Manual Becoming Historians

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The book Becoming Historians, Edited by James M. Banner, Jr. and John R. Gillis is published by University of Chicago Press.
Table of contents

Hines disputes the theory that the decline in history majors is a relatively recent phenomenon.

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He says ever since the U. Judging by the ACTA survey, the sooner students acquire those skills through a well-rounded education, the better.

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March 5, David Hubler. Start a history degree at American Public University. By David E. Some Programs Lose their Identity and Often Lose Vital Funding Not only do some college history programs lose their identity by hiring specialists, they often lose vital funding while facing stiff competition for scarce dollars from programs that barely registered on campus a few short years ago.

Vanderbilt offers four reasons why this subject remains a popular major: It provides a classic mode of learning. By studying the past, undergraduate majors learn to think with rigor, write with clarity and analyze and interpret complex events. It is popular and interesting.

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It offers a boundless variety for selecting favorite topics and pursuing personal interests. Historical knowledge is important; historical ignorance is dangerous. Historical studies deal with real people and events, not abstractions. Leaders in American business, government and nonprofits want graduates who can read efficiently, write clearly, reason logically and analyze problems against a background of broad social information. The world economy increasingly will reward generalist skills of literacy and numeracy over training in particular job categories.

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In addition to updated information and an expanded bibliography of resource materials, this second edition includes new chapters on sessional jobs, postdoctoral fellowships, becoming a public historian, and pursuing a career outside the academy. Students in US programs contemplating a career in a Canadian university will find much practical information about the Canadian scene.

We encourage candidates in Canadian programs who intend to seek jobs in the United States to consult both this manual and the many publications available through the website of the American Historical Association AHA.

Becoming Historians, Banner, Jr., Gillis

In , Franca Iacovetta and Molly Ladd Taylor co-ordinated a collaborative project that produced the first Canadian version of the original AHA manual; they also edited the final product. Since then, the English-language paper edition of our manual sold out, and Melanie Gustafson incorporated some of our material in her revised AHA handbook.

We thank her again for her generosity in sharing with us her original manual. They solicited feedback and supporting materials from students and faculty at universities across the country, ran study sessions, carried out research, and together wrote most of the revised and new chapters. We owe a special thanks to Sabine Hikel for accepting our invitation to write a chapter on pursuing a non-academic career.

Lesson Index

We particularly thank Dominique for his excellent co-ordination and computer skills, Lisa for building www. Numerous colleagues took time out from their busy schedules to field questions, fill specific requests, and provide feedback on earlier drafts. We thank them for their generosity. We know that readers will benefit from their contributions. For several years, Jim Naylor has assigned Becoming a Historian to his upper level undergraduate students at Brandon University, and we thank him, and the students of his class, for sharing their responses to the manual. We kept their replies and insights in mind as we completed the new edition.

Where do historians work?

We owe a special debt to the many people who shared with us their personal anecdotes; in some cases, we explicitly incorporated their story or observation, in other cases, we used their personal experiences to inform our discussion particularly of the more sensitive issues raised in the manual. As editors, we accept responsibility for any errors. We also encourage readers who spot errors or out-of-date information to let us know about them: one of the benefits of an online version, of course, is that corrections can be more easily made. We have updated the original CHA manual in response to the changes in graduate student funding, the job market, scholarly publishing, and other academic practises across North America since For example, funding for PhD studies in Canada has improved significantly since we wrote the first version of the manual, and the internet has transformed our teaching, research, and publications.