enter the lattice

having started this historically focused space, I naturally spent a little time checking out the rest of the historical blogosphere. Almost immediately it struck me how overwhelmingly Ameri-centric the ‘sphere is; so many of the best, most frequently linked and prominent blogs are almost invariably history-writing coloured with (often partisan) analyses of current American politics. Granted, it’s historically conscious analysis and wonderfully cogent, but there’s so, so very much of it! I am still surfing and ferreting out links, though, so I may well find more balanced paths further down the line. At any rate, here are some writers that caught my eye so far — enough to add them (however probationally) to my feedreader.

History Carnival: The meat and potatoes of the blogosphere, I think — fortnightly cavalcades of history-related links (see also their regional and periodic spin-offs. The obvious starting point for my inroads into the historyweb.

Crooked Timber: “of humanity, no straight thing was ever made” — how can you not love a blog with a headline like that? but it was really this post and its magnificently robust discussion that caught my attention.

History News Network: particularly Cliopatria (link-rich) and Revise & Dissent (idea-rich). HNN also do a great series of history-in-the-media roundups, and a roundup of that roundup. I am a sucker for meta-savvy blogs, even if they are somewhat Americentric.

Progressive Historians: I admit to being slightly disappointed with this, but only because the high-concepts of progressive history and “history and politics of, for and by the people” resonates so deeply with me that I was crestfallen to discover what it really meant was “of, for and by the American people”. Nevertheless, their debates on Wikipedia were seductive.

Paleo-Future: This is totally fascinating — histories of what people in the past thought the future was going to be like! They’ve a wonderful knack of picking up on a whole gamut of paleofutures ranging from the seriously obscure to the not-so-long-ago and the just-plain-hysterical. I love it!

Easily Distracted: Wonderfully prolific & eloquent — Timothy Burke from Swarthmore’s History Department. Perhaps unusually for a history academic, he’s totally plugged into the tech scene, although he might deny such accolades. But he taught a class on the history of the future, and that did it for me.

World History Blog: Refreshingly extra-American and even extra-European, with some wonderfully eclectic knowledge in their archives. But I feel like for a blog addressing the very geographically unstable category of ‘World History’, they might perhaps stabilize themselves by attending to theoretical issues of global and transnational history. Point of interest here: my secondary supervisor Chris Bayly recently participated in an awesome American History Review conversation on this very topic — it makes for stimulating reading, if you’re that way inclined.

I’m still on the hunt — if anyone has any favourites, feel free to leave me a link 🙂


5 responses to “enter the lattice

  • historydoll

    It was actually “Cliopatria that sent me your blog. And thanks for the recommendations above; I just added Paleo-Future to my bookmarks, because it looks fascinating. You might be interested in Digital History Hacks, which seems to be the most comprehensive of the blogs devoted to digital history. ( http://digitalhistoryhacks.blogspot.com/) I also enjoy AcademHack, but that’s Mac only.

    I do agree about the Ameri-centric nature of a lot of the online stuff; also, from my point of view, the overly modern emphasis. Although it’s not just overly modern: there seem to be more websites and blogs oriented to the ancient world than to the medieval. And, though there are a fair number of academic blogs oriented to the Middle Ages, only a few are by historians; the rest are by literary scholars, and often somewhat to one side of what I’m doing.

    What’s your area of study?

  • rAchel

    fortunately for me, I’m a mac user, so AcademHack is awesome — thank you!

    my area of study is early 20th century southeast asian history, specifically a certain social problem unique to the region around the 1920s and 30s. but my wider interests are really global history, diaspora, early modern trade routes, transfer of ideas, philosophy and practice of history — all these huge themes (along with the ever-present conundrum of the relationship of history to memory). quite eclectic, in short 🙂

  • Nonpartisan

    Thanks for citing us, Rachel. I have to add the caveat that the only reason you see so much American history at ProgressiveHistorians is because I’m an Americanist — we welcome and encourage historical submissions from all countries and time periods. In fact, I periodically invite these folks over to play in the sandbox, and stimulating and fascinating discussions result.

  • oli

    http://www.froginawell.net/china/ could well be of interest. There are /korea and /japan versions too.

  • sharon

    To plug a few sites that are less US-centric (I might have something to do with some of them…):

    The Long Eighteenth


    Investigations of a Dog


    Trench Fever

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