Wednesday, August 10, 2016

7 Questions With Chris Keating, Popstorian

Chris Keating runs the Facebook and Twitter accounts Popstorian and Historian. He also has a blog called The Weaving Chronicle where he discusses history and museum work. He graduated from Liberty University with a BS in History and is currently working on his Masters. He and his wife have been married for two years and are preparing to add a little girl to their family. To pay the bills, he also works as a tour guide at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library in Staunton, VA and James Monroe's Highland in Charlottesville, VA.

1. How and/or when did you get you hooked on history?
I really enjoyed reading my history books in High School.  I enjoyed the trivia I could tell people and show how smart I was.  After school I had no plan for my life so I worked waiting tables and interned at a Youth Ministry.  While interning I began to pray about my life and what I should do with it, God reminded me of my love history and I went back to school.

2. What role does history play or has it played in your personal life?
History should be studied by all because we all have a history. Understanding history in general can help us understand ourselves.  I would like to not hear how history is "sooo boring" and more "that was a cool story." 

3. Have you thought about your future career? Will history be a part of it?
Working at a museum is my dream job, whether that means curatorial or archival work I have not decided. My main mission is making history accessible to everyone.

4. Why is studying/knowing history important?
History reminds us of who we are and where we come from, this is the heritage aspect of history.  Even if you are not a history buff, history is worth studying to gain an understanding of human behavior and it develops ones reasoning skills.

5. What is your favorite period or aspect of history to learn about and why?
I greatly enjoy early twentieth century American history.  That's when we can see the rise in some of our political debates and social thoughts that we go through today.

6. What is the focus of Popstorian and how did it start?
Popstorian is to look at the histories of our favorite films, music, comic books and anything popculture-ish. It's part of that plan to make history accessible to everyone.  I was working on my senior paper for college and I decided to write about the history of Batman during World War 2. It was difficult to find secondary sources (still is, not much scholarly work done on comic book history).  I thought other comic book fans would be interested in the history of the genre so I started a facebook page called Comicstorian. It was successful! I started getting likes and more likes but after a few folks complimented me on my Youtube channel (I didn't have a youtube channel) I figured out that "my fans" were actually Comicstorian fans (a youtube channel that reviews comic books). So I explained the mixup asked for suggestions on a new name and someone suggested "Pop-storian." The rest is history.

7. Why is pop culture an important part of history in general and how are comic books important to history in particular?

The study of pop culture is becoming more and more relevant to today's society.  from the newest comicbook movie to the Pokemon GO craze, it is still important to look and wonder how did we get here.