𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐡𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲?
A tweet from Librarianshipwreck has once again ignited debate about the nature and value of history. Beginning with the statement, “Studying history will sometimes make you feel uncomfortable” the tweet looks at how gaining knowledge of the past can make us feel deeply upset and angry.
𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐮𝐚𝐥 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 History is not static. Not only are new sources discovered and new data analysis undertaken through ever-increasing computational power but also people’s values and perceptions change. The recent renewed outrage at the horrors of the slave trade has shown shifting viewpoints. Toppled statues and disowned ancestors have all hit the headlines in recent months. Alumni have complained to their alma mater that they were taught “the wrong history.” Defining history? At times history may be hijacked for political purposes. When Hitler came to power in Germany in the 1930s he soon changed the curriculum to emphasise German Nationalism and propagate the Nazi version of the First World War peace treaties. It has long been recognised that it is the winners who write history. Moreover, they often destroy historical evidence contrary to their objectives. As the Librarianshipwreck tweet concludes, “If studying history makes you feel proud and happy then you probably aren’t studying history.”
𝐁𝐥𝐮𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 Increasingly, the borders between history and other academic disciplines such as economics, politics and sociology become blurred. Now, more than ever, the grand sweep of history grows broader and deeper.
𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐝𝐞𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐰𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝, 𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭 𝐕𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞 𝐖𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐧: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +852 6156 5705. We would be delighted to hear from you.