Historiography

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Historiography is the study of the history and methodology of the discipline of history.

The term historiography also denotes 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, at the ascent of academic history, a corpus of historiography 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%.[1] In the history departments of British universities in 2007, of the 5723 faculty members, 1644 (29%) identified themselves with social history while political history came next with 1425 (25%).[2]

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