|This is the Conversation Forum for How To "Do" History, or, Various Historical Methods|
<< Interesting and informative
Writing Workshop: A850330 - How To Do History >>
|Subject: Good piece|
Posted Jun 14, 2003 by Heron 227790
|Wish I'd had something like this when history professors were throwing all those terms at me and I didn't have a clue what they meant |
One thing about revisionism, which may be a perspective thing - I always felt that revisionism was there mainly because historians feel the need to come up with something entirely new to make their jobs still worthwhile, otherwise you could say history was all done with when someone wrote down a big account of What Happened in the Sixteenth Century.
In my department (UCL, London), it was always cool not so much to challenge the terms of reference (except amongst the marxists and feminists) but to challenge the very historical events. Thus we had debates on whether the Industrial Revolution really happened: whether you could call it a revolution at all as it happened over a couple of centuries and whether it really was an industrial thing as actually there was as much agricultural activity as ever. I particularly enjoyed the lecture when we were told that the invitation to William and Mary in 1688 (I may be wrong, I have no memory) in fact accounted to a Dutch invasion. And this of course reminds us that historians are normally out to sell their own interests and prove that their world view is indeed True for all life.
One of the categories we often heard about that might be worth mentioning (I don't know if it comes up in America) is the Whig ideology: based on an idea that Everything Improved and normally done from an English persective - ie that since the Normans came to civilise England all has got better gradually and the world followed England. Most of the very straightforward history books you get hold of from about the 50s normally fit this. Revisionism was therefore often challenging the notion that Everything Improved (or saying it stayed the same); and I think we're starting to move onto post revisionism now, and people have just decided to dispute everything they were told for fun.
It's all about historians having a go at their old tutors if you ask me, bless em.
Anyway, I liked it - very interesting. Hope it goes further.
love Heron xx
Please note that Not Panicking Ltd is not responsible for the content of any external sites listed. The content on h2g2 is created by h2g2's Researchers, who are members of the public. Unlike Edited Guide Entries, the content on this page has not necessarily been checked by a h2g2 editor. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please