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Historiography

D. Questions and Tasks

1. Structured Questions (write full answers on paper).

1. Why is history so important to society?

2. Why is it simplistic to describe history as "what happened in the past"?

3. In what ways does historical evidence distort our view of the past?

4. In what ways do historians themselves distort our view of the past?

5. How could it be argued that this distortion is completely unavoidable?

6. How could it be argued that the impossibility of attaining "factual history" is actually a good thing?


Task 1

Produce a mindmap based on the information from this session. The three main branches should be:

A. Why is history so important to society?

B. How is History produced?

C. Is “Objective” History possible or even desirable?

Use colour and illustrations as appropriate.


Task 2

Complete the first two columns of this table using the statements provided, then come up with two more of your own to develop your understanding.

 

People in the Middle Ages were devoutly religious

Most Germans were not Nazis; they were merely brainwashed or terrorised into supporting Hitler

 

 

What evidence could we use to prove this point?

 

 

 

 

How might this evidence be regarded as untypical?

 

 

 

 

How might this evidence be regarded as untrustworthy?

 

 

 

 



Task 3

Complete this table.

 

Poetry / Novels

Films / Plays

Art / Architecture

Diaries / Memoirs

Strengths:

What can they tell us about past societies?

 

 

 

 

Weaknesses:

How might this evidence be regarded as untypical?

 

 

 

 

Weaknesses:

How might this evidence be regarded as untrustworthy?

 

 

 

 


Extension Task

▪ Research "Historiography" on the web and make further notes.

 

 

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1998-2021 Russel Tarr, ActiveHistory.co.uk Limited (Reg. 6111680)

High Park Lodge, Edstaston Wem, Shropshire, England, SY4 5RD. Telephone/Fax: 01939 233909

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