22: Crafting the past... or trying to

-- Fri 29 January 2021
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There's all sorts of reasons to pursue historical crafting techniques: for the experience of recreating them or learning new techniques, for education, or for entertainment and immersion. Morgan and Chris explore these paths under the terms "experiential historical crafts", "experimental archaeology", and "historical reenactment". What is important, useful, and fun about each of these? What pitfalls might we want to avoid? What can be gained by what we might find, how might we bring more people in... and what do we risk by what (or who) we might miss or leave out?

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Special note here: we aren't saying Townsends is bad; we enjoy the show and from a standpoint of production, what it does present is very good. But it does seem like the show makes an intentional dodge on important issues or chooses to only present a limited and fun subset of history... which can be disappointing at the least and at the worst can result in a kind of nostalgia that erases real problems. All history is suffused with things to celebrate and things which are disturbing and disappointing, but recognizing only the former sets us up to repeat the latter.