Re: Is what we're doing REAL history??


I'm associated with a military affairs symposium and come in contact
with a great many academics. It's been my experience that when a
professor refers to a colleague as a "popular" historian, it's a
euphemism for 'a historian whose work is more well regarded than mine
and I'm more than a little put out by that.'

There's a reason that a PhD is refered to piling it high and deep.

Eric Petersson

Marty McGuirk wrote:

I am taking a class called Study and Writing of History as part of
the required coursework for a History MA/PhD program. While
discussing research and appropriate sources the professor made an
interesting statement about what can be considered "real" history -
by that she meant a valid source -- as opposed to a "popular"

Which led to wonder if all the research we as a group do on freight
cars is real history or not. I don't know that any of us is working
a PhD in Freightcarology . . . but I think the methodical approach
apply to this research certainly qualifies as "history." The question
is does this type of research stand up to a citation in a scholarly
paper, or is it merely some offshoot of "popular" history.

For my money, a work like Tony's PFE book certainly qualifies -- a
short article with a drawing in a magazine does not. I think the use
original sources and citations of same is likely the difference. John
White's books also pass muster.

Would like to use some sources in my research, but not sure where the
line should be drawn.

Would appreciate any thoughts.

Join to automatically receive all group messages.