Some new perspectives

American readers may already have seen the new issue of the AHA‘s Perspectives. If you haven’t, the news is that the leading American historians’ organisation has sat up and taken note of history blogging, with two fine articles by colleagues of mine at Cliopatria.

Ralph Luker has a characteristically generous survey of the current state of history blogging, in which he says some blush-makingly nice things about me. Manan Ahmed, meanwhile, provides an essential beginner’s guide to blogging terminology and how to create your own blog.

If you’ve come here for the first time following the link from Ralph’s article, you’re very welcome indeed. Feel free to wander around. And, especially for you, I have a few links to favourite blogs of mine that didn’t make it into Ralph’s list:

At Blogenspiel, Another Damned Medievalist is a personal/academic ‘pseudonymous’ blogger, from whom I’ve learnt a great deal about a) medieval history and teaching it to undergraduates; and b) the slightly nightmarish process of trying to climb on the tenure track.

If you visit scribblingwoman, kept by Miriam Jones (OK, she’s strictly speaking a ‘literary scholar’ rather than a ‘historian’, but she works on the eighteenth century), you never quite know what you might find. It’s a treasure trove for online goodness, especially in history and literature (of various kinds). The only problem is keeping up.

Things have been a bit quiet at Philobiblon lately (holidays, house-moving crises), but Natalie Bennett usually offers up the fruits of her voracious and wide-ranging history reading habits. The two of us have had some good conversations in the past.

Orac of Respectful Insolence is a surgeon, but he regularly writes beautifully-crafted essays on twentieth-century history, and much besides. And he likes Blake’s Seven.

And Rob Priest of detrimental postulation has only just finished his first degree, but he writes about postcolonial history with a flair and sophistication way beyond his tender years. (Although he is definitely quite barmy.)

In fact, only one of these five bloggers is a ‘fully certified’ academic working in a history department, with one more in a cognate discipline; and none of them blogs exclusively about ‘history’. If you are new to this, that’s how blogging is. If you like life to come in neatly defined compartments (public/private, work/leisure, professional/personal), blogging will not be for you. If you think that only people with History PhD’s are qualified to talk or write about history, blogging will certainly not be for you. But if you’d like to join a growing community of people sharing common interests – not least interests in communicating history beyond academia, and in finding new ways to use the internet to do that – then come on in!

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6 Responses to Some new perspectives

  1. Claire says:

    stop it! you’ll make me want to start again.

  2. mjones says:

    Thanks for the mention! I am on enforced hiatus this week (the tech people at our uni are upgrading our software), so if you stop by, please forgive any wonkiness.

  3. Thanks, Sharon! And we miss you, mj!

  4. Ralph Luker says:

    Thanks, Sharon, for the additional links. Short of a full blogroll, I put as many history bloggers into the article as Perspectives could take.

  5. Sharon says:

    I know. I hope I didn’t sound as though I was criticising, it wasn’t meant like that at all.

  6. Pingback: detrimental postulation » b-sides and rarities

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