Are you micro or macro or a little bit of both? We often hear about microeconomic and macroeconomic analysis, but when it comes to history….?
The most novel outcome of my very uneventful Saint Patrick’s Day this year was to see on RTE links to a Royal Irish Academy project that has made Saint Patrick’s autobiography and surviving letter available online in a neat, modern English translation.
The close study of texts was and is closely related to my sense of being a historian, as well as some-time archivist. However, from writing a draft of a book on international relations over the past year (which should be published later this year) I have grown more accustomed to attempting to see “the big picture” through conceptualisations rather than the close study of texts. Getting my head around ideas of Robert Keohane, Ian Clark and Frans Alting von Geusau can seem more important than paying trips to the archives.
I wonder, therefore, if I have undergone a metamorphosis from a micro into a macro thinker, and what does that mean? If we are what we do, then what we end up doing next will shape how we think. As a result, collaborative projects certainly have their merits. The idea of “either” micro “or” macro histories may have to wait or perhaps it is all just a state of mind? Being reflective or proactive…and all that. And so…another navel gazing musing/blog entry has come to an end, fading into the oblivion of time. The clock is still ticking.