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August 2014
29

Answering your questions

Hello, this is just a small message to state that we have received all your questions and are in the process of answering them. (They will most likely be posted tomorrow and Sunday.)

- HH Admin. 

#admin   
August 2014
29
Today in Haitian History - August 29, 1793 - French commissioner Léger-Félicité Sonthonax abolishes slavery in Saint-Domingue’s Northern provinces with general emancipation proclamation. 
By August 1793, the situation was progressing rapidly in Saint-Domingue. Not only had the colony’s main labour force and source of income rebelled violently, Great Britain and Spain, both at war with France and realizing that the country could no longer effectively control the upheaval in its colony, decided to take the opportunity to try and seize it. While most of the Whites colonists later entered in an alliance with Great Britain (France’s mortal enemy), many Blacks insurgents, under the leadership of revolutionaries such as Jean-François, Biassou and Toussaint Louverture, (temporary) joined the Spanish in hopes of gained unconditional freedom. 
By freeing the salves (who, thus far, rebelled against their masters, not France), Sonthonax hoped that, in exchange for their (partial) liberty, they would in turn abandon any association with the Spanish (or any entity opposing France) and instead give their services to the metropolis. 
Image Courtesy of the Digital Library of the Caribbean. / Image shown represents one the of the many proclamations issued by French commissioners Sonthonax and Étienne de Polverel — For some secondary literature on the Haitian Revolution, see here.

Today in Haitian History - August 29, 1793 - French commissioner Léger-Félicité Sonthonax abolishes slavery in Saint-Domingue’s Northern provinces with general emancipation proclamation. 

By August 1793, the situation was progressing rapidly in Saint-Domingue. Not only had the colony’s main labour force and source of income rebelled violently, Great Britain and Spain, both at war with France and realizing that the country could no longer effectively control the upheaval in its colony, decided to take the opportunity to try and seize it. While most of the Whites colonists later entered in an alliance with Great Britain (France’s mortal enemy), many Blacks insurgents, under the leadership of revolutionaries such as Jean-François, Biassou and Toussaint Louverture, (temporary) joined the Spanish in hopes of gained unconditional freedom. 

By freeing the salves (who, thus far, rebelled against their masters, not France), Sonthonax hoped that, in exchange for their (partial) liberty, they would in turn abandon any association with the Spanish (or any entity opposing France) and instead give their services to the metropolis. 

Image Courtesy of the Digital Library of the Caribbean. / Image shown represents one the of the many proclamations issued by French commissioners Sonthonax and Étienne de Polverel — For some secondary literature on the Haitian Revolution, see here.

August 2014
27

Hello! Here is the first edition of our “News Bulletin" where we should communicate announcements and/or new scholarship related to Haitian history. If you have anything of this nature to report, please feel free to contact us here.

o1. Professor Carolyn Fick from Concordia University (Canada) recently published a French translation of her 1991 classic The Making Haiti: Saint Domingue Revolution From Below. More than being a mere translation however, Fick’s Haïti : naissance d’une nation : la révolution de Saint-Domingue vue d’en bas re-explores the topic of the Haitian Revolution with more than 500 pages, of which at least 30 feature images and special documents. For all those interested in Haiti, the Age of Revolutions and Atlantic History, this book should be very useful. 
o2. Haitian poet and writer Anthony Phelps won the 2014 Mexican-Quebecois poetry prize (Prix mexico-québécois de poésie; Prix Jaime Sabines-Gatien Lapointe) for his work. Born in Haiti in 1928, Phelps started his carrer there (forming Haïti Littéraire in the 1960s with friends), before being forced to leave the country during the most repressive years of François Duvalier’s dictatorship. Phelps eventually relocated to Montreal (Canada) where he has been active as a poet there since then. 
More News / Report 

Hello! Here is the first edition of our “News Bulletin" where we should communicate announcements and/or new scholarship related to Haitian history. If you have anything of this nature to report, please feel free to contact us here.

o1. Professor Carolyn Fick from Concordia University (Canada) recently published a French translation of her 1991 classic The Making Haiti: Saint Domingue Revolution From Below. More than being a mere translation however, Fick’s Haïti : naissance d’une nation : la révolution de Saint-Domingue vue d’en bas re-explores the topic of the Haitian Revolution with more than 500 pages, of which at least 30 feature images and special documents. For all those interested in Haiti, the Age of Revolutions and Atlantic History, this book should be very useful. 

o2. Haitian poet and writer Anthony Phelps won the 2014 Mexican-Quebecois poetry prize (Prix mexico-québécois de poésie; Prix Jaime Sabines-Gatien Lapointe) for his work. Born in Haiti in 1928, Phelps started his carrer there (forming Haïti Littéraire in the 1960s with friends), before being forced to leave the country during the most repressive years of François Duvalier’s dictatorship. Phelps eventually relocated to Montreal (Canada) where he has been active as a poet there since then. 

