Negotiating #SocMedia4Hist: Technologies, Tactics and Triumphs

I took part in a really exciting discussion on ‘Negotiating #SocMedia4Hist: Technologies, Tactics and Triumphs’ for a joint History of Sexuality and Public History Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) in December. The podcast recording of the event is now up on the IHR website. The podcast only includes the panel contributions from Justin Bengry (Editor of NOTCHES), Jen Evans and myself, but you can follow the Storify of the event and the fantastic discussion we had here.

It was a real privilege to take part in this event, and it really did show what a great resource social media can be for historians and researchers. See below for the abstract and the above link to the IHR site to listen.

Thanks to Alix Green and the Public History seminar convenors, Justin, Jen and all those who took part in person and online!


The world of social media offers historians opportunities to find collaborators and colleagues, communicate and uncover new avenues of research, shape ideas and contribute to new, global communities of enquiry. But entering this world can be a daunting prospect, particularly for PhD students and early-career academics. Building and maintaining a profile for your work, negotiating online relationships and protecting your academic ‘capital’ are just some of the challenges. When your work touches on ‘difficult’ pasts then ‘daunting’ can become ‘terrifying’ as new social media opportunities emerge and continue to evolve. Historians increasingly rely on Facebook as a professional tool, contribute to Wikipedia, use WordPress and other systems to blog about their research, and engage on Twitter with other #twitterstorians. Others rely on image sites like Tumblr and Flickr to uncover and disseminate resources, while there is also a community of historians on Reddit. This session, jointly convened by the Public History and History of Sexuality seminars, tackles the question of how to navigate social media, making the most of the new spaces they open up while managing some of the risks and pitfalls.

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