History Carnival XXXIV

in optical character recognition

Jorge Ben is singing and I am almost over the horrid game played by Brazil. No doubt that the great Zidane deserves that win. Still. Oh, I am sorry, you are here for the history carnival aren’t you? You don’t want to hear about football matches. You are right. First things first: have you read the Bad History Carnival hosted by Jonathan Dresner? You should. And so now, gentle readers, I give you the 34th installment of the History Carnival.

To see how the journey has been I revisited the very first carnival post hosted by the great Sharon. To my delight, the majority of the names are still blogging great history. Yay. Unfortunately, I have waited 33 installments to host one. Shame on me. As I sat to compose this post, after watching Brazil **&&*6, I wanted to see if we can do something new.

Land, Landscape and Place:

There were some wonderful posts about the ways in which place, landscape and history collide in our imaginations. Below is a flickr block where I placed images with posts. You will have to visit flickr to get the notes and the links. So go on. I will be here, no worries.

Back? Don’t tarry because there are many more places to visit: I spent some time in a graveyard in Thatta during my research. I was taking pictures of graves that legend held [not the graves, I am sure] had the bodies of the first Arab army to conquer Sindh in the 8th century. I won’t lie that looking at graves all day creeps the living daylights out of me. Yet, I am intrigued by Interesting Thing of the Day‘s description of Highgate Cemetery in London where one could find Karl Marx and some vampire. History buries itself in monuments, most often. Rhine River takes you to Place Kl√©ber and the Strange Afterlife of Jean-Baptiste Kl√©ber in France. From there, I would ask you to find out from Pakistaniat why no one whistles in Karachi anymore. Linger in Pakistan for a bit because Sajshirazi wants to show you around Dipalpur. A wonderful trip, no?

Supreme Rulers, supermen and, um, killers:

It must be that presidents are elected so we have something to talk about for the rest of eternity. History is Elementary, for example, has Andrew Jackson on the mind, while Talking Points Memo wishes that Tony Snow had a mind to spare for F.D.R. Not to be outdone, Civil War Memory brings in all the founding fathers and gathers them around the table [hopefully, someone will write about the founding mothers one of these days]. All this is well and good, but it is Creased Comics who reveals the best of George Washington [he got a wig for his wig!].

According to Old is the New New, GWda1st would be the only match when Superman Returns. There is no doubt that Rob MacDougall is a smart kid but I have to chide him for completely missing the boat on Superman’s missing years, in India.

Clews the historic true crime blog points out that people like reading about things that are not so super as well. Like the kind of things written by Winifred Black or the ones unearthed by Slabtown Chronicle. Well. I hate Nancy Grace.

Names, nomenclature and empires:

Even though our postmodern sensibilities are claimed to be refined, no one should be surprised that a name could still be considered a definition.91st Place, for example, shows the prejudices evoked by names alone. My last name, Ahmed, is now a punchline along the dirka-dirka theme. But, what if I changed it to Da Chicago? The only real effect would be that it will make Language Log wonder whether I am from Chicago. Will the prejudice resolve itself? I doubt it. The crux is not my name but the definition of it. It means, I am the Other. In that regard, Spinning Clio points that the discourses about homogeneity in societies deserves far greater scrutiny as we look at the violence that erupts between us and them.

Say violence in the 20th century and your historical mind will drift to empires, I bet. Niall Ferguson surely has that reaction. I had a brief discussion of his appearance on BBC radio but Amardeep Singh does the more responsible thing by laying out the arguments concerning the badness of empires and the violence they cause. I would just like to ask who do we thank for the pirates dug up by Sumir History or the madness diagnosed at Ostrich looking for sand?

Amardeep also has a fair view of William Dalrymple and excerpts from his new book. This time the debate is on the event of the Sepoy Uprising of 1857. Land of Lime takes a far less generous view of Billy D as well as Outlook. I am torn. While I would like to sit this one out, I do have some things to say. We shall see.

History, historians and Teaching 2.0:

edwired is trying out a new way of teaching history. Why? I don’t know. Because it is common knowledge that we, historians, do not teach. We indoctrinate; just ask Dr. History. The question is, Is our children learning?

One could further wonder if all this technology that we are hearing about will help or hurt the way we do history? Roy Rosenzweig is busy rebuilding the tables of his mySQL db but he will answer that question in a minute. I kid. CLICK THAT LINK. Tremendous article that portends the wave of the future. If you think I am messianic loon … at least, thanks to Digital History Hacks, I know I am not alone.

Subalterns:

There are, for example, empires other than the British or the American. Like, say, the Umayyad Empire. Brian Ulrich mentions the greatest of them, Abd al-Malik. I have a fair bit on Umayyads and Hajjaj stored away for future posts [the recycle dissertation for blog post category] as well.

Shash o Panj finds the stinky other around the Round Table.

Cutting the Chai has nine installments of vintage indian ads that are wonderful and nostalgic.

Hanikyoreh has amazing photographs of life going on during the Korean War.

Vespa Girls from the 50s and 60s. Need I say more?

If there is a blog that astounds me daily, it is BibliOdyssey. Please drool over Zoomorphic Calligraphy and India: Oriental Memoirs.

Finally, I leave you with a quote that recently came across my desk. It is G. M. Trevelyan, writing in 1927:

The poetry of history does not consist of imagination roaming at large, but of imagination pursuing the fact and fastening upon it. That which compels the historian to scorn delights and live laborious days is the ardour of his own curiosity to know what really happened long ago in that land of mystery which we call the past. To peer into that magic mirror and see fresh figures there every day is a burning desire that consumes and satisfies him all his life, and carries him each morning, eager as a lover, to the library and the muniment room…..The dead were and are not. Their place knows them no more and is ours today. Yet they were once as real as we, and we shall tomorrow be shadows like them

.

Glorious thanks for all the submissions to: Ahistoricality, Jonathan Wilson**, Matthew Sollars, Miland Brown, jd chandler, Sumir Sharma, Marc Comtois, Kevin M. LevinEvan Roberts, Danielle, The Monk, sharon, Elementaryhistoryteacher, Joe Kissell, Caleb, and Jennie Weber. The host for the next installment of History Carnival on July 15 is Andrew Ross at Air Pollution.

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