Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Dr Richard Jones on local approaches

Here Dr Richard Jones of the Centre for English Local History questions the meaning of ‘local’ both in the past and today. Should we conceptualise ‘local’ communities in terms of geographical space, or in terms of populations and human interaction? We invite your comments on this subject!

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to our first post on the nature of local history! The Centre for English Local History was established in 1948, under the guidance of W.G. Hoskins, a figure whose pioneering work has defined the research project of the ELH. The Leicester approach developed by Hoskins is committed to the study of past communities, and the material environment in which people lived and worked.

    What does local history mean, and how do we practice it in an increasingly global society? The ethos of the Centre is simple enough. Broader studies of the past tend to rely on one particular method, but the ethos of the ‘local’ encourages the holistic study of lived communities. From economic, social and cultural perspectives, to the history of the landscape, politics and piety, this approach is profoundly interdisciplinary, examining localities from a variety of angles. This mode of history allows us to make observations that revise our understanding of wider national and international issues.

    From reflections on the value of using local history, to the insights of anthropologists or social psychologists, this blog offers a forum for debate and discussion. We hope you will enjoy reading and participating in our posts. If you would like to join in or have a piece to contribute yourself, please do get in touch.