Historians 2.0

Just a quick post. I’ve been trawling around Twitter for the last six weeks or so (ok, so I’m a latecomer)  trying to weedle out interesting tweets on history, mostly by looking at #history comments, checking which history bloggers also have twitter accounts and looking at who history people follow (mmm cyber stalking). However, being a reclusive type it didn’t occur to me to just ask.  This is what Katrina Gulliver (@KatrinaGulliver)  has done and it seems to be working: http://www.katrinagulliver.com/fieldnotes.html . I expect that I shall be stalking perusing the list and following them myself soon enough.

Now, I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be on the list and this got me to thinking; what qualifies a person to be called a ‘historian’? I have academic qualifications in history, so in one sense I am a Master of History, but on the other I have not undertaken any substantive piece of historical research or writing since graduating.  On the other hand, I’ve always kinda felt like a historian deep down. Do the (occasional) posts and tweets on history make me one? Do I get to decide if I am a historian?  Hmm, answers on the back of a postcard.


4 thoughts on “Historians 2.0

  1. Wynken de Worde

    I struggled with that exact question when I saw the tweets–am I a historian? My degrees are in English, and I usually think of myself as a literature or theatre academic. But since my blog first got picked up by historians (and medievalists), I find that it and I often get classified as history. I get that book history is a type of history (duh) but find I’m uncomfortable with the label–it’s just not how I think of myself. Is being a historian about accreditation? active research? an attitude about the past and/or history?

    I think you get to decide whether or not you’re a historian on Twitter. So, twitterstorian? I’m still not sure that’s me. And truthfully, I’m as slow with my tweets as I am with my blog, so maybe it’s all for the best that I continue to ponder as it spins on without me!

    Do you think academic administrators are on twitter? Do you think any of us tweet about administration? Maybe you should start a search for that!

    1. thegentlemanadministrator Post author

      Personally, I’d like to think it’s about an attitude to the past. Of course we label all sorts of writers, past and present, as ‘historians’ who would not have subscribed to the term. But, I like what you say on your profile page “[I] find that book history, bibliography, and print culture are always on my mind and are everywhere I look”. I’m of a similar mindset, hence the interest in following those like minded folk on Twitter.

      As to Academic Administrators on Twitter, there are certainly a fair share of Education Professionals in the twitterverse (these twitter names grating much?), including the Times Higher Education (@timeshighered). I think the academic take on academic administrators would be most enlightening, in fact there is always room for improved communication in that area (guilty of neglecting it myself). Perhaps I can explain some of our more unusual habits…

      Anyway, when I get round to organising my blogroll a little more precisely I’ll try and move you out of the ‘History Blogs’ section and somwhere more appropriate ;)

  2. Katrina

    Thanks for the link! My approach was that #twitterstorians are self-defined. Most on the list are either grad students, or in academic jobs. But some pursue history as a hobby, or are journalists who work on historical topics. I don’t see any need to be exclusionary about it.
    As for administrators on twitter, I’ve seen a couple. I wonder whether (like your good self) they might be more include to pseudonymous participation though.

  3. Pingback: Graffiti aint as polite as it used to be « The Gentleman Administrator

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