This term I am studying two very interesting modules.
The first, ‘History in Public’, is extremely eye-opening with regards to revealing how history is present in everyday life. We are currently looking at history’s role in politics and the media. What particularly struck me was how politicians attempt to distance themselves from the past, yet paradoxically employ historical examples. For example, in 2003 Tony Blair spoke of history providing little instruction for the present, then progressed to discuss the historical roots of terrorism.
At the very least the unit has left me well equipped to respond when my scientific-minded friends argue against the value of history!
My second unit is on Ancient and Modern Paganism. I am very enthusiastic about the special topic project I have undertaken , titled ‘Hollywood and Paganism, 1950-1960.’ In this 5000 word research project I will focus on the treatment of pagan characters and traits in the historical epics of the 1950s. I will argue that this can act as a window on how contemporary Amercian society viewed itself. Undertaking independent research on this topic is exciting and rewarding, especially since there isn’t much precedent in historiography; it’s what history is all about!