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Colonization discussion

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Responsibility? [Jan. 25th, 2007|06:59 pm]
Colonization discussion



Do Colonial Historians have more social responsibility than other historical researchers?  

Should we always be working and researching with the ultimate aim of benefiting the groups that we study?  

Or is Colonial history simply about uncovering facts and displaying them as objectively as possible so that people can make their own judgements?  What if people use those facts and deductions to further their own cause (whether it be harmful or beneficial to the studied group)?

 I'm rather on the fence about it all.  Morality tells me that Colonial Historians are half anthropologiest, and as such always need to work with their subjects in mind.  But on the other hand, always working to benefit the colonized rather restricts research.  A lot of what historians deduct about colonization is pretty irrelevant to the people themselves, but tells us a lot about the Colonizers.  Or maybe it's a useles, but still interesting and revealing.   


[User Picture]From: jetfx
2007-01-28 08:00 pm (UTC)
To answer your first two questions: no. Colonial historians have the same responsibilities as any other historian, which is to present the most accurate picture of events possible. It is not the responsibility of the historian to benefit the subjects of study, which implies altering the history if it is unfavorable to them. Essentially an accurate presentation of the facts is more beneficial to the subjects of study in the long run. It is not the responsibility of the historian for how people interpret his/her work, as long as the work is as accurate as possible.

History in the end is not an issue of morality, it is an issue of fact.
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