Friday, September 18, 2009

What is Historiography Again?

Yikes, been a while! Anyway, I've written plenty about historiography and historical theory/methodology, but Heather Cox Richardson offers a good way to help people understand just what the heck "historiography" is:
It may be easier to understand the concept of historiography if you put the idea of it into a different context. Think of movie Westerns. Almost invariably, they deal with the Plains West from about 1860 to about 1900. But their interpretations of the events of those years are strikingly different. It’s impossible, for example, to image someone making Brokeback Mountain in 1950, or Stagecoach in the 1980s. Just as those movies tell us a great deal about both the eras in which they were made and the filmmaking theories under which they were filmed, so too can historiography tell us much that we need to know about society.
That works for me.

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