• Kaelble, Hartmut, Social History in Europe, Journal of Social History Vol. 37, No. 1, Special Issu

• Kaelble, Hartmut, Social History in Europe, Journal of Social History Vol. 37, No. 1, Special Issu

This preview shows 1 out of 3 pages.

SOCIAL HISTORY AS "SITES OF MEMORY"? THE INSITUTIONALIZATION OF HISTORY: MICROHISTORY AND THE GRAND NARRATIVE By Sigurdur Gylfi Magnusson Flashbacks The Reykjavik Academy In 1976, to mark the occasion of its tenth anniversary, theloumal of Social His, tory aSH) put out a special volume containing a number of articles on the status and position of social history within the academic world. Among the contrib ... utors was Theodore Zeldin, professor at Oxford in England, who presented an overview of the advances made within the discipline over the first three quarters of the 20th century-including the following piece of sound advice for aspiring scholars: I believe that the history you write is the expression of your individuality; I agree with Mommsen that one cannot teach people to write history; I believe that much more can be gained by encouraging young historians to develop their own person ... ality, their own vision, their own eccentricities, than by setting them examples to follow. Original history is the reflection of an original mind, and there is no prescription which will produce that.! In the year 2002 I spent a happy term as a Fullbright Scholar in the USA, teach ... ing and doing research at myoid university, Carnegie Mellon. It was wonderful to get the chance to renew my acquaintance with the faculty that had had so great an influence on my attitudes and opinions on history. On top of this, I had the unexpected opportunity of observing the selection process in the course of appointments to two posts within the department. This was, for me, especially welcome as I had, from the time I completed my doctorate at the end of 1993, kept an interested eye on the job advertisements in Perspectives and been struck in most cases by how standardized and restrictive they had become. My impres ... sion was that universities seemed always to be looking for scholars of the same type, equipped with the same kind of expertise (in their own particular areas)- scholars who would be able to teach so or so many courses, who would be able to fulfil certain academic roles laid down by all the schools; individuals who were, to a greater or lesser extent, all cast in the same mold. The social historians called in for interview were, without exception, ad ... mirably capable individuals, apparently endowed with great academic qualities. However, also without exception, they all seemed to wear the selfsame colors as the scholars specified in the job advertisements: they all delivered lectures that sounded as if they had been written by the same person. Their treatment, ideas, presentation, research questions and conclusions were strikingly similar, and there was no easy way of saying what had come from which of them, how ... ever different the actual subjects being treated.
Image of page 1

Subscribe to view the full document.

892 journal of social history spring 2006 I asked one of the professorsat the school why they never advertised for people who might be considered "flaky",who had ideasthat wereout of the ordinary and who set themselves up against received thinking within the discipline. I recall that
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
You've reached the end of this preview.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern