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THE NATURE OF HISTORY:

I would like to offer for your consideration a potentially disturbing thought that might, in fact, be a valid way to look at history.
Here it is: History has no subject matter of its own. History derives its content from other disciplines, especially from the
social sciences.
History is a verb, not a noun.
Historians, then, are the generalizers, the synthesizers. They look at an event or series of events and try to bring relevant
knowledge from all fields to bear on understanding the situation. Viewed in this light, history is a verb, not a noun - an
approach rather than a subject. This approach is sometimes termed the "historical method," which - as I understand it generally involves trying to identify all relevant information about an historical development, critically examining sources for
validity and bias, then selecting and organizing this information into a well-constructed narrative that sheds some light on
human experience.
Knowledge of the past is incomplete
To better understand the nature of history we shall have to take a closer look at the historical method and particularly at its
shortcomings. The method begins with an attempt to identify all relevant information about an historical episode. Because
the historian cannot study the past directly, he must rely on available evidence. And here we must make a distinction
between actual history and known history. Actual history is everything that actually occurred at the time and place of the
historical event under study, while known history is merely the scanty evidence left behind.
The known past is infinitely smaller than the actual past.
People die taking their memories with them. Few human artifacts survive the centuries. We have little or no evidence from
many historical periods. Therefore, the known past is infinitely smaller than the actual past. Consider the difficulty of
accurately understanding any important contemporary issue, and think how much more difficult it is to piece together a valid
picture of a situation from the past. The difficulty becomes magnified as we move farther back in time. Thus, the historian
can illuminate only fragments of the past, not the past itself.
Our view of the past keeps changing
History is not static; our views of history are constantly changing as new discoveries are made that cast doubt on previous
knowledge. Before 1900 the Trojan War was considered entirely a myth; Machu Picchu and China's terra cotta army were
unknown. New interpretations of historical events frequently come along to challenge older views. Was Winston Churchill the
grand statesman of his age or, as has more recently been suggested, a less admirable figure? Such newer, alternative
explanations are termed revisionist history. Even a popular film can do much to change public awareness and attitudes
about the historical past.
History is subjective
Evidence about the past can include remains such as bones, architectural ruins, pottery shards and art works or written
accounts including government records, diaries, histories and insights gleaned from the various academic disciplines, which
themselves rely heavily on historical evidence. Artifacts are mute and require human interpretation. Written accounts reflect
the point-of-view and the biases of the author. In both cases, the evidence reflects perceptions of the past, not the reality of
the past.
Absolute truth is a rare commodity.
History is a search for truth
While some philosophers might argue that history is too subjective to be of much value, it should be remembered that
history did happen, and without it we would be largely ignorant of the workings of the world and of the human animal.
Absolute truth is a rare commodity; it is no less available from history than from other academic fields. Even "truths" revealed
by that most empirical of disciplines, science, often turn out to be wrong when viewed from the perspective of newer
discoveries.

HISTORY AND OTHER DISCIPLINES:


No discipline is an island. In the past hundred years or so, the ways that we study,
write, and teach history have changed dramatically, often because of influence
from other disciplines. In the interwar period, the encounter of a few French
historians with geographers, among others, gave rise to what became the
Annales school. Since then, social history has existed in close dialogue with
economics, demography, and anthropology. Intellectual history has long had ties
with political theory and philosophy, and political history with political science. In
the 1980s, literary theory, cultural anthropology, and psychoanalysis nourished
the new cultural history. Ecology served as an inspiration for environmental
history. Some world historians today seek the aid of neuroscience, genetics, and
archeology to recast the millennial history of the human species. And the list
could go on. Meanwhile, computer science and new technologies continue to
transform our modes of collecting, reading, and interpreting material and textual
data.
The interaction between history and other disciplines, in short, has been the
source of fruitful innovation and is now a routine feature of our profession. But
perils and pitfalls always lurk. Infatuations with other disciplines have at times
produced short-lived historiographical fashions. According to some critics,
challenges from other disciplines have foisted inappropriate standards and
methods on historians, undermining our epistemological certainties or
encouraging us to generalize too boldly. Still other critics have accused historians
of a quiet disciplinary imperialism: a tendency to adopt alternative methods in a
simplified form that tames those methods' most provocative assumptions.
Different issues arise when public historians grapple with narratives that
necessarily rely on engagements with other disciplines but aim at wider publics,
as in accounts of environmental changes or scientific innovation. Where does
history stand today in its relationship with other disciplines-whether humanistic,
social scientific, or scientific?
We invite participants to share their experiences of encounters with other
disciplines: how these encounters affected their teaching, research, writing, and
public interpretive work, and how they reshaped their fields over time. We
encourage panels that explore some substantive historical terrain or topic
situated at the intersection of history and another discipline, as well as panels
that bring historians into conversation with colleagues from other disciplines in
order to reflect on the pleasures and frustrations of cross-disciplinary
collaboration. We welcome proposals that revisit the history of the disciplines
themselves, including history, but also other humanistic and social scientific
disciplines. We envision as fitting under this broad umbrella discussions of the
institutional frameworks-whether on campus, among external funding institutions,
or in our society at large-that foster and constrain exchanges between history and
the other disciplines.

Cagayan State University Hymn

Sing with voices loud and clear


To our beloved CSU
Let her fame and name revere
Throughout the whole of Region 02
A trilogy of mission to fulfill
Instruction, Research, Extension
In the minds of the youth
You instill the life of work and education.
A university system so unique
By its very set up in the nation
By introducing new techniques
To improve and develop the region.
Let us then rally to this song of cheer
To praise beloved CSU
Let it echo throughout the years
Long live beloved CSU