Essay On Microhistory

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Introduction According to Karl Appuhn in the Encyclopedia of European Social History, Microhistory is a historical method that studies the interactions of individuals and events in isolation in order to construct meaning that would “otherwise remain unknown by means of more conventional historical strategies”. Microhistory is seen as a technique that attempts to reconstruct relations, both human and non-human, in order to make sense of larger geo-political themes within the historical narrative. This method is favoured for a variety of reasons, but one of the main motivations in using this perspective to investigate history is its emphasize on individual agency. By focusing on smaller-scale events, as well as evidence based on interactions,…show more content…
He also argues that more than often these events our overlooked and or not seen as relevant in answer the “big questions”. It can be argued however that these small moments in history offer insight into the past that broad and over-arching analysis simple cannot. Rosenthal attempts to demonstrate the usefulness of these small moments by outlining the various different stories that can be told due to the twenty-four hour period in Samoa when a cyclone hit. Rosenthal discusses how “stories move”, and by this he means there are various ways in which the same event can be heard and interpreted across time and space. He argues that this one singular environmental event is able to connect seemingly unrelated histories into an interconnected narrative. The experience of a Japanese Cabin steward in the eye of the storm to the Indigenous leader thousands of miles away to Fuji Hachitaro and Malietoa. Rosenthal outlines the difficulty that lies with the historical reconstruction of hurricane’s path, as there is a need to gather as much data from as many places possible during that exact time. The article exposes the reader to the intricate details that intertwine data collected from both geological and anthological sources as well as how this data can continue to answer various historical
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