Category: Working in the Field

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Profile of an HTTPer: Simon

Over the next few months, we at HTTP are hoping to start showing our writers in a more human light (after all, most of them are human), with profiles about them and their research. First in the hotseat is Simon, one of our managing editors…

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What is Oral History?

‘Oral history is as old as the first recorded history and as new as the latest digital recorder.’ These are the first words of the ‘Oxford Handbook on Oral History’ which forecasts the transformation of this discipline throughout time. Following conversations with his contemporaries, in 431 BC, Thucydides famously recited...

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A First Foray into the Archives…

It feels as though it’s taken me an absurdly long time to get around to doing any archival research. Not that I’m labouring under that old Rankean delusion that the archive is where true historians are forged – I’m not really a historian by training, and have never learnt enough...

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Digital Humanities: Bringing History to the Public

This article is the result of a conversation I had over Facebook messaging, in response to this HTTP article on digital humanities (DH). I have been living off campus in the so-called ‘real’ world for over a year now, having completed my MPhil in Renaissance Literature at the University of...

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Is Historical Research Science?

Following my last post regarding the benefits of the historical approach, various conversations with friends and colleagues have encouraged me to further consider the historian’s methodology. One of the main points of discussion is whether historians and historical research can be thought of as objective in the same sense generally intended...

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The Art of In-betweenness (间)

As I said in another post on the Ming exhibition at the British Museum, it is not surprising that misinterpretations of ancient Chinese culture and inventions sometimes occur. This is not due to inadequate knowledge, but mostly due to the positionality of the viewer. One is prone to see what...

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The Atomic Bomb turns 70, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Today, and on August 9, we remember the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in all their devastation and the long term effects of radiation poisoning. A former British Army soldier (name removed for anonymity) reflected on the bombings, stating, “They were the best thing that could have happened to...

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History for Pragmatists

I am not a historian. I did not study History as an undergraduate or at Master’s degree level. I personally have no particular interest in history for its own sake. And I still do not fully understand why some historians (including friends I know and love) choose to study certain...