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Historians and Wikipedia February 1, 2008

Posted by Will Thomas in Uncategorized.
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Take a look at an entry on our neighboring Advances in the History of Psychology blog. It has to do with a dispute over whether an article on the history of psychology over at Wikipedia should feature a large section on medieval Arabic psychology. Clearly discussing medieval Arabic “psychology” (especially in the terms used by the writer) commits various presentist sins in the name of drawing attention to non-Western scholarship in history. The post deftly raises questions about how well professional historians and enthusiasts–whose “historiography from below” (to use David Edgerton’s term) is valuable, but frequently analytically problematic–can get along in close quarters. It also sort of brings up the point earlier made here about the historiographical issues involved when historians of different agendas cross paths. Interestingly, when I referred to activist historians, I was thinking academically, but the post very clearly shows where the popular and activist history trends can come together.

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1. Jenny Ferng - February 23, 2008

I joined the H-France email list recently, and there is a similar discussion brewing with the Francophone historians who are debating the appropriate usage of Wikipedia in student papers.


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