How Many Historians Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?


There is a great deal of debate on this issue. Up until the mid-20th century, the accepted answer was ‘one’: and this Whiggish narrative underpinned a number of works that celebrated electrification and the march of progress in light-bulb changing. Beginning in the 1960s, however, social historians increasingly rejected the ‘Great Man’ school and produced revisionist narratives that stressed the contributions of research assistants and custodial staff. This new consensus was challenged, in turn, by women’s historians, who criticized the social interpretation for marginalizing women, and who argued that light bulbs are actually changed by department secretaries. Since the 1980s, however, postmodernist scholars have deconstructed what they characterize as a repressive hegemonic discourse of light-bulb changing, with its implicit binary opposition between ‘light’ and ‘darkness,’ and its phallogocentric privileging of the bulb over the socket, which they see as colonialist, sexist, and racist. Finally, a new generation of neo-conservative historians have concluded that the light never needed changing in the first place, and have praised political leaders like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher for bringing back the old bulb. Clearly, much additional research remains to be done.

(h/t Chuck Jones on Facebook)

Also these:

Q.   How many historians does it take to change a lightbulb?
A.  I dunno – not my period.

Q.  How many revisionist historians does it take to change a
A.  In actual fact, against popular consensus, the lightbulb was
never actually changed.

Q.   How many cultural historians does it take to change a lightbulb?
A.  I am less interested in the lightbulb than the discourses
surrounding the changing.

Q. How many art historians does it take to change a lightbulb.
A. 11. One to change the lightbulb, and 5 to show earlier versions
that influenced it, and 5 to say that the changing was actually done by
the changers apprentice.


And my personal favorite:

Q: How many Bibliobloggers does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: I don’t know, let’s ask Jim West.

The Onion: Pope To Ease Up On Jesus Talk

I couldn’t help but post this.  Hilarious!

VATICAN CITY—Acknowledging that he has perhaps been laying it on a little thick with the religion stuff lately, Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday that he was making a concerted effort to take all his incessant Jesus talk down a notch.

“I’d like to think I can be an infallible ecclesiastical authority without ramming it down people’s throats,” the pope said. “I’m starting to realize what a huge turn-off that is.”

In a routine papal blessing Sunday at St. Peter’s Square, Benedict made far fewer mentions of Jesus than usual and only cited scripture twice, opting instead for such uncharacteristic phraseology as “Sorry if this sounds preachy,” “I’m not here to judge,” and “Hey, this works for me, but by all means, feel free to do your own thing, too.”

via Pope To Ease Up On Jesus Talk | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source.

Past Horizons on Dura-Europos

What a great article over at Past Horizons about one of the cultural crossroads of antiquity, Dura-Europos!  here is a snippet:

Located at the contested borders between the Seleucid, Parthian and Roman Empires—and on the Euphrates River, a major north-south transportation artery—Dura-Europos was home to a multicultural population. Settled by Macedonian veterans around 300 BCE, Parthians captured Dura-Europos late in the second century BCE and made the city into a fortress which flourished as a trading post on the western border of their huge empire.

The religions that coexisted in the city speak of an equally complex cultural environment, with temples to Greek, Roman and numerous Near Eastern gods, as well as dedicated places of worship for Christians and Jews. Abandoned after a Sasanian siege and sack in 256 CE, the site remained virtually unexplored until 1928, when excavations at Dura-Europos were initiated by Yale University.

via Dura-Europos: Crossroads of Antiquity | Past Horizons.

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

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