Same Song, New Verse–Another Year of History Nerdery


It’s become a tradition. I devote my first post of the year to writing about the historical topics that I expect will occupy my time in the coming year. It’s a way to put my thoughts in order about the projects ahead.  You all are kind to indulge me.

This year I could simply refer you to last year’s post. Nothing much has changed, except that a major archive reopened in October. (And will hopefully stay open. Keep your fingers crossed for me.)

I spent 2021 deep in research on Sigrid Schultz, the realities of being a foreign correspondent,* the rise of Nazi Germany, and related topics. As the blog posts of the last year will attest, I went down lots of rabbit holes in the process. (I love a good rabbit hole!)

As we move into 2022, I am still deep in research mode. It is exhausting and thrilling. I am finding some fabulous stuff, and I am wandering down lots of rabbit holes. Which means lots of stories to share. In fact, there are so many stories to share that I can’t keep up. My growing list includes some kick-ass women you probably haven’t heard of, an unlikely German social organization (think a cross between Boy Scouts and hippies), robots, and rocket science.

My hope is to finish my archival work by the end of January** and then fling myself into the writing. I’ll keep you posted.

What historical rabbit holes are on your list for 2020?

*At some level, the real challenge is not finding the story, it’s getting the story to the editors at home. Sigrid Schultz and her colleagues/competitors spent a lot of time looking for the optimum balance between speed, cost, and reliability.

**I’m not sure this is even possible. But a lady can dream, right?


  1. Lissa Johnston on January 4, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    There are days when I truly wish all I did was research research research. But of course if that were so, I would probably spend days wishing I were writing, or editing.

    I’m looking forward to hearing about more kick-ass women!

    I haven’t decided which history rabbit hole is first up in 2022. I have a project in mind that would require a refresher in New World exploration history – one of my favorite topics!

  2. Rosemary Benson on January 6, 2022 at 12:59 am

    My last history rabbit hole almost did me in: pronunciations (mostly Arabic) for narration of a book on the history of Western jihad. No consistency between academics and newscasters on YouTube, major news outlets, and institutions. That was a Christmas season I’ll never forget…
    PS On behalf of narrators everywhere, please encourage your colleagues to introduce themselves before they lecture, so we can find them online, and quickly and confidently pronounce their names with confidence. My eternal gratitude, and Happy New Year!

    • Pamela on January 7, 2022 at 3:44 pm

      Oh man, that would have been a hell of a rabbit hole. I remember starting my first few lectures on Women Warriors with the caveat that a world history meant lots of women whose names i had never heard pronounced.

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