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Thalassography and Historiography
The Sea brings together a group of noted contributors to evaluate the different ways in which seas have served as subjects in historiography and asks how this has changed---and will change---the way history is written. The essays in this volume provide exemplary demonstrations of how a sea-based history-writing that focuses on connectivity, networks, and individuals describes the horizons and the potential of thalassography---the study of the world made by individuals embedded in networks of motion. As Peter N. Miller contends in his introduction, writing about the sea, today, is a way of partaking in the wider historiographical shift toward microhistory; exchange relations; networks; and, above all, materiality, both literally and figuratively. The Sea focuses not on questions of discipline and professionalization as much as on the practice of scholarship: the writing, and therefore the planning and organizing, of histories of the sea.
Intellectual History and the Return of Religion
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.
A Brief History
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.
Oral Histories of an Island People
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.
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.
Self-Presentation in Herodotus’ Histories
Textual Rivals studies some of the most debated issues in Herodotean scholarship. One such is Herodotus’ self-presentation: the conspicuousness of his authorial persona is one of the most remarkable features of his Histories. So frequently does he interject first-person comments into the narrative that Herodotus at times almost becomes a character within his own text. Important issues are tied to Herodotus’ self-presentation. First is the narrator’s relationship to truth: to what extent does he expect readers to trust his narrative? While judgments regarding Herodotus’ overall veracity have often been damning, scholars have begun to concentrate on how Herodotus presents his truthfulness. Second is the precise genre Herodotus means to create with his work. Excluding the anachronistic term historian, exactly what would Herodotus have called himself, as author? Third is the presence of “self-referential” characters, whose actions often mirror Herodotus’ as narrator/researcher, in the Histories. David Branscome’s investigative text points to the rival inquirers in Herodotus’ Histories as a key to unraveling these interpretive problems. The rival inquirers are self-referential characters Herodotus uses to further his authorial self-presentation. Through the contrast Herodotus draws between his own exacting standards as an inquirer and the often questionable standards of those rivals, Herodotus underlines just how truthful readers should find his own work. Textual Rivals speaks to those interested in Greek history and historiography, narratology, and ethnography. Those in the growing ranks of Herodotus fans will find much to invite and intrigue.
Contested Notions of Baptist Identity
The Making of a Modern Academic Discipline in Twentieth-Century China
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.
Investigating Mysteries of the Past
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.""
Narratives of Community and Nation
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.