About

I love to write. I believe history should be accessible and engaging, and provoke thoughtful contemplation of our lives today. My passions include the historical trajectory of “big ideas,” specifically the points of intersection between empires, technology, space and identities.

A lot of what you’ll find on this blog is about the following:

  • Imperial powers – why do we find them fascinating? What effect did they have on the peoples they ruled over? How did/do empires differ? What was Canada’s place in the British Empire? How did empires contribute to “globalization”?
  • Technology – how does it influence how we see the world? How is it changing the way we see ourselves and the spaces we live in? What do geographical conceptions like “nations” mean in the face of new technologies?
  • The nineteenth century generally – what an amazing and rapidly-changing time period. I feel a great connection to this time period because it was then that a lot of the institutions and values we still have today originated.
  • Maps. I always want to talk about maps. I love them. Especially the ones with stylized figures around the borders and bits coloured in red. My favourite map of all time is the icon for this page, and was designed by a Canadian to show Canada’s central role in the British Empire. (It has 2 Australias!) If you’re interested, you can find out more about Mr. Parkin and his map here.
  • Lots and lots more – I aspire to be a “magnet for interesting,” so if “interesting” happens to cross your path, and you think I’d be interested too, email me.

I am a big consumer of information and intelligent analysis – news, books, blogs, etc. – for which I am profoundly grateful. I am delighted to have the opportunity with this blog to be a producer. My goal in life is to be a thought leader, and this constitutes a baby step. My high-level hopes and dreams for this blog, as set out in my very first post, are to have a space where interested readers can get together and express their thoughts about history, communities, identities, and the intersections between them. Great writing is all about joining a conversation, or taking it to a new place. I’m excited for this blog to advance the conversation in real time.

I always appreciate your feedback and your thoughts about the blog in general, and about ideas I’m working through for further study, like this one, on the origins and history of fame, or this one on why nations continue to be important, or this one on my perennial favourite topic, Canadian superimperial nationalism.

For more on my thoughts about and experience with academia and how this blog fits in with new media’s approach to writing in the humanities, visit my post on What’s History Writing Now?

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One Response to About

  1. trivium says:

    Hi Kathryn; so I found the blog that you mentioned, and good gravy, I see what you’re saying about kindred-spiritness. I hope you don’t mind if I make a few comments here and there around your site; it’s really engaging and I kind of can’t believe how similar a lot of what we talk about is. Then again, it’s perhaps sad, or perhaps interesting, that as you may have figured out, I’m a fellow U of T history grad… so is it pathetic that we just create these tiny little specialized communities, or is this somehow good, or to be celebrated? In any event, I find that a lot of the online writers that I feel a connection with are Canadians, even though i’m only an honorary Canadian myself. I would go into why I think that the Canadian culture produces a lot of really good writers and thinkers, but I might be seen by some as chauvanist. At any rate, I’m totally intrigued by what you’re posting, and so keep up the good work. Are you doing/have you done a PhD? Have you given up on it/the job market? Anyway, you have my email if you want to write, or just feel free to post over at the platonist. Thanks for this site, and see you around, -trivium.

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