Sources, Empathy and Politics in History from Below

the many-headed monster

Our opening post in The Voices of the People symposium (full programme here) comes from Tim Hitchcock, Professor of Digital History at the University of Sussex. Tim addresses the recent high profile debates about the role academic history writing has to play in our society, arguing that ‘history from below’ has a particularly important contribution to make – and outlines an agenda for how it can do so.

Tim Hitchcock

The purpose and form of history writing has been much debated in recent months; with micro-history, and by extension history from below, being roundly condemned by historians Jo Guldi and David Armitage as the self-serving product of a self-obsessed profession. For Guldi and Armitage the route to power lies in the writing of grand narrative, designed to inform the debates of modern-day policy makers – big history from above.   Their call to arms – The History Manifesto

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