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For my last blog post I figured I would save it for the end of the semester to comment on things that I felt either stuck with me or opened my eyes to different approaches on history. I think Cronon was a perfect piece for the end of the semester as Professor Shrout explained to Wells that Cronon gave us an authoritative perspective on historical writing and narrative just as we were filled with months of thoughts and opinions. I’m not sure I’m going to have the same takeaway as Wells did, coming to have a greater appreciation for historical narrative and storytelling, but I did takeaway something I think will give me a different perspective on the last year of my journey as a history major as well as my major thesis coming up next semester.
Cronon’s work and our subsequent class discussion today made me realize that regardless of the sources I use, the historical facts in play, or previous scholarship on the topic, I alone can create my story. In essence, we have all the tools in front of us to shape history in whatever manner to provide us with the message we want to send to our audience. Whether that means picking the starting and stopping points, the type of primary sources, the certain perspective of the subject, the different kinds of voices, or even the moral questions you want to ask or answer; the story you create is entirely up to you. Many of us, I would assume, feel the need that we have to take stories of the past and comment on them now to make our point, however; I think we need to expand our commentary as young historians and realize that we can create new stories that explain the history we want told and ask the questions we want to be answered. I just hope this epiphany is in time to make my mark on history. Also, CT tremendous closure to the course. Swanson, out.