Love of History is a new Blog which intends to bring history to life and compare it with what is happening today in our lives. It is edited by Dr. Constantina Katsari, a professional historian and entrepreneur. Here follows the presentantion of this very interesting blog by its editor.
Love of History Blog Reimagined
By Constantina Katsari
The use of history as a discipline varies in the same way that our world is complex and multifaceted. On one hand, the study of history has been a tool for governments, religious organisations, universities and other associations to form public opinion, so that their policies (aims, targets, KPIs) become acceptable to the ‘masses’. On the other hand, history has always played an important role in the entertainment industry. Whether it was used in historical fiction, hollywood movies, theatre plays or elsewhere, it always achieved its main aim to ‘pass the time’. More rarely, a few select students used it to understand the world, to make informed decisions or to transform their opinions about current issues.
Over the centuries the study of history developed into a full blown discipline with its own professors, scholarly journals, renowned annual conferences, professional associations and, last but not least, languages. Even though a discipline is there to promote the activities of its members, at the same time, it serves as an exclusion mechanism for the non mystics. The opaque and full of specialised terms professional historians use is often excluding from the discussion the ones who have not been initiated.
In an attempt to become more relevant to the public, modern universities decided to engage in activities that achieve ‘impact’. These efforts to engage with the people remain shortlived and unsuccessful, because they have not managed to conquer the hearts and minds of ‘hardcore historians’. It attracted, though, a few public historians who are willing to be more open and whose work is infinitely more accessible, publicised and transformative.
The rise of public history is still in its infancy and the aims of public historians are not always clearcut. Are they there to form policies, to entertain or to understand the world that surrounds us? And, if public historians offer some or all of the above, how do their efforts translate in terms of language or in terms of engagement with the majority of people outside the discipline? A lot remains to be clarified about their place in the world within and outside the academy.
Until the identity crisis of public history is resolved, I would like to offer my services in this still developing world. The offer will be in the form of the humble blog. A few years ago I started writing the Love of History Blog, which served the purpose of providing news to younger scholars, opinions about historical facts and the odd pieces of scholarly research, as long as that was not over specialised. As I have grown older (and hopefully wiser), I decided to change its purpose and focus on direct comparisons between historical events and current affairs. I have engaged in comparisons between ancient and modern history in the past in several books and articles. However, this is the first time I will attempt to bring history to life and compare it with what is happening today in our lives. (Although I will probably transgress and include news and bits of research in this artistic milieu).
So, this post is designed to be a call for articles, posts or short notes. If you are interested in offering your educated opinions about current affairs as comparisons with prominent (or not) historical events, I would be very happy to host your work in the Love of History Blog at http://loveofhistory.com/ . The length and topic is open to your discretion. Please, contact me to discuss more details at firstname.lastname@example.org.