More News / Report 

August 2014
25

Haitian National Palace, 1932.

Original Image: Courtesy of Gallica - Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Haitian National Palace, 1932.

Original Image: Courtesy of Gallica - Bibliothèque nationale de France.

August 2014
25
Via   •   Source
accommodationforstudents:

PHinisheD! 10 Dissertation Writing Tips
Dissertations - the dreaded word we hear during Uni, but push it to the back of our minds, convinced it’ll never happen: until third year rolls around and catches us off-guard. It’s probably the biggest piece of work you’ve ever faced in your education, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the hardest. Here are 10 tips to hopefully ease those dissertation blues.
1. The Rule of 8
This golden tip was given to me by friends of mine who have already graduated. To ensure you get enough work, sleep and other activities done in a 24 hour period, break your day down into 8 hour periods. Get 8 hours sleep, set aside 8 hours in your day to write and research, which means you can justify 8 hours of food shopping, socialising and procrastination.
2. Structure
Set yourself a plan for what you are going to write where in your dissertation; where each paragraph will come, and what the content of each paragraph will be. This means you can dip in and out of various subject matters if you get too bogged down.
3. PEE all over your work!
No, not literally. PEE stands for “Point, Evidence, Explain”. It’s a writing technique that was taught to me by my year 9 English teacher, and it changed my writing style forever. Whenever you make a POINT in your dissertation, make sure you back it up with EVIDENCE, and EXPLAIN why that point is relevant to your study.
4. Talk to your personal tutor
That’s their job - to help you! They can help refine your ideas, give you suggestions on which journals to cite, and even critically analyse any draft you have done.
5. Give it to someone outside the subject matter
I find giving essays I’ve written to my dad for proofreading works wonders! He doesn’t know anything about Marketing or Business Ethics - if HE can understand my essay, anyone can! Use your housemates to get an outside perspective that doesn’t end in “oh, well I wrote this…….”
6. Set small goals
Set yourself a mini deadline to help ease the load. “Today I’m going to write 1,000 words” or “I’m going to finish this paragraph before I can go to McDonald’s” should work. Incentive is your friend.
7. Don’t burn yourself out
The optimum time to write continuously and still produce high quality stuff is 45 minutes. At the end of this time, step away from the computer screen and make yourself a cup of tea. Your eyes and brain will thank you for it!
8. Do something dissertation-related every day
Your deadline may be months away, but that doesn’t mean you should put it off until the last minute. Whether it’s content writing, research, or even adapting your plan or structure, it will make the final panic process a little easier knowing you’ve done SOMETHING.
9. Don’t Panic!
Keep a level head and don’t lose it - that’s just what the dissertation wants! Show it what you’re made of and finish it!
10. PARTY!
Once you’ve written, finalised, bound and submitted your dissertation - let off all that steam! You’ve earned it!
Written by Julia Warnes
Read more on the Accommodation For Students website. 

accommodationforstudents:

PHinisheD! 10 Dissertation Writing Tips

Dissertations - the dreaded word we hear during Uni, but push it to the back of our minds, convinced it’ll never happen: until third year rolls around and catches us off-guard. It’s probably the biggest piece of work you’ve ever faced in your education, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the hardest. Here are 10 tips to hopefully ease those dissertation blues.

1. The Rule of 8

This golden tip was given to me by friends of mine who have already graduated. To ensure you get enough work, sleep and other activities done in a 24 hour period, break your day down into 8 hour periods. Get 8 hours sleep, set aside 8 hours in your day to write and research, which means you can justify 8 hours of food shopping, socialising and procrastination.

2. Structure

Set yourself a plan for what you are going to write where in your dissertation; where each paragraph will come, and what the content of each paragraph will be. This means you can dip in and out of various subject matters if you get too bogged down.

