As we come towards the end for the semester, it seems to have all gone by very, very quickly! It doesn’t seem long ago at all when I had barely even heard of transnational history, let alone where I am now, wading through the heavy historiographical waters surrounding the intricacies of the field.
Nonetheless, it has been an interesting and compelling journey up to this point that will definitely have a long-lasting impact on my historical studies. My brain has switched to a ‘transnational’ mode, wherein every text I read towards my project is viewed through the lens of potential (not forced!) connections, comparisons and entanglements. I think it is much more productive for me, carrying out a comparative history, to view the information I read instantly in this format, rather than as a last minute panic to find some sort of link between events. The odd thing is that, it is not only within MO3351 that I find myself thinking like this, but in my other work as well. Understanding the causations and consequences between parties, nations, individuals and events is truly a very rewarding and refreshing way to view history.
Of course, I will be the first to admit that I will not miss getting my head around some of the complex and theoretical arguments made in some of the texts I have looked at. However, there is again something refreshing about the openness of definitions within transnational history. My other module, on early modern warfare, whilst perfectly enjoyable in its own right, whilst open to historical interpretation, has very strict limits and boundaries that do not allow for individual experimentation. The debate regarding the line between global and world history, for example, is a much more freeing and dynamic way of thinking that undoubtedly delivers conclusions that would otherwise be impossible.
Just my musings at this stage as we work towards the end of the project…