Consuming History: Historians and Heritage in Contemporary by Jerome de Groot

By Jerome de Groot

Non-academic background – ‘public background’ – is a posh, dynamic entity which affects at the renowned knowing of the earlier in any respect degrees.

In Consuming History, Jerome de Groot examines how society consumes historical past and the way a examining of this intake may also help us comprehend pop culture and problems with illustration. This e-book analyzes quite a lot of cultural entities – from laptop video games to sunlight hours tv, from blockbuster fictional narratives similar to Da Vinci Code to DNA genealogical instruments – to research how heritage works in modern pop culture.

Jerome de Groot probes how museums have spoke back to the history debate and how within which new applied sciences have caused a shift in entry to historical past, from game taking part in to net family tree. He discusses the customarily conflicted dating among ‘public’ and educational heritage, and increases very important questions on the speculation and perform of background as a self-discipline.

Whilst customarily focussing at the united kingdom, the e-book additionally compares the studies of the us, France and Germany. Consuming History is a crucial and fascinating research of the social intake of heritage and gives a vital direction in the course of the debates for readers drawn to heritage, cultural reports and the media.

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Thus, the most famous ‘historian’ – or, rather, the historical author with the greatest international public profile – during the late 1990s and early 2000s was someone whose method had been proved to be corrupt and whose bigotry led him to change the course of his research. The complexity of the English libel laws meant that the defendants had to prove that Irving was ‘wrong’: historiographically; in his use of archives; in his moral outlook; and in his scholarship. 30 The popular historian Irving’s trial became the subject of documentary when the American popular science drama/witness-documentary Nova (which itself is part of the discourse of popular history, as it often covers historical discoveries) covered the case in October 2000, with actors re-enacting key events.

Narrative history Several notable bestsellers set the trend for the explosion – nationally and internationally – in the production and consumption of popular history. 6 It recounted the story of John Harrison, who in the mideighteenth century had discovered an accurate way to measure longitude while at sea by using clocks. In doing so he won the British ‘Longitude Prize’ and solved a problem which had bedevilled navigation for centuries. Being able to measure one’s longitude (location on the earth east or west of the Prime Meridian, now taken as Greenwich in London) and latitude (location on the earth north or south of the Equator) is key when sailing long distances and when drawing maps.

A working model of the genre of textual ‘popular history’, then, would have to somehow encompass all these various forms, show an awareness of particularity and singularity (as well as similarity), understand the vagaries of audience, and be aware of the differing cultural values apportioned to each particular publication. Each text has, in some way, to be taken on its own merits but somehow be read back into the wider social and cultural contexts. N. 5 Instead this section looks at some of the forms and tropes using brief case-studies – particularly focusing on various phenomena associated with the history of the personal, the individual, and the recounting of experience.

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