The Rise and Fall of <i>Historiography</i>

Kerwin Lee Klein

in From History to Theory

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520268814
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948297 | DOI:
The Rise and Fall of Historiography

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This chapter follows the rise and fall of one of the older English words used to discuss the practice and theory of history. It notes that around the middle of the twentieth century, historiography came to be associated with both a new type of intellectual history and the training of new historians. It explains that the advent of historiography courses, textbooks, and teaching anthologies created a tradition in which the word could reference an eclectic mix of practices ranging from philosophy to source criticism. It notes that by the 1970s, though, both the term and the courses appeared to have grown dated, and it was unclear how historians could best engage the theoretical challenges raised by feminism, structuralism, postcolonialism, and other intellectual movements. It argues that Historiography itself had frequently come to connote beginner work, rather than a serious research program.

Keywords: historiography; intellectual history; philosophy; feminism; structuralism; postcolonialism; intellectual movements

Chapter.  6269 words. 

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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