Wednesday, 1 July 2015

History Carnival 147

Happy Canada Day and welcome to History Carnival 147!  I’m excited to host this month and help showcase some of June’s best history blog posts. 

This month we have a number of fantastic posts that highlight the sheer breadth of freely available, intelligent, and accessible historical blogging.

These first two posts were some of the most thought-provoking entries I read this month.  In Seeing And Challenging Your Assumptions (Isn’t Easy), Joanne Bailey reflects on her own historical practice and the challenges in confronting underlying assumptions and reframing evidence.  Matt Houlbrook, inspired by Bailey’s post, picks up on this theme of self-reflection and self-critique in his On Being A One Trick Historian.  “Habits,” he writes, “shape and constrain how we work as historians.”  And, while useful, can “get in the way of thinking imaginatively, creatively, and differently about the past.” 

This past month, a very large number of posts focused on exploring the past to explain or shed light on the present.  At NOTCHES, Rebecca Davis explores the Religious and Reproductive Politics in the United States since WWII and highlights the often overlooked role of religious activism in defense of women’s reproductive rights.  In Obergefell Made History, and History Made Obergefell, Lara Freidenfeld emphasizes the role of sophisticated historical research in the recent Obergefell v. Hodges decision.  Likewise, Jarret Ruminski explores the history and meaning of the Confederate flag in the wake of the recent South Carolina shootings in the Twilight of the Confederate Flag.

Each of the previous posts discusses somewhat the struggle scholars have with sources and how we approach or use them.  Switching gears a bit, these next posts highlight historical practice in an increasingly digital world.  Sarah J. Young looks at sources, historical memory, and the effect of digitization in Historical Memory of the Gulag.  At The Suffrage Postcard Project, Kristin Allukian and Ana Stevenson use digital humanities approaches to “understand how feminist digital humanities practices engender new historical narratives of parenthood – motherhood and fatherhood, broadly defined – in early-twentieth-century suffrage postcards.”  Alana Farrell’s guest post at the Medical Heritage Library, The Censors of the Royal College of Physicians, calls attention to the recent digitization and uploading of several 19th century medical works.

Last, I couldn’t host the History Carnival at Panacea without some early modern medical history!  Hugh Aldersey-Williams’ A Bestiary of Sir Thomas Browne is a fascinating post on Browne’s natural philosophy work and his correction of various “vulgar errors” such as belief in the existence of unicorns and basilisks.  At the Sloane Letters Blog, Matthew DeCloedt relates an interesting story about Sir Hans Sloane, slander, and libel in Bad Blood and Indecent Expressions.  In a fun post at the Recipes Project, Annie Gray and Alun Withey recreate historical recipes in the Curative Power of Beer and Rhubarb.  While Sara Read and Jennifer Evans close Early Modern Medicine for the summer with a post on Inconvenient Incontinence in post-partum women.

Hope you’ve enjoyed a quick journey through June’s history blog posts!  As always, if you’d like to be involved in the monthly History Carnival you can email or DM the admin at the addresses found here.