History, in its most popular form, is entertainment. Historical texts become sites where fantastical storytelling suppresses truths, moments of empathy or understanding of how to move forward progressively. Television audiences have engaged with romanticism through stories of past Queens and Kings. The theatrical performances of peasantry become nostalgic moments of a ‘simpler time’. War narratives in children’s books and national holidays are a means for the conventions of mateship to be glorified.
This perception of history is reductive and does a great disservice to the public.
In its true sense, history is an active, engaging, fascinating and compelling process of understanding who we are, as individuals, community members and societies. Through my research and writing, in online and offline publications, I critically engage with past events, people, places and ideas. Through historical analysis, I seek to understand how governments were formed, communities were established, cultures were created, disseminated and adapted, while artefacts were preserved or hidden. Most importantly, I reveal and discuss how people lived and how those lives influence our societies and communities today.
The events of 2020 alone indicate the immense social and cultural value that historians have to society as people seek to understand bushfires, climate change, pandemics, education & civil unrest. The specialised research by historians offers evidence-based insight- using artefacts, places, people or events- creates an informed foundation by which we can identify how to improve our communities in matters of environment, education, health, race, sexuality, religion & gender; to name but a few.
Colourful Histories is a professional blog that demonstrates my progress as a social historian, specialising in issues of gender, sexuality and religion in the Pacific. It is a space where I discuss critically engage with history. I also detail my experiences as a first in family academic.