Ever since I have been studying history, people who think that every means needs to have an end have been asking: “What do you want to do with that?”
My honest answer: I want to know more and to understand better. That’s enough for me. And I really enjoy studying. I don’t aim for any job. Ironically, studying the history of labor has made me rather skeptical of the whole concept of work.
But then, I finally watched “Gone with the Wind”, and as I was reading the opening credits, there was a dream job.
Apparently, Hollywood needs historians, too.
“Gone with the Wind” could have used a proper historian itself, for Mr Kurtz was more of a painter. And he used colors a bit too rosy when painting slavery, methinks.
Anyway, if you are making a movie, I’m available.
The censors wouldn’t have allowed accurate portrayal… don’t blame the historian😉😂
Yeah, I guess on a movie set where everyone wants drama and romance and action, the historian is mostly regarded as a spoilsport.
What area of history are you specialising in?
Not in Ancient Rome, sadly.
My main interest lies in the 20th century, especially times of upheaval and social change, like the revolutions after World War I and all the new countries being born out of fallen empires.
I go back in time when a subject requires it, as it often does, e.g. when looking at colonialism or the role of railroads for imperialism. Also, I like to take a long view on certain subjects, e.g. migration/mobility over the centuries. Or currently I am taking a course on the history of labor, which does begin in Ancient Greece.
And I am very interested in how history or perceived history is used/abused in politics, and therefore I often have to go back to the origin of myths.
One example that might be of interest to you is that in Romania, there is a statue of the Capitoline Wolf with Romulus and Remus in front of every town hall: https://andreasmoser.blog/2015/07/16/romania-is-the-cradle-of-our-civilization/
Or for example how the Nazis fostered the myth of Germanic ancestry based on the Varian Disaster in 9 AD.
I guess I should simply admit that I am jumping from one subject to the next, not focusing on anything too much.
This “And I am very interested in how history or perceived history is used/abused in politics, and therefore I often have to go back to the origin of myths.” is always happening in societies. People are always looking back to some perfect mythical past which never existed. Even in ancient history people looked back to older times which they perceived as perfect.
Jumping subjects is not a bad thing- I keep doing it.
The only area that I have some knowledge of in modern/ early modern times is perhaps France in the late 1800s/ early 1900s (for when I studied French) and Japan through the Meiji restoration and Showa years. If you haven’t done so, you must read Shigeru Mizuki’s graphic novel series on the Showa years. And this is only because I am learning Japanese- learning a language is a good window into the history of the region.
Good point on the learning-the-language aspect! Whenever I do that, I also delve into the history and literature of the country/region.
Although I wouldn’t pick Japan(ese) because I know my limits. :-) I’ll stick to learning Spanish for now.
Yes Unfortunately I can never learn when to stop with languages. Still I think I am making slow progress. One day!
In just a few days, I am going to launch a new series on the blog, called “A hundred years ago …”, looking at one event from exactly 100 years ago every month.
I will try to make it as global as possible, picking examples from places that most people (in “the West”, at least) don’t know much about. The first story for December 1920 will even be a bout a country that no longer exists.
If you have anything interesting/important that happened in India in 1921, I would be curious!
Oh! how interesting, good luck- one a month sounds reasonable. I can’t think of anything off the top of my head for India in 1921- there may have been something obscure. I look forward to reading your posts.
I could use Winston Churchill’s appointment as Secretary of State for the Colonies in February 1921 to discuss his role as a colonialist – and contrast it with the admiration he receives in Europe and North America.
And one could use India as an example.
But then I would need to find someone from India who would like to write about it. Hmmmm….
Happy New Year! Did you decide if you were writing about this? I really am not familiar with this aspect of history. This might be an interesting book to read if you’re writing about Churchill https://books.google.ae/books/about/Gandhi_Churchill.html?id=udKMDwAAQBAJ&source=kp_book_description&redir_esc=y
Happy New Year to you, too!
I haven’t yet decided what the subject will be for January 1921/2021, but I think I know far too little about India to write about it.
So much to learn, so little time! :/
I agree, not enough time to read all the books you want, learn all the languages or the subjects you’re interested in.