Fellow heathen historians.
Welcome to the new heathen history site. This news feed will host all the general A Level history news, and materials. We hope that this will build up to be a collection of enriching materials that will reflect the broad and diasporait nature of the discpline. Below is a good example of this.
In November 2012 BBC Radio 3 ran a series of fifteen minute lectures from young academics in the humanities and the arts. Here Jonathan Healey gives a talk questioning the value of learning lessons from history. He argues ”that lessons drawn from the past and applied to our own world are meaningless, despite what we are told by best-selling historians and television documentaries. It is precisely because the past is so foreign that we are able to understand what is so unique about today.” Have a listen and see what you think.
Please find here the department’s 5Rs document (Research, Reflect, Review, Read around, and Respond to feedback). It sets out what A Levels students should expect from us, and what we expect from you. The diagrams below shows the skills that we want you to develop and some of the reasons why historians disagree…
The essay planning sheet master can be found here
The LVS netvibes page can be found here
A* students share their revision secrets here
Writing advice from the University of Reading can be found here
Following on from today’s lesson, for prep I would like you to do the following.
- Explore the three BBC web pages below.
This account of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz II-Birkenau (here).
The audio slideshow from the Auschwitz Museum explaining the problems of preserving the ageing and crumbling 191-hectare site, with limited funds (here).
Two experts on Auschwitz arguing for and against the idea that the former Nazi death camp should be allowed to crumble away (here)
- Then post which view you agree with more (and why) below. One paragraph please.
Please note, for your post to appear, I will need to approve it – so don’t worry it is does not show up straight away.
You can of course discuss this with people at home.
If you click here you will get to a BBC report on a find in the University of Reading’s special finds department – two pages of previously unknown print by Claxton.
“Erika Delbecque, special collections librarian at the university, described the find as “incredibly rare”. The two pages, with religious texts in medieval Latin, were produced by Caxton at his pioneering printing works in Westminster – and are now going on public display for the first time since they were sold from his print shop in the 15th Century. They are believed to be from the earliest years of Caxton’s printing press, either 1476 or 1477, and are being hailed as a remarkable discovery.”
You might like follow the links on the page to find out more about Claxton.
As promised, please click on the link below for those top ten tips.
Ten Top Tips for History Exam Revision
If you click here you will get to the link for the upcoming Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths exhibition at the British Library (Fri 28 Apr – Tue 29 Aug 2017). Obviously it is to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution, and looks great.
From the fall of Russia’s last Tsar to the rise of the first communist state, this definitive exhibition takes a fresh look at the Russian Revolution 100 years on.
With rarely seen items from both sides of the conflict – from a first edition of the Communist Manifesto to anti-Bolshevik propaganda – this is a unique chance to understand the lesser-known personal stories behind the events that changed the world.
Also on display for the first time, from the British Library’s own archive: Lenin’s handwritten application for a Reader Pass.
Uniting the political and the personal, explore the Russian Revolution’s central characters, most notably Lenin and Trotsky, alongside the tales of ordinary people living through extraordinary times. Did events in Russia in 1917 transform the international landscape forever? Did they shape the world we live in today?
Bringing to life the hope, tragedy and myths of this seismic revolution, discover Russia 1917 – the biggest flame in a world on fire.
If you click here you will get to information about the Royal Academy’s Exhibition of Revolutionary Art. Obviously this is to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution, and it has received outstanding reviews.
Not to be missed – I am heading that way in March.
If you click here you will get to some local(ish) archaeology news of national importance. The so-called Watlington Hoard has re-written what we know about the Anglo-Saxons…
“This is an extraordinary find, one which re-writes Anglo-Saxon history,” Xa Sturgis, director of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, which now houses the coins, told Sky News. “The keeper of the coin room here came running up the stairs to tell me. The more they were excavated the more it became obvious how significant they are. These coins point to some sort of an alliance in the 870s between Alfred and Ceolwulf.” While Alfred is often described as the king who founded England, uniting Mercia and Wessex, very little is known of his rival Ceolwulf.
“These coins prove that there was a very real alliance between the two men at that time,” added Julian Baker, coin curator at the Ashmolean. “That alliance hasn’t survived in the historical record until now. Alfred manipulated history to put himself in a better light. To date, history has overemphasised Alfred’s record and almost completely neglected Ceolwulf.”
As such, this article is a good example of how far from being a static subject, historical ideas are always fluid and changing.
See what you think.
If you click here you will get to the BBC obituary for Brunhilde Pomsel. She was Goebbels’ personal secretary, and one of the last direct links to the Nazi regime.
You may know of her from the excellent German life documentary (trailer above). This raised the classic AJP Taylor question – how far should responsibility for Holocaust go ? For Pomsel at least, the only blame that she felt was for voting Nazi.
It is unquestionable that, as the Chinese curse goes, we are living in interesting times. If you click here you can listen to Adam Smith attempt to compare Donald Trump to previous US presidents. It is on this Monday – have a listen and we can discuss it in the next history society.
Stop press – click here for the comparison between Trump and Lincoln.
If you click here then you can find out more about the forthcoming American Dream exhibition. Just £13 to you young people. It opens in March, and looks very special. There is of course so much else to see that is very special (and free). You can explore what is on offer here.
The American Dream exhibition is described as follows….
“The past six decades have been among the most dynamic and turbulent in US history, from JFK’s assassination, Apollo 11 and Vietnam to the AIDS crisis, racism and gender politics. Responding to the changing times, American artists have produced prints unprecedented in their scale and ambition.
Starting with the explosion of pop art in the 1960s, the exhibition includes works by the most celebrated American artists. From Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg to Ed Ruscha, Kara Walker and Julie Mehretu – all boldly experimented with printmaking. Experience this extraordinary history through their eyes”.
If you click here you will get to the BBC iplayer and Dan Snow’s Mary Rose Timewatch programme. It is excellent – particularly if you are thinking of archaeology as a degree course. You may also like to click here to visit the BBC’s online interactive guide.