Historian Fernande Raine asks……………
…history gives people power. It gives you the power of belonging, by helping you grow roots that go deep into the rich soil of time where they tap into values and traditions that feed your soul.
Why does history matter?
This is best summed by Canadian historian Andrea Eidinger who was a keynote speaker at the 10th Canada’s History Forum at a symposium Making History Relevant in 2017.
Andrea Eidinger in a nutshell
Some of the key words in history are: past; present; future; people, stories; understand; learn; study; know; better.
For Andrea history is deeply personal. She maintains that history is to better know and understand the past, the present and the future by learning and studying the stories of people.
She maintains that history makes us who we are. and how we remember history is important.
History is not an abstract concept or a dead subject. It is complicated, messy, contradictory and part of the everyday experience as we move through a world that is shaped by history. History is as much what we remember, forget or invent.
History is personal. It is a web of relationships over time and place which determine how we see the world.
Andrea teaches from a social history perspective and emphasizes the stories and experiences of people. Students find it easier to relate to the past if it is alive and not dead.
It is important for historians to challenge the dominant narrative and shine some light on invisible or forgotten histories. Historians should encourage open and honest discussion about stories. They should help marginalized communities and raise their stories and in doing so make the world a better place.
The purpose of history is to understand the present and make the world a better place in the future. We cannot change the past but we can help build a better future by rethinking the stories that we retell.
Historian … Naomi Malone states to the question:
Why is history important today?
History is vitally important because it gives us a basis from which to resolve current issues. Evidence from the past helps us to understand societal change, how the Australian community came to be what it is today and how to best live in the future.
Blog post ‘Five minutes with Naomi Malone’, PHA (NSW & ACT), 15 March 2018. Online @ http://www.phansw.org.au/five-minutes-with-naomi-malone/