But Is It History?

Klaus Neumann

Abstract


Histories: narratives written by historians.

Historians: academically trained specialists researching, and writing about, the past.

The discipline of history:a set of conventions about the formats in which histories may be presented.

 

Historians, however, do not seem to be prominently represented among those experimenting with new formats, probing the limits of traditional genres or rethinking the relationship between the past and its rendering as history. This may be because historians are comfortable with a particular set of conventions and confident about their usefulness, or because they feel threatened by the idea that the distinction between proper and improper histories is arbitrary. This article argues for a challenge to the historical discipline from within, and for a fruitful dialogue between various groups of specialists competent in making histories out of the past.


Keywords


historiography; academic disciplines; challenging conventions; 'the past' as history

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