25 September 2012

The Misery and Joy of Doing Recent History

I am an historian of recent events. Well, relatively recent events. Some of the people who participated in the events I study are still alive. In the past day I've been reminded of the statement that real historians don't study anything that has happened in the past X years (where X is a real number between 1 and 100 that is arbitrarily chosen by the speaker of the admonition). I still don't agree with the statement, but I have new reasons for believing that recent history is hard.

13 September 2012

Microform Was Ahead Of Its Time (I still hate it)

In the midst of all the career-hunting I've been doing (networking, career counselling, job-searching and job applications), I've been making time to tweak my thesis and turn it into a book manuscript. Fortunately, I chose to write my dissertation as something more book-like than other people seem to think is possible, so I have relatively few things to do before I can submit to a publisher. One of them is using microform - the worst research tool available to historians - to solve a research question posed by my defence committee.