How to be a historian

Scholarly personae in historical studies, 1800-2000

Edited by Herman Paul

How to be a historian


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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3280-2
  • Pages: 232
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £90.00
  • Published Date: June 2019
  • BIC Category: Humanities / Social & cultural history, Humanities / Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900, Humanities / Historiography, 20th century, c 1900 to c 1999, 19th century, c 1800 to c 1899, HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century, HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century, HISTORY / Social History, HISTORY / Historiography, Modern History, History, History of scholarship (principally of social sciences & humanities), Historiography


This volume offers a stimulating new perspective on the history of historical studies. Through the prism of 'scholarly personae', it explores why historians care about attitudes or dispositions that they consider necessary for studying the past, yet often disagree about what virtues, skills, or competencies are most important. More specifically, the volume explains why models of virtue known as 'personae' have always been contested, yet also can prove remarkably stable, especially with regard to their race, class, and gender assumptions. Covering historical studies across Europe, North America, Africa, and East Asia, How to be a historian will appeal not only to historians of historiography, but to all historians who occasionally wonder: What kind of a historian do I want to be?


'Historians' identities form the subject matter of this geographically wide-ranging, well-researched and theoretically framed collection of essays.'
R. C. Richardson, University of Winchester, Times Higher Education, July 2019


Notes on contributors
Introduction. Scholarly personae: what they are and why they
matter - Herman Paul
1 The contested persona of the historian: on the origins of a
permanent conflict - Ian Hunter
2 Ranke vs Schlosser: pairs of personae in nineteenth-century
German historiography - Herman Paul
3 Fixing genius: the Romantic man of letters in the university
era - Travis E. Ross
4 Generational continuities and composite personae: French
historiography from the 1870s to the 1950s - Camille Creyghton
5 Pasha and his historic harem: Edward A. Freeman, Edith
Thompson and the gendered personae of late-Victorian
historians - Elise Garritzen
6 Interpretative and investigative: the emergence and
characteristics of modern scholarly personae in China,
1900-30 - Q. Edward Wang
7 Coalescence and conflict: historians and their personae in the
Portuguese New State - António da Silva Rêgo
8 The emergence of the English Marxist historian's scholarly
persona: the English Revolution debate of 1940-41 - Sina
9 Of communism, compromise and Central Europe: the scholarly
persona under authoritarianism - Monika Baár
10 What is an African historian? Negotiating scholarly personae in
UNESCO's General History of Africa - Larissa Schulte Nordholt
11 The finitude of personae: Bryce Lyon, François Louis Ganshof
and the biography of Pirenne - Henning Trüper


Herman Paul is Professor of the History of the Humanities at Leiden University

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