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.