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Beach reading for historians (or why simple writing makes your argument smarter)

by Marta Musso

Summer reading is always tricky for young academics. On the one hand, the summer holidays are the perfect and unique time of the year to relax and read all the pleasant, light novels that you never have time for. On the other hand, summer is also the time to catch up with all the serious reading that is not directly related to your research project but you know you should read sooner or later.

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The WorldCafé – a way to discuss history

by Charlotte Jahnz

Charlotte Jahnz (@CJahnz) is a Masters student in history at Bonn University and Community Manager at the Max Weber Stiftung.

One way to discuss history in public is through a WorldCafé, which aims to bring together experts and participants. Gesche Schifferdecker (@GSchifferdecke), press officer at Max Weber Stiftung, is currently organizing the second WeberWorldCafé, “Narrating the First World War – Experiences and Reports from Transregional Perspectives”, which will be taking place at the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin on the 16th of September, 2014.

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Issues of Studying Nineteenth Century Women in Foreign Affairs

by Tiia Sahrakorpi

A under-researched field is women in diplomatic history. Furthering this field would enhance the study of diplomatic history itself as mostly men are in the forefront as leaders of diplomatic missions. This leads to questions such as, “how to treat gender as a concept in foreign affairs and how to write about women in foreign affairs”? There are problems concerning the sources on women’s involvment in diplomatic history, which makes it difficult for historians to find out exactly what was the extent of influence.

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Why historians should learn how to code (at least a bit)

by Janine Noack

Historians spend hours and hours in front of computer screens and paper sources from other centuries trying to create a cohesive narrative. Mostly we use Microsoft Word to write down our ideas and the internet to browse for information. But our computers can offer us way more than that. We may not always be aware of the great amount of software aiming to help us research more effectively. When contemporary historians analyse the world we live in now, an immense amount of available data needs to be contextualised. That’s where coding becomes essential – not only for programmers but also for historians. Here are some reasons why you should take your first steps in coding right now.

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