Hi, my name is Susan Barsy, and this is a blog about history, politics, and culture that I write in my spare time.  For the first few years of its existence, this blog was known as Our Polity.

Trained as an historian, I write about the past and offer historically informed views of the political scene.  I also write about photography.  I write about historical photographs and forgotten photographers, as ways of exploring the history of photography and its changing place in our lives.

OUR POLITY (November 2011-May 2013)
This website began in November 2011 under the name “OUR POLITY.”  The 2012 election cycle was just beginning, and one of my priorities was to write about the state of the party system, the candidates, and the nature of contemporary campaigns.  My goal was never to write news (I’m not a journalist), but to offer a meta-analysis of American politics, by relating the nation’s political traditions to today’s political discourse and realities.

The word “polity” refers to the organization and structure of a governing institution: whether a church,  nation, or city-state, each has a particular logic and structure according to which it’s supposed to run.  The US, then, is a polity, one that (being a republican form of government) assigns a large role to the citizenry.  Hence, for the better part of its life, this blog has had a civic theme.  Its concern was the political world we inhabit and our political responsibility.  Under this moniker, the blog acquired 90 followers and received some 14,000 views.

A more personal blog (presently)
While I still feel the urge to write about governance, I hope to post in a more informal vein, returning to some of my older interests in culture, literature, family history, women’s issues, and social mores.  Look for posts to become more contemplative and spontaneous.  As I grapple with a new direction and style for my blog, new content may appear irregularly.

I’m grateful for the steady readership I’ve received.  Thanks for taking an interest, and don’t hesitate to chime in with a comment if you feel so moved.  Hearing back is a gift.
Susan Barsy
31 May 2013