Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
4Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Terrell DG, The Problem of the Historiography of the Renaissance

Terrell DG, The Problem of the Historiography of the Renaissance

Ratings: (0)|Views: 146|Likes:
Published by David G Terrell
A short essay. The consideration of Renaissance historiography was daunting, at first. My knowledge of the broad corpus of Renaissance history is limited, but improving. As I began to read Denys Hay’s The Italian Renaissance in its Historical Background, I was grateful to find his exposition upon this subject—which now informs my own views, subject to future elucidation.
A short essay. The consideration of Renaissance historiography was daunting, at first. My knowledge of the broad corpus of Renaissance history is limited, but improving. As I began to read Denys Hay’s The Italian Renaissance in its Historical Background, I was grateful to find his exposition upon this subject—which now informs my own views, subject to future elucidation.

More info:

Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: David G Terrell on Nov 28, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOCX, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

06/06/2014

pdf

text

original

 
The problem of the historiography of the Renaissance
David G Terrell May 2010 The consideration of Renaissance historiography was daunting, at first. My knowledge of the broad corpus of Renaissance history is limited, but improving. As I began to read Denys
Hay’s
The Italian  Renaissance in its Historical Background 
, I was grateful to find his exposition upon this subject
 — 
which now informs my own views, subject to future elucidation.
Hay’s
 basic premise concerning the difficulty facing those who would wade into the general history of the Renaissance stemmed from the enormous body of detailed critical work already accomplished. He finds the effort necessary to obtain a fair knowledge of Renaissance history,
in toto
, is daunting in the extreme. From his observations, one concludes that digesting the massive body of literature deters all but the most  brilliant, short-sighted, or vain of historians from any attempt to survey it (Hay 1961, 5). Hay further asserts that, because of the great amount of material and the few historians having mastered the whole, there is little fully-informed discussion of Renaissance history in comprehensive, global terms. Historical discussions have therefore devolved away from general, holistic considerations and settled instead upon more narrow topics, more easily mastered by a single individual in a professional lifetime. Hay seems to imply the existence of four groupings of Renaissance history, and that one can frame the types of history orthogonally along the extremes of two axes. The first being historiography versus methodology and the second contrasting Rankean political, social and economic histories versus those that describe cultural development (Hay 1961, 5) (see fig. 1). Figure 1. Binary Modes of Renaissance History as Implied by Hay (1961). According to Hay, each of these four types of history seemed to ignore the other until the 1960s when he and others began to attempt a synthesis of the historical perspectives regarding the Renaissance (Hay 1961, 7). I believe the spark behind the change was the institutionalization of the
 Annales
 paradigm  between 1956 and 1968. I assert this as it was the Annales scholars who stepped away from traditional narrative political and cultural history in favor of more inclusive and analytical histories that involved the other human sciences, especially geography, sociology and anthropology
 — 
and have labeled as such in
 
2 Terrell DG, The problem of the historiography of the Renaissance the graphic model presented As I read more of the assigned reading, I was pleased to see Bouwsma make the same connections by reference to the Annales historian Fernand Braudel, who led the movement (Terrell 2009, 1) (Bouwsma 1979, 6-7). Recent historiographers like Laura Chandler have acknowledged this shift to a multi-disciplinary approach to Renaissance history. She describes the work of gender and feminist historians such as Scott, Roper, Kelly-Godal and Willen, who used anthropological tools in innovative ways; to examine early modern European history along the boundaries between public and private spheres and inform history the aspects of history hidden beneath the biases of the times (Chandler 1999, 15). Hay hints around the existence of a hidden history of the common folk. He does include the uneducated  but does not explicitly include women
 — 
 but he leaves a big loophole through which gender historians can
work. He does this by asserting that the innovations of the Renaissance were formed “in the castle rather than the cottage” and took centuries before they were dispersed to “simple men and women” (Hay
1961,
4). Hay’s fo
undation lets feminist historians like Chandler build their interpretations without breaking
Hay’s framework and he implicitly confirms her hypothesis concerning the history of early modern Europe, that it was written “from the male perspective” (Chandler
1999, 11). Since
Hay’s time
, there seem to have been more general histories of the Renaissance
 — 
and the literature has
continued its growth since Hay’s remarks
, fifty years ago. The problem of massive volume still daunts the historian who considers the idea of embracing its totality. At least, I am daunted
… and I’ll stop
now.
This week’s historiographical discussion pleasantly allowed me to “get my mind wrapped around” the evolution of our collective view of the period. As I’ve surveyed the literature and
 began enlarging my library, buying some of the more recent books recommended in the class bibliography I had not already  procured (8 or 9 in hand, so far), I have been very pleased to see the resurgence of narrative history.
I’ve been also fascinated by th
e diversity, or perhaps I should say, the subjectivities historians have used to construct their work. Perhaps this means I am becoming a connoisseur of history. Perhaps this means I am beginning to see that I am viewing the past through my contemporary point of view. Nevertheless, I am seeing just how the world of experience, especially those of people distant from us in time, is
valuable. To determine and describe the “thoughts and visions, moods and emotions and devotions of articulate people” is difficu
lt, especially as we are trying to rediscover and reshape both our historical framework (in the way we conceive of and write history) and the syllabus (wondering even if there was a renaissance) (Southern and Bartlett 2004, 100-102). But it sure is fun, David Terrell Herndon, Virginia

Activity (4)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
Kendra Kaufmann liked this
Ho Ping liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->