I’m doing reading for my History of Germany class, and found an interesting quote:
“Historical quality is a mysterious quality, even when looking backward to find it, much less looking forward to predict it. I do not claim to have a well-developed definition, much less a theory. I would suggest, though, that historical significance arises from a connection between the historical content and the context of the topic or theme of theme or study, on one hand, and, on the other hand, the structural characteristics of its history. (Wehler’s structural elements include, for example, size, failure, and dependence) An historical subject will gain “shelf space” and “shelf life” if its substance, context, and structure conjoin to the capture the attention of (enough) historians and provide (enough) evidence to allow scholars to apply methods of historical analysis and interpretation. If their research constructs an interesting, well-supported story and a persuasive interpretation, then it will attract the wider attention of the discipline and might (a big caveat) grab the attention of a wider public, and could (an even bigger caveat) stand the test of time, thus winning the subject a place in the annals of longer-term historical significance.”
–Donna Harsch, Footnote or Footprint? The German Democratic Republic in History, pg. 12-13
I found this to be really interesting on its own. How do we judge historical significance? I get asked that all the time, by people saying, “How will people judge X?” The latest was my boyfriend asking, “How will they judge the Cold War? There was no bloodshed, only Asian proxy wars. Will they still be aware of the Cold War 500 years from now? Will they think of this time as a century of war?”
In case you’re wondering, I replied, “Well how do we judge the rivalry of France and Britain today? It’s still pretty significant. The United States and Russia are rivals, now and who knows how long. It had a huge affect on international politics.” He seemed satisfied with that answer.
I’ve also been trying to decide what I should do with this blog once this semester is over. I have a personal blog already, and I cover my school life in there. But this blog has entries, like multiple entries wow. And it has my name on it. I shouldn’t just abandon something with my name on it.
I’m thinking about re-teaching myself Latin grammar over the spring and summer, to get ready for Latin 202 in the fall. Maybe I’ll track my progress here.
Are you guys thinking about updating your blogs once the semester is over? If so, with what? And what classes are you taking next semester? I think I’m set with this:
History of Trad China MW 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm
The Roman Empire TR 10:30 am – 11:45 am
History of Animation T 1:30 pm – 4:15 pm
Introductory Geology II TR 5:55 pm – 7:10 pm
Lab for Lectures 001-002 W 4:30 pm – 7:10 pm
Are any of you in the same classes? We could be study buddies!