Thursday, December 01, 2005

Cloud and his rant on geneaology

Cloud, I think, has written before on his loathing of the kennel club approach to geneology [tell me where!]. Here, he goes at the topic again.

I have to confess I have an ambivalence on the topic as I too have done a little in the way of family tree hunting, though as a visual and cultural historian, I'm a bit more interested in all the family photographs I have (their siginificance, who took them, why, the clothes, the costs etc) and issues of social relationships than just clocking up names back to the Norman Conquest. Also, as I watched Cloud typing up his blog last night - Broadband! Weeee! - it was interesting to see how the rant could take over constructing his argument. Cloud is one of the smartest people I know, but as I know from studying alongside him on the OU, he can make some really big assumptions that his meaning comes across clearly. In this instance, he was so incensed by the poorly written argument in the Grundie that he was in danger at several points of confusing his readers further rather than illuminating her inadquate comments.

It's still a corking post though: even has a biblical quote alongside Billy Bragg.


mike said...

Interesting. As you might have spotted, I'm currently maintaining a separate family history blog on behalf of my mother, whose father was a professional genealogist, and I'm heartened by the lack of suffocating factual dryness in her research, which she has painstakingly assembled from all sorts of letters and documentation. (There will also be a follow-up, which will describe in some detail a shooting-related scandal from the late 19th century.)

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Now THAT'S how to do family history! NARRATIVE!

btw, first chance to look at the FH blog and I think it's brilliant. Just what I would wnat to do with mine....

oh heck, just given myself something else to do!!!

Reluctant Nomad said...

Since you are a visual and cultural historian or whatever it is you called yourself, you may like this link:

Look at Me - A Collection of Found photographs:

LOOK AT ME is a collection of found photos.

These photos were either lost, forgotten, or thrown away. The images now are nameless, without connection to the people they show, or the photographer who took them. Maybe someone died and a relative threw away their photographs; maybe someone thought they were trash.

Some of the photos were found on the street. Some were stacked in a box, bought cheap at a flea market. Showing off or embarrassed, smug, sometimes happy, the people in these photos are strangers to us. They can't help but be interesting, as stories with only an introduction.

The LOOK AT ME project started with a few photos found by Frederic Bonn and Zoe Deleu in a Paris street in 1998

The collection now contains 513 photos.