History (from Greekἱστορία, historia, meaning ‘inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation’) is the past as it is described in written documents, and the study thereof.
Events occurring before written records are considered prehistory. “History” is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Scholars who write about history are called historians.
History also includes the academic discipline which uses a narrative to examine and analyse a sequence of past events, and objectively determine the patterns of cause and effect that determine them. Historians sometimes debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing “perspective” on the problems of the present.
Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the tales surrounding King Arthur), are usually classified as cultural heritage or legends, because they do not show the “disinterested investigation” required of the discipline of history. Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is often considered within the Western tradition to be the “father of history”, or by some the “father of lies”, and, along with his contemporary Thucydides, helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history. Their works continue to be read today, and the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals, was known to be compiled from as early as 722 BC although only 2nd-century BC texts have survived.
Ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today. The modern study of history is wide-ranging, and includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematical elements of historical investigation. Often history is taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.
adding page while reading linda tuhiwai smith’s decolonizing methodologies:
what it feels like, to be present while your history is erased before your eyes, dismissed as irrelevant, ignored or rendered as the lunatic ravings of drunken old people..
what we need is a reset. at this point.. delving into history.. just perpetuates the system.. as we keep on proving.. over and over and over ..
literacy, as one ie, was used as a criterion for assessing the development of a society and its progress to a stage where history can be said to being.. their literacy (china, japan) did not count as a record of legit knowledge..
hegel usually regarded as the ‘founding father’ of history in the sense outline here.. hegel conceived of the fully human subject as someone capable of ‘creating his own history’.. .. as robert young argues, ‘the entire hegelian machinery simply lays down the operation of a system already in place, already operating in everyday life’.. many
predicated on a sense of otherness.. views that invite a comparison..
history was the story of people who were regarded as fully human.. others who were not regarded as human (that is, capable of self actualization) were prehistoric..
(was) a system of social ordering..
a further set of important ideas embedded int eh modernist view of history relates to the origins (causes) and nature of social change.. there was a general belief that not only could individuals remake themselves but so could societies.. history in this view began w the emergence of the rational individual and the modern industrialized society.. however, there is something more to this idea in terms of how history came to be conceptualized as a method. the connection to the industrial state is significant because it highlights what was regarded as being worthy of history.. the people and groups who ‘made ‘history were the people who developed the underpinnings of the state – the economists, scientists, bureaucrats and philosophers.. that they were all men of a certain class and race was ‘natural’ because they were regarded (naturally ) as fully rational, self actualizing human beings capable therefore of creating social change, that is history. the day to day lives of ‘ordinary’ people and of women did not become a concern of history until much more recently..