The Professionalization of History in English Canada

By Donald A. Wright

© 2005

The study of history in Canada has a history of its own, and its development as an academic discipline is a multifaceted one. The Professionalization of History in English Canada charts the transition of the study of history from a leisurely pastime to that of a full-blown academic career for university-trained scholars - from the mid-nineteenth to the late twentieth century.

Donald Wright argues that professionalization was not, in fact, a benign process, nor was it inevitable. It was deliberate. Within two generations, historians saw the creation of a professional association - the Canadian Historical Association - and rise of an academic journal - the Canadian Historical Review. Professionalization was also gendered. In an effort to raise the status of the profession and protect the academic labour market for men, male historians made a concerted effort to exclude women from the academy.

History's professionalization is best understood as a transition from one way of organizing intellectual life to another. What came before professionalization was not necessarily inferior, but rather, a different perspective of history. As well, Wright argues convincingly that professionalization inadvertently led to a popular inverse: the amateur historian, whose work is often more widely received and appreciated by the general public.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 280 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP000829

  • PUBLISHED MAY 2015

    From: $28.01

    Regular Price: $32.95

    ISBN 9781442629295
  • PUBLISHED AUG 2005

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    Regular Price: $67.00

    ISBN 9780802039286
  • PUBLISHED MAY 2015

    From: $28.01

    Regular Price: $32.95

Quick Overview

Wright argues convincingly that professionalization inadvertently led to a popular inverse: the amateur historian, whose work is often more widely received and appreciated by the general public.

The Professionalization of History in English Canada

By Donald A. Wright

© 2005

The study of history in Canada has a history of its own, and its development as an academic discipline is a multifaceted one. The Professionalization of History in English Canada charts the transition of the study of history from a leisurely pastime to that of a full-blown academic career for university-trained scholars - from the mid-nineteenth to the late twentieth century.

Donald Wright argues that professionalization was not, in fact, a benign process, nor was it inevitable. It was deliberate. Within two generations, historians saw the creation of a professional association - the Canadian Historical Association - and rise of an academic journal - the Canadian Historical Review. Professionalization was also gendered. In an effort to raise the status of the profession and protect the academic labour market for men, male historians made a concerted effort to exclude women from the academy.

History's professionalization is best understood as a transition from one way of organizing intellectual life to another. What came before professionalization was not necessarily inferior, but rather, a different perspective of history. As well, Wright argues convincingly that professionalization inadvertently led to a popular inverse: the amateur historian, whose work is often more widely received and appreciated by the general public.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 280 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
  • Author Information

    Donald Wright is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of New Brunswick

  • Table of contents

    acknowledgments
    Introduction
    1 History as avocation
    2 From avocation to vocation: the beginnings
    3 'The post-1918 generation': professionalization continued
    4 'Mr. Newman, manifestly, is not a historian': the amateurization of history
    5 The importance of being sexist: the masculinization of history
    6 Protecting scholarly independence: a professional imperative
    7 'History cannot be too much professionalized':professionalization reconsidered
    Conclusion
    notes
    bibliography
    index

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