Whose History is This?
Academic history is crucial to the health of the discipline, but there are many other ways of engaging with the past.
History After Hobsbawm, a major international conference ‘exploring where the study of history is currently heading’, promised it would address ‘what it means to be a historian in the 21st century’. Held at Birkbeck, University of London in April, it was featured in the May edition of History Today. To my dismay every speaker was an academic, as were all the topics. Several contributors were respected professors but there was no avoiding the fact that the organisers saw ‘history’ as synonymous with the academy.