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Amusing to me -- satire

Posted: Sun October 30th, 2011, 5:33 pm
by donroc
I saw this on facebook.

Q: How many historians does it take to change a light bulb?
with 8 comments

A: 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.

[This is from historian David Leeson, shared on Facebook]

Posted: Mon October 31st, 2011, 6:11 am
by Margaret
LOL. Oh, those postmodernists and their dense terminology!

Posted: Mon October 31st, 2011, 6:14 am
by MLE (Emily Cotton)
Hah! Amusing to me, too. I'm going to steal this...

Posted: Tue November 1st, 2011, 3:30 pm
by LoveHistory
That's good!

Posted: Tue November 1st, 2011, 10:11 pm
by DianeL
Donroc, thank you for the pure comedy gold.



How many Virginians does it take to change a light bulb?

Five. One to do the actual changing, two to talk about how much better the old light bulb was, and how the light will never be the same, and two more to write the history of the old bulb, with socket maps and Civil War citations.