Determine the potential gaps in the existing interpretations that further research can fill.

Week 06 Historiographical Essay Assignment Instructions Overview “What is historiography?” you might ask. Historians mean something very specific by the term — it is, in short, the history of changing patterns of historical interpretation of a given topic. In other words, it’s the history of “the history” of a particular thing. It’s not about the subject itself; rather, historiography focuses on how historians change their interpretations of a given topic over time. It is critical that you understand this concept and how to use it as a research tool. As budding historians, we must understand the historiography of the topic or broader background of the topic we research. Why? Because it helps us fill in the gaps of historical scholarship. It’s not enough for us to tread the same old ground, the same way, year after year. That might work when teaching a class, but it will not do for professional historianship. Why read or view a documentary about the same topic, told the same way, time after time? Yes, reruns can be important, but we also want to create. As Christian historians, understanding historiography of our research topic has a two-fold purpose. First, since we are created in the image of God, we also want to create. We want to be entrepreneurial to develop new interpretations that help us both better understand the past and also help us apply that learning to the present. Second, because we are Christian historians, we will face opposition just for our religious beliefs. As you go through the course, you will realize we counsel our students to always honor Truth. There’s no need to champion a Christian perspective just for the sake of doing so. We want to arrive at a better understanding of Truth. Honoring the profession by knowing what historians already know about a topic then further honoring professional historians by noticing the gaps in their research lend us professional credibility and mutual encouragement. We need both. Instructions Part One So, how do you locate a historiographical essay about your specific research topic or something generally related to it? First, visit any of the databases located on the Falwell Library’s History Research Guide located on their website. Consider using America: History and Life for American topics and Historical Abstracts for European topics. Use JSTOR for American and non-American history. You can even use Google Scholar. Next, click into one or more of the databases, type the term “historiography” and a term or terms related to your research. Keep in mind, the search may not return an actual historiographical essay published in a journal. For example, suppose a person wants to research the Armenian genocide. When I type “historiography” and “Armenia” in the ProQuest database, I see nothing of much use — for several pages. In this case, I could choose a new search engine and database, but instead I expand my search using the terms “historiography” and “genocide.” This time, a nifty article shows up from 2008. That’s good. I’ll use that article for my assignment. It’s not about the Armenian Genocide, but it’s close enough for me to grasp how historians have been interpreting genocides since WWII. I can now locate a few gaps by knowing what historians have already produced. You can use any of the databases located on the History Research Guide. Under normal circumstances, you can even use the Search Anything bar found on JFL (Jerry Falwell Library)’s main page. That search bar acts up sometimes (sorry). *At the top of the document you submit, provide the citation of the historiographical article in proper Turabian bibliographic format. Beneath the citation, provide the name of the database you used to locate it. Part Two After locating and reading your essay, identify the major interpretations and schools of thought, provide the main author and title of his or her major work(s), relative to your topic within each distinct school. In some essays, the author might use a term to categorize the waves of interpretation such as “revisionist,” “consensus,” “postmodern,” etc. Or, the author of the article may simply detail specific historians by name. It is your job to provide names of the pertinent historians and the titles of their main works while explaining how interpretations shifted over time about your research topic (or its general field). *Write a brief description of these schools of thought including names of historians and titles of their works. It should be at least 200 words. Part Three Determine the potential gaps in the existing interpretations that further research can fill. *Provide a brief narrative explaining the gaps and why they are significant for your research. This should be at least 75-100 words. Part Four The final part of the assignment is writing a footnote that covers the principle historiographical interpretations on the topic. The footnote should be in proper Turabian format. Please see the massive and lengthy example below. (It is unlikely you will ever write a footnote this long for any other history course.) 35Several schools of thought concerning the meaning and extent of republicanism persisted through the 20th and early 21st century. Classic historical statements include Joyce Oldham Appleby, Capitalism and a New Social Order: The Republican Vision of the 1790s (New York, 1984); Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge, 1967); Lance Banning, The Jeffersonian Persuasion: Evolution of a Party Ideology (Ithaca, N.Y., 1978); Lawrence Goodwyn, Democratic Promise: The Populist Moment in America (New York, 1976); Milton M., Klein, et al. The Republican Synthesis Revisited: Essays in Honor of George Athan Billias (Worcester, 1992); James T. Kloppenberg, “Republicanism” in Paul S. Boyer, ed., The Oxford Companion to United States History (Oxford, 2001); Forrest McDonald, Novus Ordo Seclorum: the Intellectual Origins of the Constitution (University Press of Kansas, 1985); J. G. A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition (Princeton, N.J., 1975); and Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 (Chapel Hill, 1969). The most comprehensive treatments of early attempts to analyze republicanism remain Daniel Rodgers, “Republicanism: The Career of a Concept” Journal of American History 79:1 (1992) as well as Robert Shalhope, “Toward Republican Synthesis The Emergence of an Understanding of Republicanism in American Historiography,” William and Mary Quarterly, XXIX (1972): 49-80, and his “Republicanism and Early American Historiography,” ibid., XXXIX (1982), 334-356. Additional attempts to achieve “synthesis” includes Isaac Kramnick, “Republicanism Revisited,” American Historical Review, LXXXVII (1982), 629-664, and “Special Issue: Republicanism in the History and Historiography of the United States,” American Quarterly, XXXVII (Fall, 1985). For one example of numerous attempts to merge republicanism with liberalism, see James T. Kloppenberg, “The Virtues of Liberalism: Christianity, Republicanism, and Ethics in Early American Political Discourse,” Journal of American History, LXXIV (1987): 9-33. More recent treatments of republicanism include Isaac Kramnick, Republicanism and Bourgeois Radicalism: Political Ideology in Late Eighteenth-Century England and America (Ithaca, NY., 1990) and Deidre McCloskey’s three volume series in “The Bourgeois Era:” The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2006), Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2010), and Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2016).

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