This is the first in the podcast series Making History created by Samuel McLean.
The genesis for these podcasts is a desire to have open and honest conversations about history as a practice and a profession. The profession of history is changing and facing many challenges, and it is important that those who are considering history as a career to have an opportunity to hear about some of those challenges.
Making History #1: Complexity as Historical Practice
Recorded: Friday, October 22, 2013 at the National Maritime Museum
Host: Samuel McLean
Dr James Davey
Dr James Davey is Curator of Naval History at the National Maritime Museum where he has co-curated a new permanent gallery, ‘Nelson, Navy, Nation’ which opened in October 2013. He holds degrees from King’s College London, the University of Oxford, and completed his PhD at the University of Greenwich in early 2010. Between 2006 and 2009 he was Research Assistant on the Leverhulme Trust-funded project ‘Sustaining the Empire: War, the Navy, and the Contractor State’, and afterwards held a research fellowship at the NMM. His work considers the history of the Royal Navy in a variety of political, economic and cultural contexts. He is the author of The Transformation of British Naval Strategy: Seapower and Supply in Northern Europe 1808-1812 (2012), co-author with Richard Johns of Broadsides: Caricature and the Navy 1756-1815 (2012) and co-editor with Quintin Colville of Nelson, Navy & Nation: the Royal Navy and the British People, 1688-1815 (2013). He is currently editing, with Tim Voelcker, a volume of Admiral Saumarez’s correspondence for the Navy Records Society, and writing a history of the Napoleonic War for Yale University Press. James is a Council member of the Society for Nautical Research, a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Greenwich, and a reviews editor for the Journal for Maritime Research.
Katherine Parker is a PhD Candidate at the University of Pittsburgh studying cultural and intellectual history of early modern empire. Her dissertation focuses on the circulation of geographic knowledge about the Pacific in the eighteenth-century British empire. For academic year 2013-14, she is doing archival research in London as a Social Sciences Doctoral Dissertation Fellow.
Sam, James and Katherine discuss the role of complexity in the communication of historical arguments. Topics include the importance of knowing one’s audience and writing accordingly, how simplicity does not necessary belie complexity, and the need to for historians to express their arguments with elegance and precision.
The podcast file is downloaded FROM HERE. (Link to Google Drive will open in a new window)
File Size: 29.8 MB
File Format: MP3 Audio
This podcast was recorded on a Zoom H2 Handy Recorder set for 2 channel 360° recording and edited using Audacity.