3. PEE all over your work!

No, not literally. PEE stands for “Point, Evidence, Explain”. It’s a writing technique that was taught to me by my year 9 English teacher, and it changed my writing style forever. Whenever you make a POINT in your dissertation, make sure you back it up with EVIDENCE, and EXPLAIN why that point is relevant to your study.

4. Talk to your personal tutor

That’s their job - to help you! They can help refine your ideas, give you suggestions on which journals to cite, and even critically analyse any draft you have done.

5. Give it to someone outside the subject matter

I find giving essays I’ve written to my dad for proofreading works wonders! He doesn’t know anything about Marketing or Business Ethics - if HE can understand my essay, anyone can! Use your housemates to get an outside perspective that doesn’t end in “oh, well I wrote this…….”

6. Set small goals

Set yourself a mini deadline to help ease the load. “Today I’m going to write 1,000 words” or “I’m going to finish this paragraph before I can go to McDonald’s” should work. Incentive is your friend.

7. Don’t burn yourself out

The optimum time to write continuously and still produce high quality stuff is 45 minutes. At the end of this time, step away from the computer screen and make yourself a cup of tea. Your eyes and brain will thank you for it!

8. Do something dissertation-related every day

Your deadline may be months away, but that doesn’t mean you should put it off until the last minute. Whether it’s content writing, research, or even adapting your plan or structure, it will make the final panic process a little easier knowing you’ve done SOMETHING.

9. Don’t Panic!

Keep a level head and don’t lose it - that’s just what the dissertation wants! Show it what you’re made of and finish it!

10. PARTY!

Once you’ve written, finalised, bound and submitted your dissertation - let off all that steam! You’ve earned it!

Written by Julia Warnes

Read more on the Accommodation For Students website. 

August 2014
25
Via   •   Source
August 2014
25

Anonymous asked

Hi! I've got a question that's actually not related to Haitian history at all but I hope you can still answer when you have time. I'm just curious about the designs you use on your blog. I am pretty such I've never seen your theme in the tumblr theme garden and I was just curious about it. Also, I (also) like your logos (text/font) and graphics very much and was wondering if you did them yourself or if there was a separate team working on those. Thanks!

Hello.

First of all, thank you, glad you like our Photoshop edits. 

Now, in regards to the theme, you are correct, it is not part of the Tumblr theme garden, as we both felt everyone was using those and we wanted something a bit more interesting. If you look at the theme’s top gray bar, and then towards your right, you should see it reads “THEME CREDIT.” When you click on that link, you should be re-directed to the websites were we got out theme from. (You can also click here or there, for a direct link to the maker’s themes).

If you are interested by themes made by this user, you should use this method to update your blog’s current theme.

As for graphics, yes, we make them ourselves, there is no separate team. We use Adobe Photoshop CS 4 and 6. Also, in our bibliography page, you should find a section at the bottom entitled “Graphics Related.” If you follow those links, you should be re-directed to different font websites (supplementary, I also suggest that you check the Font Fabric as they have really nice fonts). 

I hope this answers your question.

- Good afternoon. 

#ask   #anon   
August 2014
25
Via   •   Source
medievalpoc:

haitianhistory:

Today’s word/concept is: HISTORIOGRAPHY 

So, what does this word mean in the context of historical research? 

Historiography usually refers to all the work on a given historical topic and the study of how historians have dealt with historical subject matters.
According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy “In its most general sense, the term refers to the study of historians’ methods and practices. Moreover, “historiography becomes itself historical when we recognize that these frameworks of assumptions about historical knowledge and reasoning change over time. On this assumption, the history of historical thinking and writing is itself an interesting subject. How did historians of various periods in human history conduct their study and presentation of history?" (Source)
Trent University defines historiography as “a summary of the historical writings on a particular topic … It identifies the major thinkers and arguments, and establishes connections between them. If there have been major changes in the way a particular topic has been approached over time, the historiography identifies them.” (Source)

So, to put it plainly, historiography can be understood as the the body of historical writing on a topic and the history of how historians have approached a particular topic over time. 

⇒ For example, if you encounter in your readings: “The Historiography on the Haitian Revolution is very large” It usually means → ”Lots of stuff have been written about the Haitian Revolution.”
Historiography of course, does not only refer to the grouping of works on a topic, as we have seen already, it also focuses on the changes in historical methodology. 

