Comment on Lying down with the dogs by saraevenson

It’s always nice to read your posts, Carmen, as they make me reflect on our readings in a new way. I think your comment on agency is very well thought out, and I agree with you that, I just don’t *know* about the level of agency embodied and practiced by living organisms. I agree with your statement that “In a way I believe that anything that makes some sort of difference in an agent, yet at the same time, I recognize how limitless that type of thinking might be.” But, in the end, I just conclude that we are supposed to be learning how to be historians, and that part of that is thinking, questioning, and embracing new thoughts. Which you’re doing!

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Comment on Animals, Agency, and History by saraevenson

As I was doing these readings, I was thinking of you, Laura! I agree with Faith that I think I have a better understanding of your project, and an entirely foreign (to me) branch of history. I struggle too with anthropomorphizing animals, but think it is just one of my personal limitations. As you, and Shaw, discuss, we may never fully understand animal agency but they *do* have a place in history, just as “pre-history” does.

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Comment on Animals as subjects by saraevenson

I had a similar experience with the readings–how had I never thought of this before? Fudge’s work on the cows was very eye-opening, and I do agree that cows must have an established world order within which they work. The difficulty I have, though, is ever understanding that order. While involving other disciplines can provide insight, won’t we always try to arrange their experiences through a human definition?

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Comment on Deep History, Culture, and Neuroplasticity by saraevenson

I found Smail troubling, because it was difficult to imagine that the course of history has always been, and will always be, beyond the scope of human control. Yet, when reading, I found myself agreeing with many of his points. I do agree with David, though, that historians and mankind won’t be willing to share the field with other primates. Perhaps this will lead us to define “history” as that which deals with homo sapiens sapiens in order to avoid this? ;)

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Comment on When history meets science by saraevenson

This is such an interesting post! While doing the reading, I was also thinking about the balance of science and history. With Smail, I found myself thinking that neurohistory can be used as a way of reading history, as opposed to a necessary foundational knowledge that must be possessed in order to study history. It seems like your experiences at SHOT would agree with this.

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Comment on Deep Thinking on Deep History by saraevenson

I had a similar experience, Carmen. I was engaged and enjoyed reading through this book…though I definitely had an increasingly visible frown as I did so. I had a reaction similar to Faiths, wondering how much science needs to be understood or added to history, and how a balance can be struck between history as a humanity and history as a science.

As for written history as evidence–our oral history course has given me so much to think about on this topic. It’s difficult to respect non-written sources, but I’m coming to appreciate how articulate they can be. Material culture, I think, is a great example of how non-written sources can be used and analyzed. But, of course, historians mainly do this, currently, in a Postlithic sense where anthropologists do this in the Paleolithic! So, again, how do we balance?!

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Comment on Gender, Power, and “the Veil” by saraevenson

This was lovely, Claire. I’ve been interested in the French debate over headscarves as well and, like you, found my opinions shifted by this article. I’ve found myself most struck by the section that refers to the point that banning headscarves will allow Muslim women to be equal to French women. I agree that French colonialism and bias problematizes this situation, making a battleground of a woman’s decision of what to wear. There is so much here to unpack, it’s difficult to even begin.

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Comment on [The Importance of] Gender: A [Highly] Useful Category of Analysis by saraevenson

I love re-reading things too, Laura, if only to see how my perceptions and feelings have changed. I found Scott to be readable and direct, though did find my thoughts becoming a bit tangled after reading so many different articles by and about the same person. I did find it very enjoyable and enlightening to read “Unanswered Questions,” to see Scott’s reflections and thoughts on her own work and the influence it has had. I, too, found gender-as-a-question a powerful thought, and have kept that in the back of my mind while finishing up readings.

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Comment on Personal Accounts and Identity by saraevenson

David–I’d be interested to hear your opinion of Steedman’s microhistory as compared to that of Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s in A Midwife’s Tale. Personally, I was far more comfortable with Ulrich. I think this was because I liked the distance Ulrich had from the original source material; instead of analyzing and telling her own story, Ulrich was analyzing and telling someone else’s story.

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