Hi, my name is Kyle and I am a transfer Senior and History major. I am very excited to get to know everyone during this very unique semester. I have been adapting myself to this new world in ways both deeply personal, and all too familiar to so many people in the world right now. Exploring this moment with a group of my peers, even though it will be on Zoom, is something that I am incredibly excited to begin.
Like so many of us, I have been drowning in information about the pandemic over the past several months. Relentless scrolls of recently acquainted medical science, endless minutes of podcasts detailing the political and social zeitgeist, streams of cable television or video clips on social media flashing changes as our collective knowledge adapts in real time.
There has never been a more well-documented and thoroughly captured, nor rapidly communicated human tragedy. This crisis has produced, along with the yet untold dead, a previously unseen level of information (and disinformation) for a historic event of this magnitude. The entire globalizing world has just started to experience its first modern plague, the medical, economic, political, and social impacts of which have not been explored.
And it has experienced it all Live, with the Internet and social media circulating narratives faster than the virus can spread. While there is so much left to learn about how we arrived here, there is already so much to draft as the first cohort of historians to start investigating this question. It is important that we attempt to gain some perspective on how we got here today, so that we can understand where we are going and what we can learn from this experience.
What is History?
History is the study of how humans arrived at the present. It can be examined broadly or narrowly and from many perspectives. There are multitudes of explanations for how the past unfolded, and the study of history itself has evolved to incorporate perspectives of peoples suppressed or forgotten. More informed historians can have deeper insight into the human story.