The History Society of St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, is using podcasts, virtual tours, periodicals and other innovative ways to learn and analyse historical events during the pandemic. The idea is to provide students with a platform of contrasting opinions and liberal thinking.
Here’s what The History Society has on offer to tickle your grey cells:
Rewind: Learn History through podcast
Rewind, a podcast conceptualised by the Talks and Walks vertical of the society in September 2021, has a pre-recorded series of audio conversations. The team has come up with four episodes with linguist Peggy Mohan, academician Ruth Vanita, cultural activist Navina Jafa, and academic Aloka Parashar-Sen. They are working on the next episode with author Ira Mukhoty.
“History is a discipline that often gets burdened with academic jargon. But it's important to have simple conversations on important topics of our past, especially those that extend to our present. Podcasts help students engage with historians, writers and curators in a more informal way,” said Soumya Singh, a second-year History student and head of Talks and Walks.
Catch up on some audio conversations on Rewind. Video by Raghib Haider. Source: The History Society
Members of the society, with some help from faculty members, brainstorm ideas for Rewind. Articles on marginalised histories, recent publications by well-known historians, papers on the intersection of history with other disciplines, and practical application of research are considered while shortlisting speakers. Pre-decided topics and questions are shared with the speaker before the final recording.
"I recently interviewed Peggy Mohan and Navina Jafa for Rewind. It was an enriching experience. I learned the significance of history in everyday life and how we need a more interdisciplinary way to study the past," said Suyog Raghuvanshi, a second-year History student.
The Virtual Tour is a collection of videos, pictures, and maps of a historical place along with audio narration. The latest video tour of Fort Kochi, Kerala, has been produced in collaboration with the Cine Club of St. Stephen’s College in November 2021. Despite facing challenges because of the pandemic, the team coordinated to make the project successful. They used equipment such as GoPro Hero 8 Black and Audio Technica AT2020 and software like Adobe Creative Cloud for shooting and editing. The society plans to publish another video in February 2022.
“Shooting in and around Fort Kochi made me fall in love with my hometown all over again. Traversing its narrow cobblestone streets, talking to local people, seeing how life has changed during the pandemic—we tried to capture both the heritage and modernity of the place,” said Callistine Jude Lewis, a second-year B.A. student.
Snapshots from the Virtual Tour of Fort Kochi, Kerala. Source: The History Society
Source: The History Society
TimeLapse: A periodical voice by students
The History Society started Timelapse, a bi-monthly periodical in October 2021. Two editions have so far been published. The periodical does not have a theme as it strives to keep the content diverse and interesting. It aims to bring together histories of objects, individuals, and locations between the covers.
“I have researched the history of everyday objects like forks and pillows for the periodical. My research helped me dive into the diverse stories and cultural pasts of a range of objects that we surround ourselves with but never give a second thought to. I consulted books and articles while adding layers of insights and analysis,” said Yastika Jha, a second-year History student.
The periodical also features a variety of movies, books, websites, and social media accounts that deal with history. The team also writes about the different activities of the History Society.
The first two editions of Timelapse . Source: The History Society
The first two editions of the periodical saw contributions only from the members of society. The plan is to involve students of other institutes in the third issue. The team also plans to include write-ups by faculty members and add a section for job and internship opportunities.