My name is Emily Robinson. I’m working on a PhD thesis about British political parties and their sense of the past – their own and that of the nation. Mainly this is about collective identity and the competing histories, memories and myths that go with that. I’m also interested in nostalgia as a political factor.

This often leads me into the realms of the philosophy of history and of ‘the past’ more generally. I want to understand why the past matters to us as much as it does – and why it sometimes makes us shiver…

This blog is an attempt to give myself a space to think all this through. I hope to receive lots of interesting, creative and challenging comments to help me in my quest!

3 Responses to “About”


  1. I’m a novelist (okay, unpublished writer) playing with the same themes, beginning with our modern misunderstanding of “ancestor worship” in Africa. i think American individuals are more likely to discount any obligation they have to the generations that preceded than to credit them.

  2. thehistoricalshiver Says:

    Lucinda, thanks for your comment.

    Sorry not to have replied sooner – this blog has been dormant for a while (see my latest post)!

    I think you are right about the lack of obligation to the past. I think that is the same here in the UK as well. That was one of the main themes I explored in my book – the way in which the past is increasingly used as a way of affirming the identities we already have (or want to have), rather than an obligation which actively shapes who we are – either in a political or a personal sense.

    I hope your writing is going well.


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