If you’re like most people, you probably remember the history you learned in school as boring: an endless cycle of memorizing and reciting the names, dates, and places connected to Big Important Historical Events that were so far removed from your everyday life that they might as well have been a work of fiction. What if we told you that history can be so much more than that, though?
What if we told you that history can be – and, in fact, is – a giant tapestry of countless Big Important Historical Events that hold together the stories of people just like you? History can just as easily be about finding connections between people and events spanning decades or centuries, about exploring the stories of regular people who never did anything important as far as history is concerned, and about finding context for those things within the larger narrative. While names, dates, and places certainly have an important place in history, they don’t have to be the main focus of a good historical narrative.
A firm belief in that idea is why we – Shana and Riley – are not here to make you memorize anything or overwhelm you with a bunch of trivia that you probably won’t remember tomorrow anyway. We’re here to prove to you that history is actually really interesting and relatable and we’re going to do that by drawing from our own areas of historical expertise to tell you the stories that are interesting to us. And while it may seem a bit strange to see such disparate disciplines as Medieval and Cold War history on the same blog, maybe you’ll find yourself interested in eras or topics you never considered before!
Also, since we’re both interested in metahistory (the history of history), in addition to telling stories in our areas of expertise, we’re going to work together to give you insight into how history is done. You may think the process must be awful and probably boring to boot; but, we invite you to put aside your understandable skepticism and come let us tell you all about the methodology that goes into distilling those endless facts you had to memorize in high school and how historians with imaginations can use those same methods (and facts!) to create historical narratives that are as diverse and interesting as the people they’re about.