A Questionnaire about History … without ends

study historyI have come up with a list of questionnaire style questions for my students to ponder upon. I will post some of my responses in the next few posts, but the important thing to keep in mind is develop your own opinions.


  1. What is History?
  2. What should be the role(s) of a historian?
  3. Do historian always represent the past in the image of the present?
  4. Hayden White once suggests that historians are ultimately doing nothing more than writing fictions based on traces of evidence from the past. Would you agree with that?
  5. How have approaches towards the presentation of history changed over time?
  6. Do you thin ancient historians face different set of challenges in comparison with modern historians?
  7. What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of these kind of ‘history’?
    1. Films
    2. Theatre and plays
    3. Documentary
    4. Historical fictions
    5. Games based on historical scenarios
    6. Biographies
    7. Autobiographies
    8. Annals
    9. Analytical histories
    10. Paintings
    11. Oral history
  8. What is meant by the ‘democratisation of history’? (Marnie-Hughes Warrington)
  9. Is the ‘noble dream’ ever possible?
  10. Do historians have ethical and social responsibilities?
  11. How are historians influenced by their backgrounds? Can this be a positive thing?
  12. Do academic historians have a more authoritative voice over the past than, say, non-academic historians?
  13. Why do historians see to disagree all the time?
  14. ‘History is like science.’ (J Bury)  What might Bury mean by this statement?  What do you think are the problems with this kind of approach to history?
  15. What makes a good historian?
  16. ‘The past is a foreign country.’  Explain this statement.  What ethical dilemma might this present to historians?

Leave a comment

Filed under Nature of History, Teaching of history

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s