This week’s reading reflect on how historians navigate the fact that the very categories that often organize their analysis (e.g., race, gender, disaster, etc.) themselves have histories. This can create a challenge at the level of research and writing: do we use the categories that are most meaningful to us, or the ones that made sense to our historical subjects? Often the strongest works of history directly engage these tensions to highlight change, and sometimes continuity, over time.
Write a 250 word post response to his prompt: What are key categories of analysis in your topic? Is there any tension between your understanding of those categories and the way your sources use such terms? For example, you might discuss how you understand the category of disaster and whether it’s one that your subjects would have used to describe your topic. (Alternatively, you may create your own prompt related to the readings and respond to it. If you choose this option, provide your prompt at the top.)
Add one question about something that confused you in the readings, or one they left unanswered that you’re curious about, or one you’d like to hear others’ opinions on.