Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Insight

"In history we marry argument to narrative."
~Professor Katy Barber

A good gem today from the prof. who is teaching this term's Pacific Northwest history course. What it means is that in addition to a chronological narrative of events that happened, historians provide an interpretation of why they happened.

Generally the events that we seek to explain fall under two categories: Prosaic ones that illuminate the everyday condition or mentality of a group, or events with long-duration significance that drive historical change. In the case of the latter we still often discuss mundane events in order to give context to such events.

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