Turn on thread page Beta
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by paddy__power)
    True enough. I think he was answering the latter (you will doubtless correct me here), I've not read the book in some years though - I will re-read it one afternoon in the summer as I will probably get more from it now. I'm pretty sure I have In Defence of History somewhere as well actually.
    Aye he was. Historians write History in order to understand history but then there are historians who write history to understand History. Personally I prefer the former.
    • PS Reviewer
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    PS Reviewer
    (Original post by Adorno)
    Aye he was. Historians write History in order to understand history but then there are historians who write history to understand History. Personally I prefer the former.
    I agree, the latter seems - in my interpretation - rather facile. What do you write?
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by paddy__power)
    I agree, the latter seems - in my interpretation - rather facile. What do you write?
    In a word? Crap. Compare E.P. Thompson with Keith Jenkins for the difference between real History and fake History.
    • PS Reviewer
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    PS Reviewer
    (Original post by Adorno)
    In a word? Crap. Compare E.P. Thompson with Keith Jenkins for the difference between real History and fake History.
    A quick google tells me that he thinks all History is, in a sense, fake History.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Adorno)
    Right. Yes, see this is the kind of academic language that screws with History completely. The instinctive decision, on my part, to study History through the actions of ordinary people came from a reaction to the High Politics of my undergraduate course and from a desire to understand my origins as a person. The stories I grew up with from my grandparents were about the Great Depression, single-roomed tenements in Glasgow and so on. There was no theoretical guidance as to how to do it simply a sense of what ordinary people have left behind. And yes you are then drawn to books that have similar aims - Hobsbawm's Labouring Men or E.P. Thompson's Making of the English Working Class - but this comes later.

    I see what you are trying to say, but 'theory' can add a lot of value to the discipline. It can help academia move away from the narrow confines of eccentric niche study, and the poverty of empiricism (that one really is straight out of the textbook!) towards a useful contribution to society, in my opinion... so for example, I completely sympathise with the instinct to study personal origins and to give a voice to the too-often voiceless working classes - but theoretical study can help us understand why people lived in those conditions, and why this is relevant today.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by paddy__power)
    A quick google tells me that he thinks all History is, in a sense, fake History.
    That's the circular motions of theory for you.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Adorno)
    In a word? Crap. Compare E.P. Thompson with Keith Jenkins for the difference between real History and fake History.
    Keith Jenkins? Maybe I have the wrong bloke in my mind but doesn't he advocate narrative history?
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ajp100688)
    Pretty much what Adorno said. If you study History at University you should be taught how to correctly construct historical arguments, how to use sources and where to find them and also the history of the various subjects you pick. By combining these skills you learn how to write history, how to analyse it for it's relevance to the present day and how to deconstruct others arguments and see the truth behind them. Also because of it's very interdisciplinary approach via learning History you may immerse yourself in fields such as Economics, gender studies, military theory, psychology, philosophy etc. People misunderstand just how much of an all rounder you need to be to write good history. It's not simply a case of knowing X happened to Y in Z year. This is one of the best skills History teaches you, the ability to take a vast amount of information, filter it, construct a narrative around it and place emphasis on the points which are most important.

    The study of historiography and 'theory' has little use to it unless you want to write a snoozefest of a book like 'What is History'. An English student could go through 6 history books and write a report on the current state of historiography on say WW1. It's not teaching any of the skills you need to be a historian or a good writer (one of the many side effects of being a historian) it's just teaching you to be a literary critic. Pointless.
    I don't necessarily disagree with this, it's just that it seems to me that the problem with History is that there is no methodology, and discussions about historiography can help bring one about. But hey-ho.


    My mouse is broken, time for me to go to bed!
    • PS Reviewer
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    PS Reviewer
    Never trust someone called Keith.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by D.R.E)
    I don't necessarily disagree with this, it's just that it seems to me that the problem with History is that there is no methodology, and discussions about historiography can help bring one about. But hey-ho.


    My mouse is broken, time for me to go to bed!
    History doesn't need a strict methodology it's not a social science. About the only time I'd ever write a piece of History with methodology in my mind would be if I had to write something in view of Marxist historical materialism. Then there's an obvious framework at hand. Trying to force theory upon history just constrains it imo.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Geraldine)
    I see what you are trying to say, but 'theory' can add a lot of value to the discipline. It can help academia move away from the narrow confines of eccentric niche study, and the poverty of empiricism (that one really is straight out of the textbook!) towards a useful contribution to society, in my opinion... so for example, I completely sympathise with the instinct to study personal origins and to give a voice to the too-often voiceless working classes - but theoretical study can help us understand why people lived in those conditions, and why this is relevant today.
    Two posts and you've bored me to death already! I don't mean to be rude but honestly I don't need theory to rescue from the condescension of posterity the historical agency of working-class people. Theoretical study doesn't help us understand why people lived in those conditions, empirical evidence does. Empirical evidence shows that there were 10 people living in two roomed houses that had no back windows or doors. Empirical evidence shows quite how many people died of tuberculosis in the Clyde valley at the end of the nineteenth century and quite how many of those were very small children. Just looking at my own family tree the other day I discovered a relative born in 1870 who died in 1872 of consumption.

    Putting that human story into a framework of relationships to the means of production where there is an economic base and a superstructure which comprises society, culture, and everything else might seem very attractive but it assumes that human beings can be constrained by frameworks and that human agency deserves to be placed on a secondary pedastal to the grand narrative you wish to impose on them drawn from some theory book.

    Class is a relationship, after all, and not a thing. It is made by the actions of human beings constrained by the circumstances in which they live. Yes that's straight out of Marx the humanist but so what? It's true.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Stricof)
    Keith Jenkins? Maybe I have the wrong bloke in my mind but doesn't he advocate narrative history?
    Not really... He's the one who writes all the "end of history" balloney.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    one of the most disturbing things I remember about History at school was the teacher telling me that he supported what Cromwell did in Ireland because he was a protestant, always nice to find out your being taught by someone who approves of mass murder :/
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Adorno)
    Not really... He's the one who writes all the "end of history" balloney.
    Along with Fukuyama. History is over because History is just the Hegelian concept of the geist of freedom working it's way through humanity resulting in ultimate human freedom in the form of the fall of the Soviet Union and the undisputed dominance of liberal capitalism. Oh give it a rest Francis :rolleyes:
    • PS Reviewer
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    PS Reviewer
    Has anybody read the Memoirs of the life of Colonel Hutchinson?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Adorno)
    Two posts and you've bored me to death already! I don't mean to be rude but honestly I don't need theory to rescue from the condescension of posterity the historical agency of working-class people. Theoretical study doesn't help us understand why people lived in those conditions, empirical evidence does. Empirical evidence shows that there were 10 people living in two roomed houses that had no back windows or doors. Empirical evidence shows quite how many people died of tuberculosis in the Clyde valley at the end of the nineteenth century and quite how many of those were very small children. Just looking at my own family tree the other day I discovered a relative born in 1870 who died in 1872 of consumption.
    All I am trying to say is that theory, explicit or implicit or whatever, pretty much governs how we study. Why did you choose to study the working class? You say instinct, but where did that come from? Most historians in the past have limited themselves to studying 'great' figures like Churchill whereas you chose to study in a bottom up fashion... you choice to do this has a theoretical base, my definition of theory being the intellectual thought process behind the analysis (a rough definition, but it is 1am or thereabouts and I've almost bored you to death already...)

    Putting that human story into a framework of relationships to the means of production where there is an economic base and a superstructure which comprises society, culture, and everything else might seem very attractive but it assumes that human beings can be constrained by frameworks and that human agency deserves to be placed on a secondary pedastal to the grand narrative you wish to impose on them drawn from some theory book.

    Class is a relationship, after all, and not a thing. It is made by the actions of human beings constrained by the circumstances in which they live. Yes that's straight out of Marx the humanist but so what? It's true.
    I'm not actually a huge fan of the Orthodox Marxist approach. Still, that you value human agency above or beside the 'framework' is in of itself theory. Maybe how we view theory is different because, I have to confess, History isn't even my subject.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ajp100688)
    Along with Fukuyama. History is over because History is just the Hegelian concept of the geist of freedom working it's way through humanity resulting in ultimate human freedom in the form of the fall of the Soviet Union and the undisputed dominance of liberal capitalism. Oh give it a rest Francis :rolleyes:
    And in his latest book ... he says pretty much the same thing only with a bit of "anarchy" thrown in for good measure. Somebody get that man an IR textbook! Urgh.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Geraldine)
    Maybe how we view theory is different because, I have to confess, History isn't even my subject.
    I could tell that from your first post.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by paddy__power)
    Never trust someone called Keith.
    Not even Keith Chegwin?

    • PS Reviewer
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    PS Reviewer
    (Original post by thunder_chunky)
    Not even Keith Chegwin?

    Especially him.
 
 
 
Poll
How are you feeling in the run-up to Results Day 2018?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.