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History by Mind Map: History

1. Skills learnt through studying history are of vital importance

1.1. Assessing and filtering the messages constantly battering against us.

1.2. provides a training in the writing up of the results of one's researches, in the form of essays, reports, dissertations.

2. Scope & Application - Tiana and Krishna

2.1. Purpose of Investigation

2.1.1. historians produce knowledge about the past or produce contributions to knowledge about the past.

2.1.2. Necessity of history

2.1.2.1. The past is essential to society

2.1.2.1.1. It allows us to govern the present as well as it will for the future

2.1.2.1.2. Without the past we would not have clear identities and hence be stuck in an endless sea of time

2.1.3. Subjectivity Question

2.1.3.1. History deals with human values

2.1.3.2. Historical evidence is fragmentary, intractable, and imperfect.

2.1.3.2.1. There will always be areas where uncertainty persists

2.1.3.3. "Auteur theory" - tend to glory in their own subjectivity

2.1.3.4. How can we deem a source reliable?

2.1.3.4.1. How does the source know what they know?

2.1.4. Periodization

2.1.4.1. The process or study of categorising the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time

2.1.4.2. No a priori existence

2.1.4.3. An analytical tool of historians

2.1.4.4. Periodisation varies as it may change for economic, social or political history

2.1.5. History vs. The Past

2.1.5.1. History is historical knowledge produced by experts while 'The Past' is known as well as unknown knowledge

2.1.5.2. The Past

2.1.5.2.1. Everything which actually happened, whether known, or written, about by historians or not

2.1.6. Primary vs Secondary Sources

2.1.6.1. Primary

2.1.6.1.1. Came into existence within the period being investigated

2.1.6.1.2. Form the basic"raw material" of history

2.1.6.2. Secondary

2.1.6.2.1. The articles and books written up later by historians, drawing upon these primary sources

2.1.7. Witting and Unwitting Testimony

2.1.7.1. "Witting" means "deliberate" or " intentional"

2.1.7.2. "Unwitting" means "unaware" or "unintentional"

2.1.8. The Arts as Sources

2.1.8.1. Novels have sometimes been used as sources for living conditions and standards

2.1.8.2. Paintings of domestic scenes have sometimes been used as sources for what people ate

2.2. What is Historical Knowledge used for?

2.2.1. Knowledge of the past is essential to society - it helps us predict the link between now and the future

2.2.1.1. countries have national archives

2.2.2. Knowledge of the past gives us a sense of identity

2.2.2.1. Therefore, must be as accurate as possible: based on evidence and logical thought, not on specious theory or political ideology

2.2.3. Apart from career purposes for Historians, most people are interested by what life was like in the past

2.2.3.1. tourism industry

2.2.3.2. contextual knowledge for great works of art and literature, thus enhancing our enjoyment

3. Language & Concepts (Kenneth)

3.1. Language

3.1.1. Precise and Explicit

3.1.2. Clear and effective communication

3.1.3. Well structured sentences

3.2. Concepts

3.2.1. Reflect

3.2.1.1. What do you really wanna say?

3.2.2. Revise

3.2.2.1. What you wanna say and what you are saying have to align

3.2.2.2. Don't aim to be literary, aim to be precise and concise

3.2.2.3. Try to be elegant with your writing, sometimes less is more

3.2.2.4. Most important is thought conveyed

3.3. What language do they aim for?

3.3.1. Most common one in their country

3.3.1.1. Most people can understand

3.3.1.2. Consistent with other historians

3.3.1.3. Probably historian's first language

3.4. Metaphors

3.4.1. Used to make reader understand better

3.4.1.1. Relate to other ideas which are familiar

3.4.1.2. Relate to something everyone knows about

3.4.2. Can confuse reader

3.4.2.1. Different era's, different perception and opinions on different ideas

3.4.2.2. Too complex for reader to understand

4. Methodology - Kate

4.1. Importance of objectivity

4.1.1. Aim

4.1.1.1. Approach secondary and primary sources with scepticism and caution

4.1.2. What leads to subjectivity?

4.1.2.1. Career and social pressures

4.1.2.2. Incompetence

4.1.3. Historical evidence (HE)

4.1.3.1. Uncertainty

4.1.3.1.1. HE is fragmentary, intractable, imperfect

4.1.4. In knowledge production, steadily agreed knowledge becomes shared knowledge

4.2. Roles of Historian

4.2.1. Chronicler

4.2.2. Researcher

4.2.3. Analyst

4.2.4. Interpreter

4.2.5. Narrator

4.3. Periodization

4.3.1. Used as an analytical tool

4.3.2. Some periods and eras are relevant only for particular continents or countries.

4.3.3. Some periods and eras are relevant for a particular type of history (eg. economical history, social history, political history)

4.4. Sources

4.4.1. Primary sources

4.4.1.1. Advantages

4.4.1.1.1. "Raw materials"; sources that existed in a period/era

4.4.1.1.2. Contact with thinking and language of past generations

4.4.1.1.3. Good to use for original contribution to historical knowledge

4.4.1.2. Limits

4.4.1.2.1. Copious, scarce, fragmentary in some areas

4.4.2. Secondary sources

4.4.2.1. Advantages

4.4.2.1.1. Fast way to learn about things during a particular period/era

4.4.2.2. Limits

4.4.2.2.1. Gaps in knowledge

4.4.2.2.2. Problems unsolved

4.4.2.2.3. Suspect explainations

4.5. Production of historical knowledge

4.5.1. Information garnered indirectly and by inference

4.5.2. Multiple resources used; seek for corroboration, qualification, correction

4.5.3. Accumulation of details, refining nuances

4.5.4. Understanding of the value of an object to history

5. Historical Development - Shahmeer

5.1. What language do historians aim for and why?

5.1.1. Clear and effective communication

5.1.1.1. Historians, should convey their findings as clearly and explicitly as possible.

5.1.1.2. No ambiguity

5.1.2. An exact, uncluttered style is essential to historical communication.

5.1.3. Well structured

5.1.4. Written in precise and explicit language.

5.2. What is the role of metaphors in the production and acquisition of knowledge in History?

5.2.1. Metaphors should be used very carefully. Sometimes it can aid in communication but other times it's just very confusing.

6. Personal Knowledge - Shahmeer

6.1. What role does individual and national memory play in our understanding of historical events?

6.1.1. The individual

6.1.1.1. As viewed by the public

6.1.1.1.1. Not as important

6.1.1.1.2. Heavily biased and opionated

6.1.1.1.3. Neglected

6.1.1.2. In reality, an individuals recount of historic details can infect be even more useful to the nation than one may believe.

6.1.2. The nation

6.1.2.1. Some say the nations is very biased

6.1.2.1.1. The government usually doesn't

6.1.2.2. Can sometimes portray the nation in a positive or negative light by neglecting any positive memories or negative memories

6.2. What is the power of shared knowledge when it comes to one's perception of history (non-experts)?

6.2.1. Shared knowledge makes history more accurate and reliable

6.2.2. As apposed to personal knowledge, shared knowledge can help give one the bigger picture of a historic event

6.2.3. The individual

6.2.3.1. Shared knowledge helps fill in the gaps that one will find with just personal knowledge.

6.2.3.2. Without an indivdual, bits and pieces go missing from historic events.

6.2.3.3. It is the collective memory of many individuals that makes the shared knowledge so reliable and accurate.