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Academic Guidance Academic Guidance - Academic guidance for those pursuing a college degree... what college? Grad school? PhD help?


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Old August 31st, 2016, 05:57 AM   #11
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Find a good narrative history on the English Colonies in America.
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Old August 31st, 2016, 06:00 AM   #12

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Originally Posted by Pacific_Victory View Post
This was something which really concerned me when I first started studying history. I realized early on that I wouldn't be a Herodotus or a Gibbon, and that bothered me for a while.

Where I found joy in history was in finding ways to sink into the past. I don't worry so much now about whether something has been covered in depth or not - I simply do the best I can to live there for a while in my mind. For me, it's kind of like traveling, except the destinations are much more exotic than any modern ones and it saves a lot on airfare.


I like to be able to time travel and talk to ghosts too.


With regards to the OP, learn an ancient language. There's still mountains of work to be translated & within those works may be more Herodotus, Euripides or Sappho. No-one's been able to translate anything from Knossos to this day.
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Old August 31st, 2016, 06:05 AM   #13

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Everything might have been studied but do you really think that all the answers are correct? You can definetely have your own thesis. So there are still many huge questions that are worth studying. As you seem to be interested in Turkish history, one of those questions would be who the early Ottomans were, the other would be how the Ottoman sultanate was established. Or you can take any other beyliks in Anatolia.

An Ottoman Jew, Sabbatai Zevi and his life is also a very good topic to study.
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Old August 31st, 2016, 06:14 AM   #14

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OP, I see you've clarified your original post. If you want to be a historian, there is another path, though it still involves a thorough study and understanding of the larger field. You live in Turkey, during a time when history is being made daily.

1. Collect primary documents from as large a number of informants as possible. Preserve, protect and organize the primary documents so that scholars in generations to come will find your archive a useful resource.

2. Write as comprehensive a report of what you personally see, experience, and think each day living in a place/time that tends to be chaotic. Future scholars need all the help they can get in making sense of your time and experience.

3. Take, organize and annotate photographs taken widely across your community. Photograph kitchens, schools, hospitals, police and store fronts. Document everything in as great a detail as you are capable of.

4. You Archive should contain examples of government publications and statistics. Even if the documents are mostly propaganda meant to deceive and motivate, they will provide additional data points for later study.

5. Take a class in the discipline of writing history.

I wish I could tell you that your Archive will one day form an important source for the study of events in the region during the early 21st century. I can not, because unfortunately most such archives are lost to time, and others are so flawed that they can't be relied upon. All ye can do, is to do your best. To become a historian focused on archiving current history, it helps to have a degree, but a degree isn't completely necessary. Objectivity, open mindedness, and collecting materials in an obsessive manner, can still be useful ... whatever your livelihood might become.
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Old August 31st, 2016, 06:20 AM   #15

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Originally Posted by Turklander View Post
Thank you for your life coach-like support and motivation Gile na Gile, but can you be more spesific and plain about what should to do, as a person (I'm assuming) who is familiar to the historian community?
I think Gile means there are plenty of opportunities to revise the received historical wisdom we are blessed with. For example take the history of your own country, could not the evidence from any era be looked at with a fresh pair of eyes and different conclusions reached as to the validity of your historians' entrenched findings?

I agree that new fields for the study of history are limited, but re-interpretation of primary sources often throw up surprise conclusions which challenge whole theories. For example fairly recent research on the English households in the seventeenth and eighteenth century shattered the long held view that they took the form of the extended family.

Apologies Gile for butting in.
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Old August 31st, 2016, 06:29 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Asherman View Post
OP, I see you've clarified your original post. If you want to be a historian, there is another path, though it still involves a thorough study and understanding of the larger field. You live in Turkey, during a time when history is being made daily.

1. Collect primary documents from as large a number of informants as possible. Preserve, protect and organize the primary documents so that scholars in generations to come will find your archive a useful resource.

2. Write as comprehensive a report of what you personally see, experience, and think each day living in a place/time that tends to be chaotic. Future scholars need all the help they can get in making sense of your time and experience.

3. Take, organize and annotate photographs taken widely across your community. Photograph kitchens, schools, hospitals, police and store fronts. Document everything in as great a detail as you are capable of.

4. You Archive should contain examples of government publications and statistics. Even if the documents are mostly propaganda meant to deceive and motivate, they will provide additional data points for later study.

5. Take a class in the discipline of writing history.

I wish I could tell you that your Archive will one day form an important source for the study of events in the region during the early 21st century. I can not, because unfortunately most such archives are lost to time, and others are so flawed that they can't be relied upon. All ye can do, is to do your best. To become a historian focused on archiving current history, it helps to have a degree, but a degree isn't completely necessary. Objectivity, open mindedness, and collecting materials in an obsessive manner, can still be useful ... whatever your livelihood might become.
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Originally Posted by Asherman View Post
When a person is young, there is a "first time" for everything. Can your remember figuring out why people blinked, or the first time you tasted ice cream? We anticipated going to school with the big kids, and dutifully learned our ABCs. The first time you went to the sea shore with all its sand and screaming gulls, and the waves just keep rolling in, endlessly. Touched fire and felt pain. None of these things, or thousands of other examples like them, had been seen and/or felt before by almost every human who ever lived. However for us individually, each new experience was a personal discovery.

History is immense, and it is flat out impossible for anyone to fully apprehend. Probably the OP grew, attended a Western School where History was taught, and now believes that he/she must choose an Academic discipline that will lead to a long career.

