Being a Historian: An Introduction to the Professional World of History by James M. BannerBased on the author's more than 50 years of experience as a professional historian in academic and other capacities, Being a Historian is addressed to both aspiring and mature historians. It offers an overview of the state of the discipline of history today and the problems that confront it and its practitioners in many professions. James M. Banner, Jr argues that historians remain inadequately prepared for their rapidly changing professional world and that the discipline as a whole has yet to confront many of its deficiencies. He also argues that, no longer needing to conform automatically to the academic ideal, historians can now more safely and productively than ever before adapt to their own visions, temperaments and goals as they take up their responsibilities as scholars, teachers and public practitioners. Critical while also optimistic, this work suggests many topics for further scholarly and professional exploration, research and debate.
Historical knowledge : in quest of theory, method and evidenceHistorical Knowledge approaches the topic of historical knowledge in depth and from various angles. It seeks to offer theoretical and methodological building blocks for the use of anyone pursuing historical research.This book brings novel insights into classic and topical issues currently under debate: the importance of theory in historical thinking, the dialectic of "text" and "annotation", the actor and observer levels, the relationship between the general and the individual, the issue of comparison, and the problem of sporadic sources and of understanding the singularity of each one.The overall theme of the book, the possibility of historical knowledge, reflects the very issue that makes historical research distinctive: the challenges of evidence and the problems, both concrete and conceptual, with deciphering and interpreting remnants of the past. This book refreshes the discussion about sources and proper evidence, two issues that the linguistic turn and the postmodern challenge pushed into the background.The book addresses these issues in an easily accessible way and serves as an introduction and guide to the role of theory, method and evidence in historical research not only for students and scholars of history, but also for anyone outside the field with an interest in the topic.Historical Knowledge is the first book to include texts by the three eminent historians, Professors Natalie Zemon Davis, Carlo Ginzburg and Giovanni Levi. The other contributors, Professors Risto Alapuro, Janken Myrdal and Matti Peltonen, are active debaters in current theoretical and methodo-logical discussion.