Writing

Black and white photo of a spiral bound where a hand has just written "proceeding anyway on the basis"
Proceeding anyway on the basis. Copyright, Jean Bauer

For my 15+ year blog Packets: Musings on Information Flows Past, Present, and Future come find it in its new home at www.jeanbauer.com/packets.

Current Project(s)

N.B. I have a fulltime job so the following are done in snatches of spare time as other responsibilities allow.

Databases: A Feminist Introduction (femDB) will be a companion book to Data Feminism by Catherine D’Ignazio Lauren Klein, published by MIT Press in 2020 (https://data-feminism.mitpress.mit.edu/).  femDB will provide an undergraduate-level review of key database design principles and walk readers through implementing a database in Postgres, all while foregrounding the power politics of data and the social and ethical responsibility that database designers have to create systems that promote human flourishing. The book will center around creating a database to store information about students at a university, and along the way introduce readers to user-centered design, security-first design, and working within compliance frameworks.

John Adams: America’s First Diplomat President. This book will explore John Adams’s presidency through the lens of the nine years he served as a diplomat for the early American governments. Adams’s presidency was almost entirely taken up with a major diplomatic crisis, The XYZ Affair and subsequent Quasi-War with erstwhile ally France. As the balance of power lay shattered by the French Revolution, John Adams used his hard won expertise in negotiation and diplomatic contacts to keep the early United States out of a war it most certainly would have lost.

Past Favorites

For a full listing, see my Curriculum Vitae.

Republicans of Letters: The Early American Foreign Service as Information Network, 1775-1825. My dissertation on the affordances of using custom data structures to facilitate analysis, using America’s earliest diplomats and their letters as a case study. Not your traditional dissertation in early American history, but then I am hardly a traditional historian. As of January 2024, the dissertation has almost 2,000 downloads.

Tales from the Port Part 2 – Migrating the Database: Blog post describing the week I spent porting The Early American Foreign Service Database from Rails to Django and figuring out how to map polymorphic associations to generic relations. Good times.

Who you calling untheoretical?: Ah yes. That time I screamed into the internet and it became my most cited work ever. This piece was part of the great ‘Theory Wars’ which gripped the field of Digital Humanities from ~2010-2012. It was a scene; you had to have been there. If you missed it count yourself lucky.

“With Friends Like These: John Adams, the Comte de Vergennes, and the Franco-American Alliance”: My Masters Thesis turned article in Diplomatic History. Somedays I think I became a historian because some stories are too crazy to make up. This is one of them. N.B. Oxford University Press has revoked open access to my article, but you can still read it as the first chapter of my open access dissertation.

Jean Bauer

[data, design, diplomacy]