Bad History

Will Pooley

Let me start by laying my cards on the table. In my darkest times, I often think to myself that all history is bad.

It’s only natural to feel this way. As an aspiring academic facing a (British) university system that has changed dramatically in the last few years, that has slashed funding for the humanities, devaluing the teaching and research that gets me out of bed in the morning, it’s hard not to feel that either the government, the general public, or the Almighty are rather indifferent to historical research. And the little voice in my head can tell me plenty of reasons why. Who cares about the funny little people you spend your time researching? What do you think people really learn from studying the family lives, emotions, or sexuality of our ancestors, beyond soft ideas of cultural relativity or platitudes about the importance of tolerance, reason, and…

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