What Kind of Historian Am I?

I have always thought of myself as more of a social historian with a bit of a cultural side. The re-inclusion of underrepresented groups in the historical record is the reason I wanted to become a historian. I have also always admired historians, and scholars in other fields, who are able to write good stories. Storytelling is how we as historians relay our information to a wider audience, and not just sharing our findings with other historians. I have always had trouble finding the purpose in history written in ways/language that only other historians can understand and appreciate. This is where new platforms of presentation can help historians reach a much larger audience. Digital history platforms, like websites, allows historic research and findings to reach  people both inside and outside of the discipline, and do it in ways other than reading an article or book. I hope to create some form of a digital representation of my project, so I guess this makes me a digital historian as well. Like some of you I don’t always know what is meant by methodology and I am glad I am not alone.

As far as what kinds of methods I plan to use in my research and interpretation, I think I know some of the methods I will employ. Historian Carol Lasser uses images and rhetoric from antislavery publication in her article “Voyeuristic Abolition.” Her analysis of the images of female slaves is one of her methods I hope to emulate in my project. She uses these images to support her theory that sex and gender played a prominent role in the antislavery movement and abolitionists writings. Linking images to the rhetoric of abolition is where I believe her work is most convincing. The use of symbolic figures to represent slave and slavery, in Lasser’s article slave women, is a method commonly employed by historians, and is the major method of examination I hope to successfully employ in my research.