So, historiography evolves over time? Why?

Historians can rarely escape their own time. This is not to say that the historical discipline is entirely subjective, rather, this is to suggest that historians do not write in vacuums. Historiographical essays are thus important because they help us see how the methodology in studying a particular topic has changed over time. 
⇒ For example, in the 1960s, most (but not all) historians favoured an approach that gave a significant importance to economy and were often interested in making Marxist and class-based analysis of History. This is not necessarily true today when many historians prefer an analysis which gives more space to culture (hence, you will often hear people refer to a "cultural" or "linguistic turn" in History). 
Now, this change in the way historians understand events rarely means they debate over the occurrence of those events (although, it does happen), — what it actually means is that historians find that some approaches highlight factors that better explain historical events than others. Historians’ major task is not simply to narrate events, their work also involves looking at the relationship between various instances (that is, their causal relationship) in explaining historical events. (To make this text more digestible, I will save you a discussion on the problems historians face with narration and causality, just remember that the two have an influence on historiography.)
So, as just mentioned, historiography helps us see how the way in which historians write about History changes, in part, because they often take different approaches with time.
⇒ For example, for a long time, the dominent historiography on the causes of World War I suggested that the Great War was fought between European powers for colonies (i.e. the surproduction of goods forced European capitalist to pressure their own government to support their adventures in foreign lands in search of the new markets). Other historians, who do not necessarily completely reject the previous explanation, argue however that nationalism is better in articulating the drive to go to war. Historiography also suggest that we should not underestimate the importance of European alliance system before WWI (i.e. the “domino effect”). More importantly, most (but not all) historians who favoured the colonies and market explanation tended to be further towards the left (Marxist, Leninist and so on) in their analysis. (Notice “tended’ is in italics.)
At any rate, historiography is a complex term but it is necessary to understand it in order to comprehend some of the work historians do (and to grasp the real nature of most of their disputes). 
To recapitulate, in most instances, historiography is:
The body of work on a particular historical topic of interest (i.e. : the historiography on the Haitian Revolution, the 20th century historiography on the French Revolution, the historiography on Thomas Jefferson…)
The “history of history” (the study how historians have dealt with particular topics, with a special importance given to the context in which their work was written. This usually emplies analyzing the approach(es) historians have favoured to write about History (i.e.: was this historian sensible to the Marxist turn in History, the Postmodern turn in History, the Cultural turn in History, the Subaltern and Postcolonial turn in History …?))
Warning: Before using a term, always make sure you are comfortable with its meaning and that it won’t be placed in your text simply as an ornament. If unsure, consult an appropriate dictionary or a Professor. 

I have to admit that this is a pretty dense read.
This is also kind of what I’m talking about with the sort of ascending hierarchy of jargon…you have to understand the words used to explain the jargon, which requires a foundation of jargon already in place.
This is why I try to show the process, rather than tell it. This is also a rather conservative explanation that tends to blunt the critical edge I think that historiography should have, as well as downplaying just how contentious and common debates and disagreements among historians are.
This is why I think some people are confused when I do something like post a medieval artwork, and then cite writing from someone in the late 1700s who talks about that work. What I’m trying to do is show how our ideas about that medieval work have been affected by the person writing int he late 1700s. I’m not using “outdated sources”, I’m showing you how the centuries between middle ages and right now have affected our view of that work.
After all, if each era’s historians add their own perspectives, doesn’t the racism, colonialism, and orientalism of their writing affect the work of those who build on those narratives? Doesn’t racism, colonialism, and orientalism right now affect the narratives of today’s historians?
I think these things can be discussed by anyone, and understood by anyone, regardless of jargon and strict gatekeeping over exact definitions. The purpose of language is communication, and I think a lot can be communicated through images, audio, and video as well.
Bottom line for me is really, trying to maintain the subjective/objective dichotomy in historiography is counterproductive.

