Update and a joke

Looking back over the past few months of this blog I was struck by my paucity of posting… I’ve had a plenty of ideas for post and played plenty of games I could have blogged about but I find if I don’t take action straight away it gets pushed to the back of my mind. Being busy with uni work has meant that my concentration for writing has been saved for that (seemed more important)… so much writing in fact that I fail to find this joke as funny as I probably should:

“Q: How many historians does it take to change a light bulb?
Posted on March 17, 2011

A: There is a great deal of debate on this issue. Up until the mid-20th century, the accepted answer was ‘one’: and this Whiggish narrative underpinned a number of works that celebrated electrification and the march of progress in light-bulb changing. Beginning in the 1960s, however, social historians increasingly rejected the ‘Great Man’ school and produced revisionist narratives that stressed the contributions of research assistants and custodial staff. This new consensus was challenged, in turn, by women’s historians, who criticized the social interpretation for marginalizing women, and who argued that light bulbs are actually changed by department secretaries. Since the 1980s, however, postmodernist scholars have deconstructed what they characterize as a repressive hegemonic discourse of light-bulb changing, with its implicit binary opposition between ‘light’ and ‘darkness,’ and its phallogocentric privileging of the bulb over the socket, which they see as colonialist, sexist, and racist. Finally, a new generation of neo-conservative historians have concluded that the light never needed changing in the first place, and have praised political leaders like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher for bringing back the old bulb. Clearly, much additional research remains to be done.”

From here: https://thedispersalofdarwin.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/q-how-many-historians-does-it-take-to-change-a-light-bulb/

As I’ve been doing the prep work on my dissertation it is all too familiar to my recent output… On a related note I’m torn whether to game parts of my dissertation, would it spoil things or would it give me extra insights or would it just be a distraction best left for afterwards… I’m tending towards the latter. Any input form anyone who has been there before would be grateful.



7 comments on “Update and a joke

  1. Tim Gow says:

    This historian would remind you that only scanty anecdotal evidence exists that the light bulb needed changing in the first place….

  2. Marxist theory shows that historians don’t change lightbulbs, they get us working class to it for them.

  3. Pete S/ SP says:

    Both all too true….

  4. And even if we know for a fact that lightbulbs existed in early modern times, their impact on society has surely been overestimated by a misinterpretation of the evidence. … Oh yes, this sounds horrifyingly familiar. After surviving almost a decade of grad school in my 20s and 30s, I am back again in my early fifties, and can’t wait to be done with it.
    Very funny post. 🙂

  5. Pete S/ SP says:

    Good luck with the rest of your studies Michael, I’ve just passed the halfway point of my MA.



  6. I say change it if it needs changing. But if the lightbulb in fact really is working and shows the Truth Of History. Then we must Change the people trying to change it:)
    Remember the Worth of the State is the Worth of the individuals Composing it:) J. S. MILLS
    Sadly to many people are forgetting this:(

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