My mother has been dead since 2002. She was an amazing woman.
She was a history lecturer. She was a wonderful lecturer. I used to go to her lectures just for fun. Everything was “humanised” in her writings and talks. She wrote books too. Other people thought she was amazing – not just her family. She was famous really.
So when I studied history, one of her ex-students, was the Rector. I remember a conversation that really hurt me. The Rector said ” Oh, you know your mother’s kind of history is outdated. She’s very old fashioned. History is a science. We don’t look at the people any more like your mother does – we look for trends and policies and social changes – SCIENTIFICALLY!”
Let me assure you, dear reader, family and friends, that the reason my mother’s lectures were so riviting was that all the players in her history were real people that she brought to life. And – magically – her students were uplifted, inspired, shocked, horrified, and nurtured! The whole dusty, boring “trends, policies and social changes” came alive in her grasp.
So this morning I found a piece that reminded me of my mother. She would love it. She would have used it in a lecture that included trends and policies and social changes – and that pointed out that history is really about PEOPLE!
The project is about “humanising people in the past, getting beyond the scientific facts to see them as individuals with life stories and experiences”, says Robb.
“This helps us communicate our work to the public, but it also helps us imagine them ourselves as leading complex lives like we do today. That’s why putting all the data together into biographies and giving them faces is so important.”
I salute you my mother! “Old fashioned” is back!