Hello.
In response to your reply to our post, perhaps it is best that I explain some things since, either I misunderstood your response or, you have missed the point of this post. 
First, in reply to your “This is also a rather conservative explanation that tends to blunt the critical edge I think that historiography should have, as well as downplaying just how contentious and common debates and disagreements among historians are” – I should say that, while I perhaps should have detailed that there existed many debates within academia as to the meaning of the word “historiography” and how it “functions,” somehow, I assumed readers would be aware that such a small post cold not possibly convey the complexity of term. Second, it was never my objective to give either a “final” definition of the term, nor to provide users with an exhaustive overview of it. Furthermore, I think the post is very clear in assessing that “generally speaking, historiography means this and that” without attempting to give any “clear-cut” absolute “answer.”
Also, I am unsure as to how this post ended up being understood as one creating a dichotomy between objectivity and subjectivity in the historical discipline.  When I mentioned “This is not to say that the historical discipline is entirely subjective…” I was referring specially to people who believe History, as a discipline, is entirely subjective and that most historians do not, as naïve as some may believe to be, strive towards “objectivity.” (Notice I said “strive.”) Moreover, I sense your remark “Bottom line for me is really, trying to maintain the subjective/objective dichotomy in historiography is counterproductive” absolutely missed the point I was attempting to make with this post. While I agree, with some reserve, with your claim, this post had nothing to do with starting a larder discussion on the question of objectivity, as interesting as it might have been.
Rather, this post was an attempt to show our readers how the two mods of this blog usually use the term and with the links we provided ,we hoped that people would conduct their own research to familiarize themselves with the importance of historiography in this discipline.
(*As for the word “jargon” I am not sure i fully understood your opposition to it. For someone who is not in this discipline, I suspect this is how they apprehend some of the terms that are usually used by scholars on that field. And again, I have to say I do not get the general relevance here with what was undertaken in this post. )
- Best.

medievalpoc:

haitianhistory:

Today’s word/concept is: HISTORIOGRAPHY 

So, what does this word mean in the context of historical research? 

Historiography usually refers to all the work on a given historical topic and the study of how historians have dealt with historical subject matters.

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy “In its most general sense, the term refers to the study of historians’ methods and practices. Moreover, “historiography becomes itself historical when we recognize that these frameworks of assumptions about historical knowledge and reasoning change over time. On this assumption, the history of historical thinking and writing is itself an interesting subject. How did historians of various periods in human history conduct their study and presentation of history?" (Source)

Trent University defines historiography as “a summary of the historical writings on a particular topic … It identifies the major thinkers and arguments, and establishes connections between them. If there have been major changes in the way a particular topic has been approached over time, the historiography identifies them.” (Source)

So, to put it plainly, historiography can be understood as the the body of historical writing on a topic and the history of how historians have approached a particular topic over time. 

⇒ For example, if you encounter in your readings: “The Historiography on the Haitian Revolution is very large” It usually means → ”Lots of stuff have been written about the Haitian Revolution.”

Historiography of course, does not only refer to the grouping of works on a topic, as we have seen already, it also focuses on the changes in historical methodology. 

So, historiography evolves over time? Why?

Historians can rarely escape their own time. This is not to say that the historical discipline is entirely subjective, rather, this is to suggest that historians do not write in vacuums. Historiographical essays are thus important because they help us see how the methodology in studying a particular topic has changed over time. 

⇒ For example, in the 1960s, most (but not all) historians favoured an approach that gave a significant importance to economy and were often interested in making Marxist and class-based analysis of History. This is not necessarily true today when many historians prefer an analysis which gives more space to culture (hence, you will often hear people refer to a "cultural" or "linguistic turn" in History). 

Now, this change in the way historians understand events rarely means they debate over the occurrence of those events (although, it does happen), — what it actually means is that historians find that some approaches highlight factors that better explain historical events than others. Historians’ major task is not simply to narrate events, their work also involves looking at the relationship between various instances (that is, their causal relationship) in explaining historical events. (To make this text more digestible, I will save you a discussion on the problems historians face with narration and causality, just remember that the two have an influence on historiography.)

So, as just mentioned, historiography helps us see how the way in which historians write about History changes, in part, because they often take different approaches with time.

⇒ For example, for a long time, the dominent historiography on the causes of World War I suggested that the Great War was fought between European powers for colonies (i.e. the surproduction of goods forced European capitalist to pressure their own government to support their adventures in foreign lands in search of the new markets). Other historians, who do not necessarily completely reject the previous explanation, argue however that nationalism is better in articulating the drive to go to war. Historiography also suggest that we should not underestimate the importance of European alliance system before WWI (i.e. the “domino effect”). More importantly, most (but not all) historians who favoured the colonies and market explanation tended to be further towards the left (Marxist, Leninist and so on) in their analysis. (Notice “tended’ is in italics.)

At any rate, historiography is a complex term but it is necessary to understand it in order to comprehend some of the work historians do (and to grasp the real nature of most of their disputes). 

To recapitulate, in most instances, historiography is:

  • The body of work on a particular historical topic of interest (i.e. : the historiography on the Haitian Revolution, the 20th century historiography on the French Revolution, the historiography on Thomas Jefferson…)
  • The “history of history” (the study how historians have dealt with particular topics, with a special importance given to the context in which their work was written. This usually emplies analyzing the approach(es) historians have favoured to write about History (i.e.: was this historian sensible to the Marxist turn in History, the Postmodern turn in History, the Cultural turn in History, the Subaltern and Postcolonial turn in History …?))

Warning: Before using a term, always make sure you are comfortable with its meaning and that it won’t be placed in your text simply as an ornament. If unsure, consult an appropriate dictionary or a Professor. 

I have to admit that this is a pretty dense read.

This is also kind of what I’m talking about with the sort of ascending hierarchy of jargon…you have to understand the words used to explain the jargon, which requires a foundation of jargon already in place.

This is why I try to show the process, rather than tell it. This is also a rather conservative explanation that tends to blunt the critical edge I think that historiography should have, as well as downplaying just how contentious and common debates and disagreements among historians are.

This is why I think some people are confused when I do something like post a medieval artwork, and then cite writing from someone in the late 1700s who talks about that work. What I’m trying to do is show how our ideas about that medieval work have been affected by the person writing int he late 1700s. I’m not using “outdated sources”, I’m showing you how the centuries between middle ages and right now have affected our view of that work.

After all, if each era’s historians add their own perspectives, doesn’t the racism, colonialism, and orientalism of their writing affect the work of those who build on those narratives? Doesn’t racism, colonialism, and orientalism right now affect the narratives of today’s historians?

I think these things can be discussed by anyone, and understood by anyone, regardless of jargon and strict gatekeeping over exact definitions. The purpose of language is communication, and I think a lot can be communicated through images, audio, and video as well.

Bottom line for me is really, trying to maintain the subjective/objective dichotomy in historiography is counterproductive.

Hello.

In response to your reply to our post, perhaps it is best that I explain some things since, either I misunderstood your response or, you have missed the point of this post.

First, in reply to your “This is also a rather conservative explanation that tends to blunt the critical edge I think that historiography should have, as well as downplaying just how contentious and common debates and disagreements among historians are” – I should say that, while I perhaps should have detailed that there existed many debates within academia as to the meaning of the word “historiography” and how it “functions,” somehow, I assumed readers would be aware that such a small post cold not possibly convey the complexity of term. Second, it was never my objective to give either a “final” definition of the term, nor to provide users with an exhaustive overview of it. Furthermore, I think the post is very clear in assessing that “generally speaking, historiography means this and that” without attempting to give any “clear-cut” absolute “answer.”

Also, I am unsure as to how this post ended up being understood as one creating a dichotomy between objectivity and subjectivity in the historical discipline.  When I mentioned “This is not to say that the historical discipline is entirely subjective…” I was referring specially to people who believe History, as a discipline, is entirely subjective and that most historians do not, as naïve as some may believe to be, strive towards “objectivity.” (Notice I said “strive.”) Moreover, I sense your remark “Bottom line for me is really, trying to maintain the subjective/objective dichotomy in historiography is counterproductive” absolutely missed the point I was attempting to make with this post. While I agree, with some reserve, with your claim, this post had nothing to do with starting a larder discussion on the question of objectivity, as interesting as it might have been.

Rather, this post was an attempt to show our readers how the two mods of this blog usually use the term and with the links we provided ,we hoped that people would conduct their own research to familiarize themselves with the importance of historiography in this discipline.

(*As for the word “jargon” I am not sure i fully understood your opposition to it. For someone who is not in this discipline, I suspect this is how they apprehend some of the terms that are usually used by scholars on that field. And again, I have to say I do not get the general relevance here with what was undertaken in this post. )

- Best.

August 2014
25

Hello!

