James M. Banner Jr's Being a Historian: An Introduction to the Professional World PDF

By James M. Banner Jr

ISBN-10: 1107021596

ISBN-13: 9781107021594

In response to the author's greater than 50 years of expertise as a qualified historian in educational and different capacities, Being a Historian is addressed to either aspiring and mature historians. It deals an summary of the country of the self-discipline of historical past this day and the issues that confront it and its practitioners in lots of professions. James M. Banner Jr. argues that historians stay inadequately ready for his or her quickly altering specialist international and that the self-discipline as a complete has but to confront lots of its deficiencies. He additionally argues that, now not desiring to comply immediately to the educational perfect, historians can now extra effectively and productively than ever prior to adapt to their very own visions, temperaments, and pursuits as they soak up their duties as students, lecturers, and public practitioners. severe whereas additionally positive, this paintings indicates many issues for additional scholarly exploration, examine, and debate.

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Example text

One can of course make too much of the bland history that characterized early AHA meetings and publications. After all, Turner’s epochal paper on the American frontier was delivered under AHA auspices at a special World Congress of Historians and Historical Students at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, a mere nine years after the association’s founding. But the other papers delivered there have also been characterized as unremarkable. Ray Allen Billington, Frederick Jackson Turner: Historian, Scholar, Teacher (New York: Oxford University Press, 1973), 124–131.

The fact that institutions so closely tied to serious academic research were founded and managed largely by nonacademic historians meant that academic and public history were closely associated professionally from the start. Secondary schools and their teachers also absorbed, if not quite so readily and for different reasons, some of the standards of professional history. By early in the twentieth century, school history curricula, textbooks, and instruction all felt the influence of the work of the AHA’s Committee of Seven, organized in 1896, whose members brought about a significant strengthening of history programs and curricula in the schools after the issuance of their report in 1899.

The last two decades of the nineteenth century in particular, as Thomas Haskell has argued, experienced “a general crisis of authority” for the American intelligentsia and a “profound reorientation of social thought and culture” in general. In response to this transformation, universities, intellectual disciplines, and professional associations, while developing along separate trajectories, grew in close parallel with each other and for roughly the same reasons. All were responses to the growth in scientific and other knowledge and the gathering need to bring order – intellectual, methodological, and professional – to an intellectual culture spinning increasingly beyond the capacity of the existing organization of thought and practice to influence.

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Being a Historian: An Introduction to the Professional World of History by James M. Banner Jr

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