121 Intro Lecture Presentation Essay

Submitted By malaklou21
Words: 561
Pages: 3

??? What is History ???

The Three Senses of History

History as Past:
• some set of past actions or happenings (ALL past actions or happenings prior to the present moment)
• “History” is synonymous with “the past” in this instance

The Three Senses of History

History as Portrait:
•. some organized intelligible structure that makes a claim to represent the past
•. usually in narrative form

The Three Senses of History

History as Practice:
• “Doing History”
• Involves scholars asking questions about the past, conducting research by examining primary sources, and interpreting their significance How are the three senses of history interrelated?

History as Past

History as Portrait

History as Practice

Issues with Subjectivity and Historical Study?

• Subjectivity: belonging to, proceeding from, or relating to the mind of the thinking subject and not the nature of the object being considered (www.dictionary.com)

• “History as Portrait” truly reflects a composite of
“subjective choices” made by its creator

Issues with Subjectivity and Historical Study?
Subjective Choices Historians Make:
• Which question are worth asking
• Which research methodology
• Broader Intellectual climate
• What artifact from the past have been preserved • What sources to include/exclude
• What sources “tell” you about the past

Historical Subjectivity at Play
Two foundational studies in American history that deal with the area of ante-bellum slavery within the United States:
• Ulrich Philips, American Negro Slavery (1918)
• Herbert Aptheker, American Negro Slave Revolts (1943)
Both studies ask the same research question and arrive at two radically different conclusions

The Research Question:
How did African Americans react to the experience of enslavement in the ante-bellum south

Historical Subjectivity at Play
The Research Question:
How did African Americans react to the experience of enslavement in the ante-bellum south
Ulrich Philips’ American Negro Slavery (1918)
• Conclusion: Slavery was a benevolent institution under which
African Americans thrived and that slavery played a vital role in elevating African Americans out of their natural state of child like primitiveness Herbert Aptheker’ American Negro Slave Revolts (1943)
• Conclusion: The large frequency of initiated, attempted, and reported rebellions against the institution of slavery revealed that
American slavery was harsh, oppressive, and that African
Americans remained in a perpetual state of resistance against their enslavement ??? How is it that two methodologically sound studies could produce such radically different conclusions???…