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History's BabelScholarship, Professionalization, and the Historical Enterprise in the United States, 1880 - 1940$
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Robert B. Townsend

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226923925

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226923949.001.0001

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Seeking Refuge in Professionalized Scholarship

Seeking Refuge in Professionalized Scholarship

(p.76) (p.77) Chapter Four Seeking Refuge in Professionalized Scholarship
History's Babel

Robert B. Townsend

University of Chicago Press

By 1910 it became clear to leaders of the historical enterprise that it was difficult to view history as a unified discipline. This was due to broad arguments for a “New History” and the growing numbers of graduate-trained, employed historians interested in esoteric subjects. Historians then began to consider a more abstract collective notion of historical scholarship. The American Historical Association (AHA) was increasingly seen by academic historians as a professional association for the discipline, not only to police transgressions but also to encourage greater research activity. During the AHA’s 1910 meeting, Frederick Jackson Turner and James Harvey Robinson both articulated the New History idea and strongly challenged a discipline still largely oriented to producing political histories derived from official documents. The proliferation of publishing outlets led to a rapid growth in the publication of dissertations and other scholarly monographs on history, which proved to be a boon to the history scholarship.

Keywords:   historical enterprise, history, New History, historical scholarship, profession, American Historical Association, Frederick Jackson Turner, James Harvey Robinson, publishing, dissertations

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