Category: Working in the Field

Painting of Tower Bridge London 0

Not (just) a Parlour Game: in Defence of Counterfactual History

The classic examples roll off the tongue easily, crystallized into cliché by decades of pop culture exposure: What if the Third Reich had won the Second World War? What if the Spanish Armada had not failed in 1588? What if the Confederacy had triumphed in the US Civil War in...

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LaTeX: a scientist’s trade secret to writing

This article aims to let historians into a little trade secret for writing kept by scientists—LaTeX. LaTeX, pronounced «Lah-tech» or «Lay-tech», is a popular document preparation system and document markup language. In a similar vein to our previous History to the Public article on Markdown, this article will serve as...

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“Perpetrators or Victims? Understanding the Hitler Youth Generation” Presentation notes and PowerPoint

Thank you for all who came to the Contemporary History Workshop presentation (and especially to the conveyors!) on Feb 24, 2015 at Cambridge University. We had a great discussion with a lot of questions concerning the ‘perpetratorhood’ and ‘victimhood’ of the Hitler Youth generation. There is, of course, no direct...

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What’s in an Archive?

‘The archive,’ writes Michel Foucault, ‘is the first law of what can be written.’ In Ireland, where historical events play out in contemporary politics and collective memory is evoked in the street names of every city and town, even the primary materials we use to write history become politicised. The...

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Coding for Historians

Historians spend hours and hours in front of computer screens and paper sources from other centuries trying to create a cohesive narrative. Mostly we use Microsoft Word to write down our ideas and browse the internet for information. But our computers can offer us way more than that. We may not...

Writing the Blog Article 0

Public engagement through blogging: a historian’s guide

Blogging: why blog? It has become increasingly easy, but also increasingly important for academics to get their written word distributed to a wide audience. Getting your written work read is is a means of improving your intellectual standing among your peers, a way of improving your writing and your job application....

The Markdown Mark by Dustin Curtis. 2

An Introduction to Markdown

A constant challenge for early career researchers and seasoned academics alike is the need to develop more efficient academic writing habits. Experimenting with new software and writing tools is a central part of this process, with plain text writing methods becoming increasingly popular. It is possible, however, for such experimentation...