What is point of view?
Point of view is how a particular person sees the world. As history students, learning about point of view is often done by examining sources, both primary and secondary. When you examine a secondary source for point of view, you are engaged in historiography. Primary sources, or sources original to the time under examination, reveal the point of view of the author, which is shaped by the times he or she lives.
In a podcast by Dr. Darren Reid (audio here) he discusses how virtually any text can be read as an historical text. It depends on how the reader approaches the text. The historian uses questions and a critical, contextual posture when approaching a source. The average reader does not approach texts this way. In this podcast, Dr. Reid focuses on two Superman comics, one from 1938, the other from 2012. In this podcast, Reid points out that comics are texts and all texts reveal information about the times they were created in. Through observations and questions, many of the values and concerns of the time can be teased out of a text.
(last updated 7/12/14)