Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Should history be political? Should politics be historical? Should the whole thing be online?

Two American historical bloggers have opened a book review cum seminar on the meaning of historical work and the politics of doing history. Notorious Ph.D is here, and Historiann, following up, is here. (Warning: the "politics" they mean may not be what you expect, if you expect politics to be all-Obama or all-Ottawa all the time.)

One line I'm still pondering, from Historiann's post:
One major reason women’s historians have gravitated to modern history I think is that most of us want to write books with happy endings.
But I'm also intrigued by the rising phenomenon of serious, committed professional historians doing one serious and substantial aspect of their given work in blogs.

There seems to be a developing tradition of thoughtful and provocative blogging on historical matters coming from younger scholars in American and European history departments (great blog titles too, many of them). But I haven't found much trace of it going on among Canadian historians or on Canadian historical subjects. Not that there are no CanHist blogsites online, but they tend to be from non-academic enthusiasts.

I'd be glad to be corrected on this.
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