Historiography refers either to the study of the methodology and development of "history" (as a discipline), or to a body of historical work on a specialized topic. Scholars discuss historiography topically – such as the "historiography of Catholicism", the "historiography of early Islam", or the "historiography of China" – as well as specific approaches and genres, such as political history and social history. Beginning in the nineteenth century, with the ascent of academic history, a corpus of historiographic literature developed.
The research interests of historians change over time, and in recent decades there has been a shift away from traditional diplomatic, economic and political history toward newer approaches, especially social and cultural studies. From 1975 to 1995, the proportion of professors of history in American universities identifying with social history rose from 31% to 41%, while the proportion of political historians fell from 40% to 30%. In the history departments of British universities in 2007, of the 5,723 faculty members, 1,644 (29%) identified themselves with social history while political history came next with 1,425 (25%).
In the early modern period, the term historiography tended to be used in a more basic sense, to mean simply "the writing of history". Historiographer therefore meant "historian", and it is in this sense that certain official historians were given the title "Historiographer Royal", in Sweden (from 1618), England (from 1660), and Scotland (from 1681). The Scottish post is still in existence.
Famous quotes containing the words social history, political, history and/or social:
“Social history might be defined negatively as the history of a people with the politics left out.”
—G.M. (George Macaulay)
“The short lesson that comes out of long experience in political agitation is something like this: all the motive power in all of these movements is the instinct of religious feeling. All the obstruction comes from attempting to rely on anything else. Conciliation is the enemy.”
—John Jay Chapman (18621933)
“If man is reduced to being nothing but a character in history, he has no other choice but to subside into the sound and fury of a completely irrational history or to endow history with the form of human reason.”
—Albert Camus (19131960)
“Every man needs slaves like he needs clean air. To rule is to breathe, is it not? And even the most disenfranchised get to breathe. The lowest on the social scale have their spouses or their children.”
—Albert Camus (19131960)