History Slam Episode 136: Why I Like History & Being a Historian

By Sean Graham

A cartoon that a colleague sent me depicting a historian.

For the past couple of years, it has become really easy for us historians to be pessimistic. Whether its the job market, shrinking enrolments, or very partisan debates surrounding commemoration, the news surrounding historians has not always been positive. As a result, it can be tough to remember why we got into history in the first place. I have definitely been guilty of this, despite my best efforts to avoid it.

In this episode of the History Slam, I try to feed the positive and talk about the main reasons I love history and being a historian. I talk about the fun struggle of research, the discovery of new stories, and the humanity of studying the past. I also talk about the opportunities that I have been fortunate enough to have from studying history and the relationship between mortality and history.

Sean Graham is a historian with Parks Canada, an Adjunct Professor at Carleton University, and a contributing editor at Activehistory.ca.

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