian by trade and inclination. Of Islam, of the Ottoman Empire, of the early modern world, and more. I want to tell you stories, but not stories you'll hear anywhere else. I want to share with you the lives of holy men and women in medieval Europe, the stories of fabulous female Daoist adepts in medieval China, take you on journeys with Ottoman travelers and adventurers. I want to open your eyes to vast horizons of history and intimate life stories, drawn from the Islamic world, from Catholic Europe, from East Asia, really, across the breadth and width of the vast land mass we call Eurasia- and sometimes beyond. Much of the history I do is usually described as 'religious' or 'cultural' history, but I don't really worry too much about those labels. I want to take you into these other worlds and places, in whatever ways I can. When people starting talking, on social media or in real life, about 'Islam' or 'China,' I want you, dear reader, to have the intellectual tools and resources to make meaningful contributions, and to spot nonsense and propaganda, or just plain bad history, when you see it. But I also want you to see the beauty and the wonder in these past worlds, beyond any political agenda or needs. Those things are just as important, no, more important, after all.
Sometimes I have other things to say: call it politics, call it cultural criticism, whatever you like. Much of the time it will be perspectives you won't get many other places. If nothing else, everything I post or record or publish will make you think, hopefully in different and better ways.
Anyway, up until now, I have used my personal website/blog- thicketandthorp.com- as my main platform for this exercise in 'public history.' You can also follow me on Twitter for similar content. But I want to expand my offerings: podcasts, video talks, maybe even physical objects sent out into the world. My first project, pending support, will be a podcast titled 'Around the (Early Modern) World in Forty Saints,' which you can read about at the link.
I need your help to do all that. If I am to justify spending time and energy on these things, some cash in the proverbial box will go a long ways towards sustaining these things. Your contributions will help me to set up a space outside of academic confines to reach more people, and to produce 'content' that simply isn't going to be made by anyone else anywhere else.
So I'm asking you, dear reader, to pledge, first of all, a slice of your time and attention and energy to engage the content I'm producing- and I can't thank you enough for reading and listening and commenting! Next, I'm asking for your financial support, whatever you can spare- anything is welcome, and I thank you in advance for whatever support- financial or otherwise, that you can give!