What is ‘history’?

Time, place, change, historical record, complexity, memory and interpretation, cause and effect, commonalities within and across time and place.

History is a complex and evolving beast. Handle with care!

Some readings on ‘History’

For a number of years, I was lucky to teach the History Extension course for the NSW HSC, which was focused around the question ‘What is History?’. A number of readings which I found useful for this, or as an introduction to senior History classes are below. Click on the title of each to follow to my Google Drive link:

A sense of history
An excellent outline of 13 components which make up ‘history’ (4 x A4 pages, but worth it!)

Chronological Ethnocentrism
When Newsweek had a picture of Obama on its cover with the headline ‘Our first gay President’ Jim Loewen took offense. Not because Obama isn’t gay – even if he was, he wouldn’t be the first gay President of the United States. So he penned a fantastic article on ‘chronological ethnocentrism’ – the belief that history is progress, that we live in an ever improving (‘progressing’) society. Yet an openly gay man was elected President in 1857 …
(HNN has changed the URL since I saved it as a .doc – which is why I do that! Updated link is http://historynewsnetwork.org/blog/146241)

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