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    Jim Clifford

    I'm an upper year PhD Student in the History Department at York University in Toronto. I study the environmental and social history of West Ham on the edge of London. I use GIS as a part of this research project. My blog: jimclifford.wordpress.com

    My Posts

    Active History: From a Conference to a Website

    Friday, March 12th, 2010 | Jim Clifford

    Active History began as an idea for a conference at a fellow student’s post comprehensive exams party back in the winter of 2007.  In the year and a half that followed we created a vision statement, circulated a CFP, applied for funding and finally hosted a two-day symposium in September 2008.  We defined active history variously as history that listens and is responsive; history that will make a tangible difference in people’s lives; history that makes an intervention and is transformative to both practitioners and communities.

    From the early stages we recognized that we needed to engage with the internet to help achieve some of these lofty goals.  As none of us had any real experience with websites, I agreed to play around with WordPress.  I managed to create a basic website for the conference that can still be found at http://activehistory.wordpress.com (now largely defunct).  We hoped to make this into more than a simple message board for the conference and we asked the conference presenters to contributed blogs in the run up to the event.  Looking back at the site it is clear this request did not resonate with  any of Active Historians attending the conference and even our request for blog posts reflecting on the conference only resulted in two posts. (more…)