Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We're Modern Now, Put On Pants

The Fabulous Historiann had a recent post on The Intellectual Value of Being Wrong, where she argues that conferences should be places of playing with ideas and trying out new things. I agree entirely, though I've not yet had the gumption to do it. I have, however, committed myself to a conference at the dawn of 2012 where I just might, by necessity, if nothing else (I won't have actually done any sub-surface fieldwork by the time I present...).

The post is worth a read, as is, as ever at Historiann's, the comments section. Good, insightful, and crazy-knowledgeable. And funny. I had to share this one from Rustonite; in addition to making me laugh out loud (for realz), Rustonite makes a really good point about periods and timeframes that I think we'd all do well to remember:
I don’t get why there’d be controversy about applying the word lesbian back, any more than there is about periodisations like modern and medieval. Nobody in the middle ages though they were living in the middle (of what?), and it’s not as though somebody came out at new years 1600, ringing a bell and yelling “we’re modern now, put on pants!” Everything we say is a bit anachronistic. It’s important to be aware you’re doing it, but if we tried to write non-anachronistic history we’d find it impossible.
You'll just have to visit Historiann to find out what that lesbian comment is all about!

PS: I highly, highly recommend Judith Bennett's book History Matters: Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism. I can't recommend it enough; it should be required reading for historians and historical archaeologists.


Cyn said...

"it’s not as though somebody came out at new years 1600, ringing a bell and yelling “we’re modern now, put on pants!" = LMAO!

Whic makes me think of all the young dudez in baggiez lately. Was standing next to one such gent yesterday and couldn't figure out how he was keeping his pants up. When he put his wallet back in his pocket, he had to read back and down to his knees. How does one turn off gravity? Or is it the magic of the tightest belts ever? Invisible Suspenders?

Digger said...

"We're postmodern now, pull up your damn pants?"

Dunno how they work; velcro?

Cyn said...

Yes, exactly what should be said. (Except 20 years ago, I thought it would be, like, "We're postmodern now, pull up your spacesuit!")

Velcro, maybe! Nanobots?