It’s been an interesting experience to look back over my posts from 2015, deciding which ones to re-promote as representative of my output (not least in the hope of bumping my viewing figures up in order to beat 2013) – and to realise how little I ended up writing for rather a lot of this year, almost entirely due to pressures of work. Once again, my resolution has to be to blog more frequently, given that the world doesn’t show any sign of letting up on the supply of things to comment on.
This post, however, is prompted by one this morning from my Bristol colleague Will Pooley, offering the pick not of his own (eminently pickable) posts but of other blogs he enjoyed this year. What a wonderful idea; I hadn’t encountered more than a third of the blogs he listed before, and it’s a perfect example of the power of the hyperlink to spread knowledge and understanding and to promote discussion and debate rather than top-down dissemination of information – as discussed in an extremely important article just yesterday by Hossein Derakhshan.
My memory these days is rubbish, so for the moment I’ve largely been recalling posts I read in the last couple of months; the following list will probably get longer over the next few days, but in any case it’s full of things that you really need to read if you haven’t already…
Crooked Timber remains essential as far as I’m concerned, perhaps best exemplified by its recent seminar on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century (and we’re still on tenterhooks waiting for Piketty’s response): http://crookedtimber.org/
Liz Gloyn’s reflections on the life of an early career academic are always thought-provoking, and her post on returning from maternity leave was especially powerful: https://lizgloyn.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/on-being-an-ecr-academia-and-maternity-leave/
Johanna Hanink offered numerous sage reflections (and I don’t say that simply because they parallel mine; these were much better written, for a start) on ‘Ode on a Grecian crisis: what can classicists really say about the Greek economy?’: https://eidolon.pub/ode-on-a-grecian-crisis-de3c92595a97#.gjjiiugx8
Kieran Healy’s hilarious ‘Fuck Nuance’, on the abuse of the idea of nuance in the social sciences, with an awful lot of relevance for historians. http://kieranhealy.org/blog/archives/2015/08/31/fuck-nuance/
Will Pooley has written a series of fascinating posts on the role of the personal in history, including this one on making the historian into a character: https://williamgpooley.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/character-historians/
Rebecca Reilly-Cooper’s Sex and Gender: a beginner’s guide: you won’t find a clearer guide to this fraught theme. http://sexandgenderintro.com/
Ned Richardson-Little: a series of fantastic posts this year (not to mention the wonderful pictures of the old DDR you get if you follow him on Twitter), including recent discussions of the Deutsche Christen and the Long Fall of the Berlin Wall, but I’d especially pick out his reflections on being an economic migrant: https://historynedblog.wordpress.com/2015/09/09/the-wandering-academic-or-how-no-one-seems-to-notice-that-i-am-an-economic-migrant/