How do disciplinary practices of doing history relate to the way in which history is accessed by the people? Professional historians produce histories by examining archives, approaching historical sources in a methodologically sound fashion, and, increasingly, by drawing upon interdisciplinarity. Popular histories, on the other hand, operate in the realm of memory, orality and mythmaking. In understanding the significance of history to the present, no historian can dismiss the impact of popular histories.
This course will critically engage with the often-contentious relationship between history as a discipline and history as a source of national myths to alert students to the importance of critical histories to the future of the nation. It will draw attention to different ways of making sense of and representing the past that fall outside of, and often work against, the disciplinary ambit of history and the truth- claims of historians.