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Works cited What is historiography? In a nutshell, historiography is the history of history. Rather than subjecting actual events - say, the Rape of Nanking - to historical analysis, the subject of historiography is the history of the history of the event: A historiographic essay thus asks you to explore several sometimes contradictory sources on one event.
An annotated bibliography might come in handy as you attempt to locate such sources; you should also consult the footnotes and bibliographies of any text you read on a certain event, as they will lead you to other texts on the same event; if your research is web-based, follow links - always bearing in mind the pitfalls of the Internet - and if you are researching in the library, check out the books on nearby shelves: For an example of an essay on multiple perspectives on the same event for our purposes, the Rape of Nanking, an event also examined in the context of Book Reviewsclick here.
The purpose of an historiographic essay is threefold: Specific skills honed by such an exercise include your ability to discern bias or prejudice and to evaluate contradictory data and claims. As you will have to quote from your sources in order to make your point, you will also have to display basic quoting skills.
The very nature of an essay on multiple Historiographical essay holocaust also requires a Works Cited page, of course, on which, see Bibliography.
As you do so, ask and answer why you think the authors of your various sources disagree.
Is their disagreement a product of personal or professional rivalry, ideological incompatibility, national affiliation? These questions go to the heart of historiography. In your conclusionfinally, you will briefly summarize your findings and, more importantly, assess the credibility of your various sources, and specify which one s you find to be most compelling, and why.
In final conclusion you might articulate in brief the insights you have gained into the event or issue at stake, the sources you have used, and the nature of history itself.
A sample historiographic essay Let us assume that the subject of your historiographic essay is the Rape of Nanking, an event discussed in some detail in the Book Reviews section. There, we examine the event as it is described and analyzed by Iris Chang in her bestselling book The Rape of Nanking.
To this we now add several other sources, all of which are listed in the Works Cited section at the end of this pageand cited in the text immediately following, which exemplifies, in brief, some of the basic strategies of a historiographic essay.
The so-called Rape of Nanking ofa six-week massacre of Chinese civilians in the city of Nanking perpetrated by the invading Japanese army, was presented to a largely uninitiated American mass audience by Iris Chang in her best-selling book The Rape of Nanking: The response from a number of Japanese scholars was overwhelmingly negative.
They denied her account of a post-war Japanese "cover up," yet at the same time also, to varying degrees, denied that the event had even occurred. The fact that Chinese communist party records make no mention of the event, for example, is hardly surprising, as the Chinese communists were at this time in disarray, operating largely underground in the Nanking area.
Not until did the communists begin their rule over China and begin keeping official records: In the same year that France and Britain stood by as Nazi Germany re-militarized the Rhineland in violation of the Treaty of Versailles; and that the United States and the League of Nation stood by as Franco and Mussolini continued in their campaigns against the rightful governments of Spain and Ethiopia, why would we expect the United States or the League of Nations to have registered any protest over events halfway around the world?
Other arguments by Masaaki are more compelling. In fact, several hundred photographs have been published in one volume - The Rape of Nanking: An Undeniable History in Photographs, by Shi Young and James Yin, many of them showing female rape victims with legs spread and genitalia exposed - graphic photographs it is hard to conceive of as staged.
Such pictures, while not settling the matter beyond dispute, offer powerful testimony that speaks for itself.
This number is absolutely not trustworthy," they conclude, citing instead the number of only official complaints of rape actually registered during this period Of course, they are parsing numbers here.
The fact is, whether there were three hundred rapes, thirty thousand, more, or less, rape perpetrated by an occupying force against a civilian population and that such was the case is amply documented in Chang and virtually all extant sources on Nanking, including the Japanese sources, although they, of course, acknowledge only is a crime of war.
But that it is an individual crime of war, rather than a collective, government-sponsored crime against humanity such as the Holocaust is precisely the point for the Japanese historians: Those acts of crimes [were] the responsibility of each individual soldier" Following this line of reasoning, the Japanese government is absolved of any blame for the rapes that did occur in Nanking, the exact number of which remains unknown.
On this issue, see Evaluating Contradictory Data and Claims. More trenchant criticism of Chang than that offered by Japanese historians comes from the American academy.
Robert Entenmann, for example, a China expert and senior faculty member in the History department at St. Olaf College, faults Chang on the very premise of her book.
As the granddaughter of former Nanking residents who barely escaped the city, she is guilty, he writes, of having fallen victim to "her own ethnic prejudice. Her explanations are, to a large extent, based on unexamined [anti-Japanese] ethnic stereotypes.
In an effort to place the Rape of Nanking into historical context, for example, she states that "[u]sing numbers killed alone" it "surpasses much of the worst barbarism of the ages.
Indeed, it is precisely the sort of parsing of numbers for which Chang herself would most likely challenge the above-mentioned Japanese historians in their effort to deny the extent to which rape occurred at Nanking.6.
Local Collaboration in the Holocaust in Eastern Europe Martin Dean 7. Big Business and the Third Reich: An Appraisal of the Historical Arguments Christopher Kobrak and Andrea H. Schneider 8. The Decision-Making Process Christopher R.
Historiography and the Perpetrators of the Holocaust Jürgen Matthäus The Holocaust and the Modernization of Gender: A Historiographical Essay - Volume 30 Issue 3 - Ann Taylor Allen.
Central European history, Holocaust Studies, History of Historiography, Historical Studies Der Holocaust und die westdeutschen Historiker.
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