What's all this then?

My name is Victoria Stiles and I'm an Early Career Historian currently doing whatever odd research / consulting / outreach / tutoring jobs come my way. I blog here about some of the interesting texts I've found.
My research focusses on books about Britain and the British Empire which were in circulation in Nazi Germany but you'll also find a smattering of school textbooks, witchcraft beliefs, bog drainage, bemused travellers and weird illustrations that caught my eye.
Translations from German are my own. Comments are currently unmoderated and are mostly spam for leather jackets anyway.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

I finished! So, er, what now?

This blog had to die for a while as I got stuck into the final write-up stage of the PhD and now that I've finished and the thesis has been examined and approved (woohoo!) I'm not sure what to do with it. I want to do... something different. It started as a way of motivating myself to make sense of odd sources I found at fleamarkets and so on, but I want to do more than contribute to the growing mountain of "content" and clickbait which does little more than say "look at this weird thing - isn't the past just soooo quirky".

I want to talk more about how sources can be manipulated and how we understand and work around the inevitable gaps in our evidence. I'd also like to talk about how we're increasingly coming to terms with gaps which were previously largely unacknowledged - the fact that there is such a lack of diversity in the most dominant voices, or the biases and assumptions that shape all accounts, primary and secondary.

I'm not sure yet how to achieve this in the short, nugget format of blog posts. I'm also frankly terrified of writing something that might come back to haunt me later on. While I'm fairly sure I've got the backbone to admit that I was wrong about something when presented with new information, I still want to make sure that everything I write has been thought through as best I can. Plus, now that I'm "done", I've got job-hunting, preparing things for publication, further job-hunting, additional research, figuring out which conferences I can afford to go to and yes more job-hunting to fill my time.

In short, goodness knows what will actually get done here but I'm going to have a proper crack at making it count.