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Seeing Things Their Way Cover

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Seeing Things Their Way

Intellectual History and the Return of Religion

edited by Alister Chapman, John Coffey, Brad S. Gregory

While religious history and intellectual history are both active, dynamic fields of contemporary historical inquiry, historians of ideas and historians of religion have too often paid little attention to one another’s work. The intellectual historian Quentin Skinner urged scholars to attend to the contexts as well as the texts of authors, in order to “see things their way.” Where religion is concerned, however, historians have often failed to heed this good advice; this book helps to remedy that failure. The editors and contributors urge intellectual historians to explore the religious dimensions of ideas and at the same time commend the methods of intellectual history to historians of religion.

Smokeless Coalfields of West Virginia Cover

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Smokeless Coalfields of West Virginia

A Brief History

W. P. Tams, Jr., Introduction by Ronald D. Eller

The Smokeless Coal Fields of West Virginia: A Brief History first appeared in 1963, a little book by a man with no training as either a writer or a historian. Since then, this volume has become an essential sourcebook, consulted and quoted in nearly every study of coal field history. The surprising impact and durability of the book are due to both the information in it and the personality behind it. Through the first half of the twentieth century, William Purviance Tams lived coal. Rising from a young coal engineer to a senior coal baron, Tams stood at the center of Southern West Virginia industrialization. When he sold his company in 1955, Tams was the last of the old owner-operators, men with no personal or financial interest outside of coal. Tams wrote a book which could only have come from an ultimate insider. The everyday work of mining coal is here-laying track, blasting and loading the coal. So is the everyday business of coal, from sinking shafts and ventilating the work area, to administering a town and keeping the workers happy. Tams gives the financial details of the volatile business, and offers capsule biographies of the other major developers of the Southern West Virginia coal fields. It was a passion for Tams. He never married, and tended his business and his town with paternal care. After retirement, this industrial baron spent his final decades in a modest bungalow in his little coal-camp community, watching the town he had built fade back into the mountains. It is W. P. Tams's passion and attitude, as much as his place at the center of history, which make The Smokeless Coal Fields of West Virginia worth reading nearly 40 years after its first publication. Tams's 1963 account of his career, The Smokeless Coal Fields of West Virginia, offers a unique perspective on the business and the life of coal mining. The book is especially valuable for its account of the daily life and work of the miners, engineers, and families in the mines and in the mining towns. Our reprint of this fascinating and important book combines Tams's original work with a new introduction by Ronald D. Eller, author of Miners, Millhands, & Mountaineers.

Talking Hawai`i's Story Cover

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Talking Hawai`i's Story

Oral Histories of an Island People

Michi Kodama-Nishimoto & Cynthia A. Oshiro (eds.)

Talking Hawaii’s Story is the first major book in over a generation to present a rich sampling of the landmark work of Hawaii’s Center for Oral History. Twenty-nine extensive oral histories introduce readers to the sights and sounds of territorial Waikiki, to the feeling of community in Palama, in Kona, or on the island of Lanai, and even to the experience of a German national interned by the military government after Pearl Harbor. The result is a collection that preserves Hawaii’s social and cultural history through the narratives of the people who lived it—co-workers, neighbors, family members, and friends. An Introduction by Warren Nishimoto and Michi Kodama-Nishimoto provides historical context and information about the selection and collection methods. Photos of the interview subjects accompany each oral history. For further reading, an appendix also provides information about the Center for Oral History’s major projects.

Teaching History in the Digital Age Cover

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Teaching History in the Digital Age

T. Mills Kelly

Although many humanities scholars have been talking and writing about the transition to the digital age for more than a decade, only in the last few years have we seen a convergence of the factors that make this transition possible: the spread of sufficient infrastructure on campuses, the creation of truly massive databases of humanities content, and a generation of students that has never known a world without easy Internet access. Teaching History in the Digital Age serves as a guide for practitioners on how to fruitfully employ the transformative changes of digital media in the research, writing, and teaching of history. T. Mills Kelly synthesizes more than two decades of research in digital history, offering practical advice on how to make best use of the results of this synthesis in the classroom and new ways of thinking about pedagogy in the digital humanities.

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Through a Glass Darkly

Contested Notions of Baptist Identity

Through a Glass Darkly is a collection of essays by scholars who argue that Baptists are frequently misrepresented, by outsiders as well as insiders, as members of an unchanging monolithic sect.
 
