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History club

I have found my MN heaven!

18 replies

SomebodySaveMe · 18/09/2012 12:50

I'm doing my history degree and DP is beginning to get a glazed look in his eyes when I start talking about anything history related.

What are everyone's main interests? I'm about to start modules on empire and another on myth in the Greek and roman worlds.
I also, rather predictably love anything Tudor related.

OP posts:
WhereMyMilk · 18/09/2012 12:56

Anything for around 1400, through Plantagenets to end of Tudors.

Currently thoroughly immersed in Eleanor of Aquitaine!

throckenholt · 18/09/2012 19:02

I think I am bored with the tudors (but still read books about that era because there are more of them than anything else - reading about Katherine Howard at present).

I love the middle ages - say 1000-1500ish. But I find any era interesting - particularly from the little person's point of view (am into family history). I also like the history of technology.

alcibiades · 18/09/2012 20:45

I'm interested in the history of the USA. Partly because there isn't the problem of remembering all those Henrys, and Williams, and Georges, and Jameses, which still to this day I can't get right. But also because most of my resources come from a USA company, which naturally focusses more on American history, though they do have a few courses on British history.

I find that it's a fascinating journey, from the early colonies, through independence, and then the civil war, and beyond. But what I'm particularly interested in at the moment is that of all the so-called western countries, it seems to be the least secular. And also, despite their military might and their involvement in Vietnam/Korea/etc, they've never really been interested in building an overseas empire.

Churchill did say that we're two countries divided by a common language, and that's also true about Britain today and in the past. But the present-day differences in social attitudes and ideologies and so on, is often confounded by that common language. There was a thread in the politics section not so long ago, which I found very informative:

Could someone remind me who said "the past is a different country"?

throckenholt · 19/09/2012 08:11

USA it seems to be the least secular.

I have idly pondered this on and off in the past, and wondered if it is because at least a significant proportion of the people who moved to the US (in the early days) were religous people who wanted to have the freedom to follow their own particular take on it. Maybe there is a genetic tendency to be a believer and that is more concentrated in (parts of) the US compared to Europe ?

they've never really been interested in building an overseas empire.

maybe not a colonial empire but agruably an economic and political one.

I guess the language issue is important too - what you mean when you say something is not necessarily what someone else understands it to mean.

Northernlurkerisbackatwork · 19/09/2012 08:21

The USA has a consititution which clearly divides church from state and yet despite that religous thought seems to play a big role in modern USA politics. Far more so than in this country where we have a state affifilated religous denomination. I agree that the founding fathers intentions must play a big role in that heritage. The Pilgrim Fathers left everything they knew and set out in faith for a land where they could worship as they chose. That's an amazingly powerful example.

CaptainSillyBeardyDaddyman · 19/09/2012 18:34

The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there

It's from the novel The Go Between by L P Hartley. Very good book, well worth a read.

LapsedPacifist · 19/09/2012 23:41

I'm just about to start the 3rd year of an honours degree in History and Heritage - I completed a 2 year foundation degree in Heritage Management this summer!

This is my kinda thread! Grin

LineRunner · 20/09/2012 16:08

Ancient world, like you, OP. Also European/Middle Eastern prehistory.

SillyBeardyDaddyman · 20/09/2012 17:21

Forgot to say, my main area is the growth of urban areas in Britain, London in particular.

Paleodad · 20/09/2012 19:27

Roman stuff and excavation generally, Roman and late antique North Africa in particular. I'm also very interested in the way we create knowledge about the past.

LineRunner · 20/09/2012 19:45

Yes, definitely, I think it's interesting how local populations responded to Roman invasion. And the end of Roman rule and its economics.

And how we try to understand how we know this kind of stuff.

alcibiades · 20/09/2012 20:43

I'm positive I responded earlier today to say thank you to BeardyDaddyman for that quote, but I must not have pressed the "post message" button.

But that quote did get me thinking for most of the rest of the day. I recall one lecturer talking about the American Civil War and saying that we should remember that, at whatever stage in history, people living back then will see their present differently from us. In particular, that people these days often use the term "antebellum", which might be appropriate in terms of any distinction between the before and the after of the Civil War, but wouldn't have been a term recognisable to people in the run-up to the war. And, that most people living in the antebellum years wouldn't have anticipated a civil war happening at all.

I think that does show how immensely challenging and interesting the study of history can be. There's two different directions from which to focus in on any particular time and place.

In the meantime, I did some googling to find the oath that's required in many US state schools. That's the "Pledge of Allegiance", which was amended to include the words "under God" back in the 1950s. I wonder if that was the US wanting to see themselves as definitively different from the "godless" USSR during the Cold War. Interestingly, there have been legal challenges to the requirement for all children to recite that pledge every day, but according to Wikipedia about a half of all states require students in school to recite the pledge. That might be where the apparent religiosity of the USA comes from.

kiwigirl42 · 23/09/2012 20:17

I'm so pleased to find this topic. I read A LOT and find history fascinating but particularly Anglo-Saxon -> Plantagenet esp interested in Women's day to day life

kiwigirl42 · 23/09/2012 20:18

aak! women's, not Women's

R2PeePoo · 23/09/2012 21:03

I did my degree on the Greeks and Romans but since then my interests have moved on. Now its more social history with more emphasis on experiences (primarily female e.g birth, sex, death, adoption, social expectations) and the darker side of life/taboos/bizarre events such as the dancing plague of 1518. I'm fascinated by why people did what they did.

I just finished a brilliant book about soldiers returning home from WW2. It dealt with the effect it had on their families who had lived without them for so long and who now had to deal with men who were damaged, often physically and mentally. It was eye-opening. Just about to start a similar one about evacuees returning home.

LiviaAugusta · 24/09/2012 08:12

Just found this topic, think I've found my spiritual home! As you can guess from my NN I'm interested in anything Roman, but my first love has always been British history, particularly history of the monarchy. Got a bit Tudor-ed out a few years ago but still find them fascinating.

mathanxiety · 25/09/2012 17:07

Is this topic new or am I just stumbling upon something I should have known about?

I don't think there's anything in the historical realm that I'm not interested in. Maybe particularly interested in Russian history, and the Viking era.

freerangelady · 26/09/2012 19:19

I too have totally found my spiritual home!! I LOVE this club. My interests;

Egyptology (did my undergrad degree on this)
1450 - 1650 (mainly for this historical novels)
Recently getting into Russian history
Love the social side of history - what did people see/feel/think/hear/smell.
History of Agriculture. (Am a farmer and am toying with the idea of writing a "history" of our farm - we have evidence of a Roman villa and Iron age roundhouse and the farmhouse is 200 years old. Think it could be interesting to read around what the farm would have been like in different eras)

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