dilettare (Italian, verb)
- (transitive) To please or delight.
Why am I the Historical Dilettante?
Because history delights me.
I came to this work via a long detour as a psychotherapist and social science researcher. That background allows me to direct flexible and integrative perspectives to historical studies.
As a freelance historian, I am not bound by the confines of academic and institutional missions, so can explore stories that are meaningful and impactful to ME — and, hopefully, to YOU! But I am also fortunate to collaborate with and support the narratives of some of Pittsburgh’s most interesting historical sites.
What do I write about? Usually, I go on about Pittsburgh history and cultural geography of the 19th and early 20th centuries, with a special focus on stories not otherwise examined. I explore tales that reflect the social history of this region, and research events both routine and extraordinary.
Pittsburghers certainly enjoy the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, but sometimes we get stuck telling the same tales over and over again. I am drawn to sharing unexplored narratives that inform and enrich our communal sense of self. .
(Fair warning: I do occasionally sneak in travel writing and photos, and indulge my love of medieval and Renaissance history and art).
Photo by Renee Rosensteel