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Eran Zelnik

The Use and Abuse of Intellectual History: Reflections of an Early Americanist (part, the last)

I remember once hearing from either one of my professors or from a fellow graduate student that for historians theory is like underwear: it is best to have it, but it is also best if it doesn’t show. Indeed, it would certainly seem that historians are averse to theory, or at least to discussing theory. We cherish contingency and historicism with too great a passion to allow patterns too central a role in our scholarship. The problem is that some form of theoretical premises always inform the way we approach scholarship. There are two questions then: are we aware of Read more