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Lecture

Sept 12- Introduction- Europe, colonies, & Aboriginal Peoples. .docx
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Department
History
Course
HIST 2500
Professor
William Wicken
Semester
Fall

Description
Part One: Introduction September 12: Introduction: Europe, colonies, and Aboriginal Peoples. Tutorials will meet. First tutorials will meet on Tuesday, September 10. Reading: Bumsted, pp. xiv-xxiii: - xiv - Anyone can research, write and publish historical work without specialized training - Standards of achievement can be flexible and intuitive and methodology is based on common sense - The historical mode is one of the most common ways through which we attept to understand the world we live in - We all engage in forms of historical reconstruction - Witness can be biased or mistaken - Even the simpliest rules of evidence and argument can be difficult to apply in specific situations, especially if the researcher is operating intuitively - The ordinary reader is frequently unable to distinguish between facts and truths, failing to appreciate on one level the factual accuracy is in itself is a complex issue and on another level that it has limited value as a critical test - Many readers fail to distinguish between history as everything thats happened before present moment and history as the record of the unfolding of some events in the past. (past can never be recovered) - All we can do is attempt to recreate and analyze discrete parts of the past, refracted through the historians prism (only this history can be studied and investigated) - xv - History can mean not only the historians account of the past, but the systematic study of the sat asa a discipline or a craft - The study of either the work of individual historians or the discipline itself is often known as historiography - The Value of history - Whether or not historical study has a sufficient grip on truth and meaning in our modern world to have any value at all, inartistic or extrinsic - Whether or not historical work has a sufficiently attractive vocational payoff to justify its study at the university - Education was more for privileged than now, education still expected over a vocation - Great change of nature of university took hold in 1945 when Canadians were entitled to attend university and the number of university places was greatly expanded - Dynamic relationship between democratization of university and introduction of idea that there should be some demonstrable economic value to a university degree (thus training begins at undergraduate compared to graduate level) - xvi - Jobs with history degrees include: teacher, archives, libraries, museums, government service, law, journalism, civil service (gather, analyze evidence and the communicate findings) - Must translate their historical training into jargon of contemporary job market - History provides us social personal contexts - Over past 30 years canadians have lost interest in the historical mode, adoption irrelevance of history position (But not with minorities) - xvii - The elusive fact - Language can impact a fact (what does discover actually mean, etc) - Most historical fats are simply labels of events and dates, names and movements which by themselves do not tell us very much (not statements which anything is asserted so therefore they have no standing as facts) - Only when significance is implicitly or explicitly understood do they acquire any utility of susceptibility to truth -xviii - Chief benefits of modern historical study is that it promotes a healthy skepticism about the neutrality and ultimate truth of the notorio
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