Comments: 7
Abandoned by user 6 years ago
So, where are you going/how long will you be gone/will you be incommunicado? I'll miss your posts!
Batgrl: Bookish Hooha 6 years ago
Because I'm such a 'net junky you might not have noticed if I hadn't mentioned it! Next week the new job starts and it'll take a while to get settled in, so I might post a bit less often. But knowing me I'll probably just post about something vaguely bookish - especially since I'll be able to read on my new commute. New concern: getting too into reading and missing my train stop.
Batgrl: Bookish Hooha 6 years ago
Where I'll be - I'll post a photo of the area I'll be working so that everyone can kinda guess. Much more fun that way!
I remember a conversation I had once with a woman who refused to believe there was television in the 30s, because she remembered the 30s, and we didn't have it here in America, therefore it didn't exist at all in the 30s. There was no convincing her otherwise!
Batgrl: Bookish Hooha 6 years ago
I was really frustrated by this sort of thing when I taught this history - because most of the books are US focused and only use anything that happened in other countries if those inventors worked with the US. (Like Marconi and radio.) But as long as the colleges teaching this history continue to use US textbooks - which continue to only mention non-US inventors work in passing - then sadly everyone gets the idea that when it happened here was when it was invented. (Instructors don't have enough time to rewrite those books sadly, just mention this sort of thing in lectures and hope everyone's awake.)

I should note that people in the field don't think like this - but that's true of any tech field where everything is built on foundations someone else laid.
There's a strong, strong strain of "American exceptionalism" in American history writing (particularly, I'm afraid, for the general audience), which is not, I think, a great trend. The most interesting (and amusing) form of it I've seen recently was one history of the U.S. which held Americans were indeed exceptional: exceptionally good con men, thieves, etc.
Batgrl: Bookish Hooha 6 years ago
I think what frustrates me so much about that - and yes, the exceptionalism, I was trying to remember that's what this is - is that it always keeps us ignorant of important world history. Not to mention of our own history. I feel like I've been lucky to have had so many teachers who've critiqued the texts they've taught from and made a point of discussing what isn't in them.

The thing that keeps me from being too down about this is that other countries have a habit of doing this with history too. It does make me wish it was easier to get translations of history from other countries. It's refreshing to read even another country's bias.