歷史學家這一行業,我認為是在從事找尋、發掘與重構的工作,這是一項美妙的行業,但也是一項困難的行業,要做的好,必須投入相當的工作, 擁有許多不同領域的知識,以及具有一項真實的智識力量:好奇、想像、組織能力、清晰的表達,與公正不偏頗的思想,並具有對不同類型的人的感受力。 -Marc Bloch

2012-04-15

On the Fringes of History

22:54 Posted by Feng-en Tu , , 2 comments
另外一位重要歷史學者的回憶錄,Philip D. Curtin的On the Fringes of History。Philip D. Curtin或許也可算是研究太西洋史,不過他更關注的是大海的另一端:非洲,以及來自非洲的奴隸。坦白說我沒有讀過他的著作,只知道他寫了一本關於熱帶醫學的書Death by migration: Europe's encounter with the tropical world in the nineteenth century

看到他寫回憶錄,寫到在哈佛歷史系讀博士班的經歷,覺得還挺有趣的,就抄了下來。有些描述好像也沒有相去太多,儘管已經過了幾十年。

The social and intellectual setting at Harvard was very different from the small liberal arts college I knew. It was immensely bigger, for one thing, and this fact entailed certain diseconomies of scale -- beginning with overspecialization, both intellectual and social. At Swarthmore, it was easy to know all the history faculty, the student majors in history, and a sprinkling of students in associated fields. At Harvard the circle of acquaintances began with students working in the same seminar and extended outward only a little. Graduate students even had two separate clubs, the History Club, in theory for everybody but mainly for those in European history, and the Henry Adams Club, for American history. (50)

The first year, I was in charge of five sections, all of which met on Friday. It was a hard day for a beginning teacher, but it provided a way to experiment with various ways to try to lead a discussion. If one approach fell flat in the first hour, I tried another in the second. The fifth group of students on that day faced an instructor somewhat fatigued but with enough experience discussing the week's work to do a somewhat more effective job. (60)

Like a lot of Harvard doctoral candidates before and after, my first choice should have been to stay at Harvard. I had been disappointed with Harvard, in contrast with the Swarthmore seminars, but there was always Widener Library. Something of Harvard's narcissism rubbed off on the graduate students. However critical we were of Harvard, we tended to think that other universities in the outer darkness could never measure up. (63)


2 comments:

  1. Curtin的Cross-Cultural Trade in World History是非常有名且重要的關於全球史的著作,雖然已經有點舊了,不過他是最早把diaspora概念引入全球性長程貿易研究中的學者。

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  2. 謝謝yester的說明,有機會應該找來看看。

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