Michael McDonnell, The History of History Writing

In this Ben Franklin’s World podcast, host Liz Covart speaks with historian Michael McDonnell of the University of Sydney on historiography and how historians use it in their work, as well as why it’s important for us students to understand it.

Here’s what we’ll learn:

What You’ll Discover

  • Charles-Michel Mouet de Langlade
  • Langlade’s Native American family and his dependence upon them
  • Anishinaabeg peoples and how they lived during the 17th & 18th centuries
  • Similarities and differences between Anishinaabeg & Haudenosaunee peoples
  • Why the Anishanaabeg have been at the “edges” of European and American histories
  • Historiography and how historians use it when they research and write
  • The trend to place the voices of peoples within the historiography who have not traditionally had a voice of their own
  • How the present influences the creation and evolution of historiography
  • How historians engage with the history of history writing
  • The historiographical debate around Gordon Wood’s Radicalism of the American Revolution
  • How having a historiography that seeks to understand Native American history on its own terms helps us better understand the early American past

You can access the podcast at its website, along with the links mentioned in the podcast, here.


One comment

  1. Jimmy Dick · · Reply

    I love historiography. This is the subject that really separates historians. I tell graduate students that if they cannot master this subject, they will not be capable of being effective historians. I’ve seen quite a few students change their minds about their careers as the result of taking a historiography course. They just cannot wrap their minds around the concept of historiography.

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