In contemporary discussions of religious denominations, it is often fashionable and easy to make bold claims regarding the history, beliefs, and practices of certain groups. Select versions of Baptist history have been used to vindicate incomplete or inaccurate assertions, attitudes, and features of Baptist life and thought. Historical figures quickly become saints, and overarching value systems can minimize the unsavory realities that would contribute to a truer interpretation of Baptist life.
 
The essays in this volume use the term Baptist in the broadest sense to refer to those Christians who identify themselves as Baptists and who baptize by immersion as a non-sacramental church rite. Over the past four hundred years, Baptists have grown from a persecuted minority to a significant portion of America’s religious population. They have produced their fair share of controversies and colorful characters that have, in turn, contributed to a multifaceted history.
 
But what does it mean to be a “real Baptist”? Some look to historical figures as heroic exemplars of Baptist core values. Others consider cultural, social, or political issues to be guideposts for Baptist identity. Through a Glass Darkly dives deeper into history for answers, revealing a more complete version of the expansive and nuanced history of one of America’s most influential religious groups.
 
Contributors:
James P. Byrd / John G. Crowley / Edward R. Crowther / Christopher H. Evans / Elizabeth H. Flowers / Curtis W. Freeman / Barry G. Hankins / Paul Harvey / Bill J. Leonard / James A. Patterson / Jewel L. Spangler / Alan Scot Willis

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Transforming History

The Making of a Modern Academic Discipline in Twentieth-Century China

Edited by Brian Moloughney and Peter Zarrow

Transforming History examines the profound transformation of historical thought and practice of writing history from the late Qing through the mid-twentieth century. The authors devote extensive analysis to the common set of intellectual and political forces that shaped the study of history, from the ideas of evolution, positivism, nationalism, historicism, and Marxism, to political processes such as revolution, imperialism, and modernization. Also discussed are the impact and problems associated with the nation-state as the subject of history, the linear model of historical time, and the spatial system of nation-states. The result is a convincing study that illustrates how history has transformed into a modern academic discipline in China.

Unsolved History Cover

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Unsolved History

Investigating Mysteries of the Past

Joe Nickell

What constitutes historical truth is often subject to change. Joe Nickell demonstrates the techniques used in solving some of the world's most perplexing mysteries, such as the authenticity of Abraham Lincoln's celebrated Bixby letter, the 1913 disappearance of writer and journalist Ambrose Bierce, and the apparent real-life model for a mysterious character in a novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Nickell also uses newly uncovered evidence to further investigate the identity of the Nazi war criminal known as ""Ivan the Terrible.""

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Vigilantes and Lynch Mobs

Narratives of Community and Nation

Lisa Arellano

Looking at the narrative accounts of mob violence produced by vigilantes and  their advocates as “official” histories, Lisa Arellano shows how these nonfiction narratives conformed to a common formula whose purpose was to legitimate frontier justice and lynching.

In Vigilantes and Lynch Mobs, Arellano closely examines such narratives as well as the work of Western historian and archivist Hubert Howe Bancroft, who was sympathetic to them, and that of Ida B. Wells, who wrote in fierce opposition to lynching.  Tracing the creation, maintenance, and circulation of dominant, alternative, and oppositional vigilante stories from the nineteenth-century frontier through the Jim Crow South, she casts new light on the role of narrative in creating a knowable past.

Demonstrating how these histories ennobled the actions of mobs and rendered their leaders and members as heroes, Arellano presents a persuasive account of lynching’s power to create the conditions favorable to its own existence.

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Wars within a War

Controversy and Conflict over the American Civil War

Edited by Joan Waugh and Gary W. Gallagher

The twelve essays in ###Wars within a War# explore the internal stresses that posed serious challenges to the viability of the opposing sides in the Civil War as well as some of the ways in which wartime disputes and cultural fissures carried over into the postwar years and beyond.

Why France? Cover

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Why France?

American Historians Reflect on an Enduring Fascination

France has long attracted the attention of many of America's most accomplished historians. The field of French history has been vastly influential in American thought, both within the academy and beyond, regardless of France's standing among U.S. political and cultural elites. Even though other countries, from Britain to China, may have had a greater impact on American history, none has exerted quite the same hold on the American historical imagination, particularly in the post-1945 era.

To gain a fresh perspective on this passionate relationship, Laura Lee Downs and Stéphane Gerson commissioned a diverse array of historians to write autobiographical essays in which they explore their intellectual, political, and personal engagements with France and its past. In addition to the essays, Why France? includes a lengthy introduction by the editors and an afterword by one of France's most distinguished historians, Roger Chartier. Taken together, these essays provide a rich and thought-provoking portrait of France, the Franco-American relationship, and a half-century of American intellectual life, viewed through the lens of the best scholarship on France.

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