History as an academic discipline has dramatically changed over the last few decades and has become much more exciting and varied as a result of ideas from other disciplines, the influence of postmodernism and historians' incorporation of their own theoretical reflections into their work. The way history is studied at university level can vary greatly from history at school or as represented in the media and Doing History bridges that gap. Aimed at undergraduate and postgraduate students of history this is the ideal introduction to studying history as an academic subject at university. Doing History presents the ideas and debates that shape how we do history today, covering arguments about the nature of historical knowledge and the function of historical writing, whether we can really ever know what happened in the past, what sources historians depend on, and whether historians' versions of history have more value than popular histories.
This practical and accessible introduction to the discipline introduces students to these key discussions, familiarises them with the important terms and issues, equips them with the necessary vocabulary and encourages them to think about, and engage with, these questions. Clearly structured and accessibly written, it is an essential volume for all students embarking on the study of history.
Mark Donnelly is a lecturer in history at St Mary's University College. His research interests include contemporary culture, politics, memory and historiography. He is the author of Britain in the Second World War (1999) and Sixties Britain: Culture, Society and Politics (2005). His article on Peter Whitehead's film Wholly Communion will be published in the US journal Framework in 2011. Claire Norton is a lecturer in Islamic history at St Mary's University College. Her research interests include Muslim-Christian interactions, conversion practices, Ottoman representations of war, identity construction and Ottoman literacy practices. She edited Nationalism, Historiography and the (Re)Construction of the Past (Washington: New Academia Press, 2007)
Doing History - Table of Contents Acknowledgements Preface Part I - What is History? 1. Introduction 2. Changing Approaches to History Part II - What do Historians do? 3. Creating Historical Knowledge 4. Using Sources 5. How do Historians Write History? Historical interpretations and imagination 6. History and the Past. History as a special type of knowledge Part III - Whose History? 7. The Power of History 8. Histories from Another Perspective 9. Popular History Part IV - History Today 10. The Future of History Conclusion Bibliography Index