With school starting for most of us in about a week, we felt it was appropriate to talk about our favorite citation program/tool: Zotero. For all of you who suffered from the pain of manually citing 20+ pages papers, we are convinced you will find this program useful! Not only does Zotero allows you to create your own collections with items related to your research, it also helps you generate bibliographies from those same collections (in your favoured citation style). While there are many other programs that help you to perform similar tasks (such as EndNote), we find that Zotero is easier to use (not to mention its free). 

We won’t go into all the details of Zotero’s functionalities therefore, we suggest that you watch this video and download Zoeteo for your Mac or PC at their website. Happy Back to School! 

August 2014
24

Anonymous asked

As a history student myself I find it great that you guys took the time to define "historiography" which is a word we all use often. I think you should do more of your "history student jargon"!

Hello. :)

Thank you for your comment.

Actually, I did this post perhaps less for history students (since I assume they have encountered the word on many occasions already) and more for people of other disciplines who are reading this blog and may wonder “what exactly is this ‘historiography’ thing?”

That being said, i am convinced it should serve everyone, especially those who think History is about “learning dates by heart” and “knowing about the History of Universe” to see how complex this discipline actually is.  

And yes, i am planning on renewing this little series (that was the whole point). 

- Good day.

#anon   #ask   
August 2014
24
Today’s term/concept is: HISTORIOGRAPHY 

So, what does this word mean in the context of historical research? 

Historiography usually refers to all the work on a given historical topic and/or the study of how historians have dealt with historical subject matters.
According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy “In its most general sense, the term refers to the study of historians’ methods and practices. Moreover, “historiography becomes itself historical when we recognize that these frameworks of assumptions about historical knowledge and reasoning change over time. On this assumption, the history of historical thinking and writing is itself an interesting subject. How did historians of various periods in human history conduct their study and presentation of history?" (Source)
Trent University defines historiography as “a summary of the historical writings on a particular topic … It identifies the major thinkers and arguments, and establishes connections between them. If there have been major changes in the way a particular topic has been approached over time, the historiography identifies them.” (Source)

So, to put it plainly, historiography can be understood as the the body of historical writing on a topic and the history of how historians have approached a particular topic over time. 

⇒ For example, if you encounter in your readings: “The Historiography on the Haitian Revolution is very large” It usually means → ”Lots of stuff have been written about the Haitian Revolution.”
Historiography of course, does not only refer to the grouping of works on a topic, as we have seen already, it also focuses on the changes in historical methodology. 

So, historiography evolves over time? Why?

Historians can rarely escape their own time. This is not to say that the historical discipline is entirely subjective, rather, this is to suggest that historians do not write in vacuums. Historiographical essays are thus important because they help us see how the methodology in studying a particular topic has changed over time. 
⇒ For example, in the 1960s, most (but not all) historians favoured an approach that gave a significant importance to economy and were often interested in making Marxist and class-based analysis of History. This is not necessarily true today when many historians prefer an analysis which gives more space to culture (hence, you will often hear references to a "cultural" or "linguistic turn" in History). 
Now, this change in the way historians understand events rarely means they debate over the occurrence of those events (although, it does happen), — what it actually means is that historians find that some approches highlight factors that better explain historical events than others. Historians’ major task is not simply to narrate events, their work also involves looking at the relationship between various instances (that is, their causal relationship) in explaining historical events. (To make this text more digestible, I will save you a discussion on the problems historians face with narration and causality, just remember that the two have an influence on historiography.)
So, as just mentioned, historiography helps us see how historical writing changes, in part, because historians often take different approches with time.
⇒ For example, for a long time, the dominent historiography on the causes of World War I suggested that the Great War was fought between European powers for colonies (i.e. the surproduction of goods forced European capitalist to pressure their own government to support their adventures in foreign lands in search of the new markets). Other historians, who do not necessarily completely reject the previous explanation, argue however that nationalism is better in articulating the drive to go to war. Historiography also suggest that we should not neglect the importance of European alliance system before WWI (i.e. the “domino effect”). More importantly, most (but not all) historians who have favoured the colonies and market explanation tended to be further towards the left (Marxist, Leninist and so on) in their analysis. (Notice “tended’ is in italics.)
At any rate, historiography is a complex term but it is necessary to understand it in order to comprehend some of the work historians do (and to grasp the real nature of most of their disputes). 
To recapitulate, in most instances, historiography is:
The body of work on a particular historical topic (i.e. : the historiography on the Haitian Revolution, the 20th century historiography on the French Revolution, the historiography on Thomas Jefferson…)
The “history of history” (the study how historians have dealt with particular topics, with a special importance given to the context in which their work was written. This usually emplies analyzing the approach(es) historians have favoured to write about History (i.e.: was this historian sensible to the Marxist turn in History, the Postmodern turn in History, the Cultural turn in History, the Subaltern and Postcolonial turn in History …?))
Warning: Before using a term, always make sure you are confortable with its meaning and that it won’t be placed in your text simply as an ornement. If unsure, consult an appropriate dictionary or a Professor. 

Today’s term/concept is: HISTORIOGRAPHY 

So, what does this word mean in the context of historical research? 

Historiography usually refers to all the work on a given historical topic and/or the study of how historians have dealt with historical subject matters.

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy “In its most general sense, the term refers to the study of historians’ methods and practices. Moreover, “historiography becomes itself historical when we recognize that these frameworks of assumptions about historical knowledge and reasoning change over time. On this assumption, the history of historical thinking and writing is itself an interesting subject. How did historians of various periods in human history conduct their study and presentation of history?" (Source)

Trent University defines historiography as “a summary of the historical writings on a particular topic … It identifies the major thinkers and arguments, and establishes connections between them. If there have been major changes in the way a particular topic has been approached over time, the historiography identifies them.” (Source)

So, to put it plainly, historiography can be understood as the the body of historical writing on a topic and the history of how historians have approached a particular topic over time. 

⇒ For example, if you encounter in your readings: “The Historiography on the Haitian Revolution is very large” It usually means → ”Lots of stuff have been written about the Haitian Revolution.”

Historiography of course, does not only refer to the grouping of works on a topic, as we have seen already, it also focuses on the changes in historical methodology. 

So, historiography evolves over time? Why?

Historians can rarely escape their own time. This is not to say that the historical discipline is entirely subjective, rather, this is to suggest that historians do not write in vacuums. Historiographical essays are thus important because they help us see how the methodology in studying a particular topic has changed over time. 

⇒ For example, in the 1960s, most (but not all) historians favoured an approach that gave a significant importance to economy and were often interested in making Marxist and class-based analysis of History. This is not necessarily true today when many historians prefer an analysis which gives more space to culture (hence, you will often hear references to a "cultural" or "linguistic turn" in History). 

Now, this change in the way historians understand events rarely means they debate over the occurrence of those events (although, it does happen), — what it actually means is that historians find that some approches highlight factors that better explain historical events than others. Historians’ major task is not simply to narrate events, their work also involves looking at the relationship between various instances (that is, their causal relationship) in explaining historical events. (To make this text more digestible, I will save you a discussion on the problems historians face with narration and causality, just remember that the two have an influence on historiography.)

So, as just mentioned, historiography helps us see how historical writing changes, in part, because historians often take different approches with time.

⇒ For example, for a long time, the dominent historiography on the causes of World War I suggested that the Great War was fought between European powers for colonies (i.e. the surproduction of goods forced European capitalist to pressure their own government to support their adventures in foreign lands in search of the new markets). Other historians, who do not necessarily completely reject the previous explanation, argue however that nationalism is better in articulating the drive to go to war. Historiography also suggest that we should not neglect the importance of European alliance system before WWI (i.e. the “domino effect”). More importantly, most (but not all) historians who have favoured the colonies and market explanation tended to be further towards the left (Marxist, Leninist and so on) in their analysis. (Notice “tended’ is in italics.)

At any rate, historiography is a complex term but it is necessary to understand it in order to comprehend some of the work historians do (and to grasp the real nature of most of their disputes). 

To recapitulate, in most instances, historiography is:

  • The body of work on a particular historical topic (i.e. : the historiography on the Haitian Revolution, the 20th century historiography on the French Revolution, the historiography on Thomas Jefferson…)
  • The “history of history” (the study how historians have dealt with particular topics, with a special importance given to the context in which their work was written. This usually emplies analyzing the approach(es) historians have favoured to write about History (i.e.: was this historian sensible to the Marxist turn in History, the Postmodern turn in History, the Cultural turn in History, the Subaltern and Postcolonial turn in History …?))

Warning: Before using a term, always make sure you are confortable with its meaning and that it won’t be placed in your text simply as an ornement. If unsure, consult an appropriate dictionary or a Professor.