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Historiography - a craft like the art of mosaic: What historians do and why they disagree
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. (Idéhistoria)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2264-1322
2022 (English)In: Kulturella perspektiv - Svensk etnologisk tidskrift, ISSN 1102-7908, Vol. 31, p. 1-7Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explains differences between historiographical accounts by comparing the working process of contemporary historians to the art of mosaic. The metaphor is cast in a postmodern – particularly constructivist – light. The nature of historians’ object of study (historical reality), of source materials, and of historians’ aim to create meaning are considered essential factors in leading to differentiation in historiography. Six elements are distinguished in the mosaic metaphor: (1) the raw materials, (2) the mosaic tiles, (3) the glue which holds these tiles together and bridges the spaces between them, (4) the flow and direction of tiles as they are arranged, (5) larger constellations into which tiles are organised, and (6) the mosaic. The former three help explain the process of interpreting sources through the creation of inferences, or the process of contextualization. The latter three explore associative creative reasoning, individuality, and the link between them as inducing historiographical differentiation.

Abstract [sv]

Genom att likna den samtida historikerns arbete med läggandet av en mosaik diskuterar denna artikel uppkomsten av skilda historiska berättelser. Mosaikmetaforen utgår från en postmodern – särskilt konstruktivistisk – synvinkel. Artikeln lyfter fram tre betydelsefulla faktorer som leder till skillnader i historieskrivningen; växelspelet mellan historikerns studieobjekt (historisk verklighet), tillgängligt källmaterial och historikerns strävan att skapa mening. Sex delar urskiljs i mosaikmetaforen: (1) råvarorna, (2) mosaikplattorna, (3) fogmassan som håller samman plattorna och fyller ut utrymmena mellan dem, (4) ordnandet av plattornas förhållande och riktning, (5) större konstellationer som plattorna är organiserade i, och (6) mosaiken som helhet. De tre förstnämnda hjälper till att förklara processen att tolka källor genom skapandet av slutledningar och sammanhang. De tre sistnämnda utforskar associativt skapande resonemang, särprägel och kopplingen mellan dem som ger upphov till skilda historiska berättelser.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Föreningen Kulturella Perspektiv , 2022. Vol. 31, p. 1-7
Keywords [en]
historiography, differentiation, contextualization, associative reasoning, mosaic
Keywords [sv]
historiografi, differentiering, kontextualisering, associativa resonemang, mosaik
National Category
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-203339DOI: 10.54807/kp.v31.2476OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-203339DiVA, id: diva2:1728624
Funder
Umeå UniversityAvailable from: 2023-01-18 Created: 2023-01-18 Last updated: 2023-01-18Bibliographically approved

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Hochstrasser, Tabea

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