What Happens in the Archive, Stays in the Archive

We all write from a position, including historians. There have been major moves to consider and acknowledge the position of historians with regards to class, gender, race, and sexuality, and this is more than welcome—it is absolutely vital. It does not now seem right to consider the historian as beyond time itself, as unrooted from the moment in which they write, like some kind of academic time-traveller, though some refuse to acknowledge this. We all have experiences that we bring to bear on the material. The material? What is the ‘material’ of history? Mostly, it is nothing more or less than sources that attest to the lives of other people, however distant in time from us.

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