The actions against statues of historic figures involved in colonialism and its derivatives highlight the importance of critically confronting our past and rethinking our public space.
The present blog post is a personal one and engages my opinion as historian and as citizen. It is an attempt at dealing with the question of why history is important and why society needs history and historians. But does the adverb ‘why’ not imply the possibility that history could not be important? Could it imply any doubt? I posit that ‘doing’ history does not contradict a commitment to social causes. I believe that historians, in their own way, need to be socially engaged, even if this social engagement might take different forms.
In October, I traveled to Prague for a workshop on the history of science and the Second World War. For the second time during my PhD, it was an opportunity to cross the imaginary iron curtain. The experiences during those days were undoubtedly insightful.
From 26 to 29 June 2019, I participated in a conference in Tallinn (Estonia) organised by the International Society for Cultural History (ISCH), where, in addition, I presented a paper on cultural policy in Luxembourg. This experience was part of a quest to better understand cultural history and my own research.
My research sometimes leads me onto unexpected paths. My travel to Koblenz counts without doubt among them.
Historians like to write, and they write a lot. Throughout my studies in history, I was taught how to analyse sources and how to write a scientific work. But I have never been taught how to present my research in a poster format – which requires a minimum amount of creativity.
From 2 to 5 July 2018, I had the pleasure to participate in the Public History Summer School in Wroclaw (Poland). Not only was it an enriching experience for me, but it also pushed me to think more about the role of public history, its challenges and its opportunities.
More and more cultural institutions create virtual tours that allow visitors to explore the collections at home instead of actually visiting the institutions. In this blog post, I would like to provide some reflections on virtual tours, their usefulness and their limits.
Some time ago, I was wondering whether I could use Google Maps as a tool for my research on the history of the National History and Art Museum in Luxembourg, to adopt a distant reading approach, with the aim to gain new insights. I did it and, in the following blog post, I look back at this small experience.
Overall, the last weeks were busy weeks for me, but also rich in experiences and lessons. I would like to look back at two of them.