Tags » Why Study History

Giving Rare Books to Undergraduates

Not a great idea? I tried it this week in my seminar on historical research, in the course of trying to move beyond the idea of primary sources as disembodied texts to see individual books, letters, and manuscripts as objects whose physical properties and fates could be as or more interesting, if harder to trace, than their contents. 583 more words


Why Study History? Reflecting on the Importance of the Past.

Al Mackey, the Civil War historian who runs the excellent Student of the American Civil War blog, has today put up a very thoughtful and incisive piece on a book written by another one of our blogging colleagues, Dr. 286 more words

Crisis and Elitism in Graduate Education

When I started this blog, late last March, I was just wrapping up a three-year term as Graduate Program Director in a middling-to-smallish history department at a large, urban, public university in Canada. 1,650 more words


Letter to a Prospective Graduate Student

Why study history in graduate school?

A promising undergraduate student asked me this recently, not quite in so many words. My answer was inadequate; despite my own advice on the subject, and despite everything going on at the moment in politics and academe, when sitting in my office and put on the spot I floundered amid the familiar flotsam of transferable skills, multiple career paths, intellectual interest, and so on. 329 more words


Historians under Trump

We are witnessing — more than that, experiencing — events that seem certain to be remembered as a turning point in the history of the United States, part of a series that is changing the political horizons of much of the world. 832 more words


Lessons of History: Stop It

History shows that there is a God. History teaches that free and open commerce is beneficial to all. History shows that children are no asset for a Prime Minister.

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Why Teach History?

“Why study history?” is the more usual question, and the collection of answers to that is extensive enough. But while it makes sense to think that the reasons for studying history and the reasons for teaching it are congruent from a certain point of view, I very much doubt that the reason I feel a class has gone well is reducible to the sentiment that I successfully conveyed a certain body of either of content or of skills to my clients, the future critical thinkers and job seekers of Canada. 642 more words