Soft Launch

So I guess they might call it re-branding, in the corporate world: anyway, here’s my new website. It’s basically an upgrade of the WordPress site I’d been tinkering with for a few months, now self-hosted and more bloggy. I’m hoping to use this site to do more regular sharing of thoughts on what I’m reading, my research, pedagogy, and other topics that aspiring-academic types like me think about. In addition to history, I read a lot of novels, long-form journalism, and cultural criticism, so expect some commentary on matters of style, too. For instance, I like to keep track of well-structured paragraphs that I come across, so those are what the “Paragraph Project” posts are about. Beyond those predictions, the site is a work in progress, so I guess we’ll just have to see what exactly turns up here.

I’ve sort of been my own inspiration in deciding to branch out into more of a general-interest blogger (well, a general-interest academic blogger). For the past year I’ve been blogging about prison law and policy issues at Prison Law Blog (which I’ll keep doing). Now, I am a skeptic about a lot of claims people make for the Internet and in my ideal world, we would all still be reading newsprint and typing on Olivettis. But I will say that in the criminal justice space, I have found that blogging has been an incredible way to share ideas and to meet, albeit virtually, other people interested in similar issues as I am — to a degree that has far exceeded my expectations. But Prison Law Blog is definitely more of a Sara-as-Citizen project than Sara-as-Scholar (not that they’re totally separable). Although I do study the history of crime and punishment, and I keep up with the scholarly literature on prisons, I don’t actually do a lot of work on prisons per se in my own research. So, I guess I’m hoping that I can use this site to do for my day job what Prison Law Blog has done for my side gig as criminal justice gadfly.

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