Matthew Smith – A Year In Retrospect

Matthew Smith, AKA @Smiffy, curated for us earlier in the year and has very generously written us a post reflecting on his experiences, both as a curator and as a follower. If you fancy writing a blog post for us (on anything humanities-related) in the New Year drop us a line at; our answer is probably yes!

I always intended to write a follow-up post to my curation of We the Humanities, said curation being over four months ago, at the time of writing. I am glad that I have deferred (or procrastinated) to this point, because I have watched other curators come and go, and feel I can now be more objective about the whole thing.

The original purpose of a follow-up was to provide encouragement/guidance (the arrogance!) to potential curators, but I can now sum that up in two points: 1) Watch what has gone before, and 2) DO IT!

My curation was experimental in several ways – trying to figure what would and wouldn’t work in a rotation/curation context. What I learnt from this, and which I originally intended to share, is trivial, and pales into insignificance with what I have really gained from the We The Humanities Experience.

It’s all about the people. Both as a curator, and as a follower engaging with other curators, I have had some wonderful conversations and, above all, have had the privilege of meeting some truly amazing people. The whole of my engagement with WtH, in whatever role, has been a singularly positive experience.

One thing I particularly enjoyed as a curator, and have seen happen since, is crossover conversations with the @realscientists account – as if I needed further evidence that the Sciences and Humanities are all part of the same thing!

As one working in STEM, I questioned initially whether it would be appropriate for me to curate WtH – where was my legitimacy? Having interacted with so many lovely people, via the WtH channel, I no longer question this; I now realise that there is more of a Humanities component to what I am than I had ever expected, and I now know that component will grow, as I discover new areas of interest through what I discover through WtH conversations.

2014 is nearly at a close and, for me, in many ways, has been a very unpleasant year. WtH, and the people I have met through it, have been a light in my darkness. My thanks, as always, to Jess and Kris for making such a valuable resource happen in the first place.

I wish everyone the best for 2015, and a glorious second year of We the Humanities.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s