OP:

1. Even if you've had units covering human history around the world, you haven't scratched the surface. High School history is notorious for its failings, and given the short study period, only a very sparse outline is provided, even for something as familiar as history of the U.S. You should recognize that your knowledge is, and probably always will be very limited and full of huge gaps. Terra Incognito.

2. The goal of studying History is not to make some stunning discovery that has completely escaped notice of many generations of scholars, but to fill in the blanks of your own ignorance. Some travel to see what lies on the other side of the mountain, knowing already the names of those towns and their weird inhabitants. Historians study for the same reasons. I may think to myself, what a mind I have and an understanding of event "A". The amateur may be satisfied enough to toss the book on a table and to out for a party. A historian will read through the night discovering new stuff on a regular basis. While in school, study generally generates good grades, and that is an ego booster for historians, as profits are to entrepreneurs. After a long life devoted to the study of perhaps a single event that took a day out of all history, we will still find new things to discover in the writings of our colleagues, and don't we wish we had gotten into print earlier.

3. Not everyone is fit to be a scholar, and if you want to live a life of luxury and comfort, you might want to think of something else as a career. Learn to install and fix air-conditioners, or busted pipes. Study the Law, Mathematics or Medicine if those fields are your passion, and a professional career might work for you. Start your own business, or be a bum. We live in a broad world where opportunities are everywhere, even when success is not. Take up something useful for the world, your community, and yourself, and you can hardly go wrong ... even in failure. Success and Failure are not zero-sum games, and to success does not mean that you won't fail tomorrow. Academic Life from the outside seems wonderful. Time filled with reading new stuff, conversing with people like ourselves, and teaching the young. Actually, its a tough life that pays far below what I now pay my groundsman. You spend heavily to get the Doctorate, and then years of scholastic slavery hoping for tenure, some relief and Graduate Assistants to do the dirty work. Try spending a few months in front of an old Microfilm projector going through several decades of a newpaper out of print for a hundred years looking for the proverbial needle. Its how one learns to do research.

4. In seeing History as "Pretty much everything has been studied and written by others". You have drawn a premature conclusion, and now interpret the field through tinted glasses. Anything you might learn in careful study will be regarded as an "unimportant" detail. It might, or might not be, and we can't know one way or the other until we know everything. We can't know everything, and so by adopting a POV that is exclusionary, we show our current unfitness for the discipline. If you want to study History, you must keep an open mind, an aloof objectivity always awaiting, seeking further clarity.

5. Given a zillion dollars, a beautiful actress who gives up fame to run her delicate fingers through your hair, a new sports car every six months, a mansion in every nation ready for your occasional visit, and instant access to the President of the United States ... how would you spend your time? Are you a Hedonist, an Epicure, or a Stoic? Do you regard humanity as basically selfish and evil, or basically good and virtuous? What do you believe is the point of your personal existence? Can Mankind ever fully escape his past, or are we going to be driven by those motives and urges that have existed for maybe a million years? What is good and bad, but a relative valuation, or is there some universal standard(s) of the duality? How can you begin to think, without a solid understanding and knowledge base of all those generations leading up to this fleeting moment in time.

6. If you decide to join those who have a passionate relationship with our common past, then welcome. If you have another, a more important star to guide you, then pop a message into a bottle once in awhile for those of us marooned in our libraries. Hope to see you here a lot, and to follow your career in History.
I'll take your advices seriously. For now, thank you for your guidance and best wishes. Ser...
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Old August 31st, 2016, 06:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE TURK View Post
Everything might have been studied but do you really think that all the answers are correct? You can definetely have your own thesis. So there are still many huge questions that are worth studying. As you seem to be interested in Turkish history, one of those questions would be who the early Ottomans were, the other would be how the Ottoman sultanate was established. Or you can take any other beyliks in Anatolia.

An Ottoman Jew, Sabbatai Zevi and his life is also a very good topic to study.
Yeah, maybe. What are you working on for instance?
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Old August 31st, 2016, 06:43 AM   #18

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I am studying the possibility of the early Ottomans, including Osman himself being Muslim Byzantines - probably one of the most ground breaking hypothesis on traditional Turkish history writings.
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Old August 31st, 2016, 06:48 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl_of_Rochester View Post
I like to be able to time travel and talk to ghosts too.


With regards to the OP, learn an ancient language. There's still mountains of work to be translated & within those works may be more Herodotus, Euripides or Sappho. No-one's been able to translate anything from Knossos to this day.
I know sounds like a good idea, but as you might guess it's not that easy and the wish of many historians. But of course, it's on my to do list too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Von Ranke View Post
I think Gile means there are plenty of opportunities to revise the received historical wisdom we are blessed with. For example take the history of your own country, could not the evidence from any era be looked at with a fresh pair of eyes and different conclusions reached as to the validity of your historians' entrenched findings?

I agree that new fields for the study of history are limited, but re-interpretation of primary sources often throw up surprise conclusions which challenge whole theories. For example fairly recent research on the English households in the seventeenth and eighteenth century shattered the long held view that they took the form of the extended family.

Apologies Gile for butting in.
I'm not really in favor of "interpreting" subjects that have been interpreted by others countless of times. I really don't understand the meaning of "interperting" a historical subject. I mean how many times you can interpret a something?
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Old August 31st, 2016, 06:55 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by THE TURK View Post
I am studying the possibility of the early Ottomans, including Osman himself being Muslim Byzantines - probably one of the most ground breaking hypothesis on traditional Turkish history writings.
Is it about the theory of Ottomans being the continuum of Byzantine? If it is, I'd like to see you convinced the world about that. You know how controversial it is.
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