Editor: Herman Paul

What makes a good historian? When historians raise this question, as they have done for centuries, they often do so to highlight that certain personal attitudes or dispositions are indispensable for studying the past. Yet their views on what virtues, skills or competencies historians need most differ remarkably, as do their models of how to be a historian (‘scholarly personae’). This volume explores why scholarly personae were, and are, so important to historians as to generate lots of debate. Why do historians seldom agree on the marks of a good historian? What impact do these disagreements have on historical research, teaching and outreach? And what does this tell about the unity, or disunity, of the field called historical studies? In addressing these questions, How to be a historian develops a fascinating new perspective on the history of historiography. It challenges conventional narratives of professionalization by demonstrating that the identity of the ‘professional’ was often contested. At the same time, it shows that personae could be remarkably stable, especially in relation to race, class and gender assumptions. With chapters by Monika Baár, Ian Hunter, Q. Edward Wang and other recognized specialists, How to be a historian covers historical studies across Europe, North America, Africa and East Asia, throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in liberal democracies and authoritarian regimes alike. The volume will appeal not only to readers of historiography, but to all historians who occasionally wonder: what kind of a historian do I want to be?

Bryce Lyon, François Louis Ganshof and the biography of Pirenne

the finitude of personae Chapter 11 The finitude of personae: Bryce Lyon, François Louis Ganshof and the biography of Pirenne Henning Trüper Introduction Among the tools that aim to explain the cultural production of ‘social frames’ for the ‘presentation of self’ (Erving Goffman) in science and scholarship, the concept of the scholarly persona is unique in its focus on the specifically moral nature of the frames in question. The concept is tied to the ‘epistemic virtues’ – and possibly some vices, too – that are thought to inform the production of knowledge.1

in How to be a historian
Negotiating scholarly personae in UNESCO’s General History of Africa

. It is also necessary to stress that the GHA was, first and foremost, a top–bottom initiative and, on top of that, its authors were almost exclusively male. Although the project aims had stated that the volumes were to reach a large audience on the African continent, the Africans who worked on the GHA were invariably highly educated.54 The need to conform to scholarly standards taught in European and North American universities, and the epistemic virtues that accompanied those standards, such as a particular Eurocentric ideal of objectivity, sometimes collided with

in How to be a historian
Abstract only
Scholarly personae: what they are and why they matter

Gesellschaft, 1 (1975), 539–60, at 542; Paul Nolte, Hans-Ulrich Wehler: Historiker und Zeitgenosse (Munich: C. H. Beck, 2015), p. 9; Leopold von Ranke, Das Briefwerk, ed. Walther Peter Fuchs (Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe, 1949), pp 123, 126; Jeroen van Dongen and Herman Paul, ‘Introduction: epistemic virtues in the sciences and the humanities’, in Van Dongen and Paul (eds), Epistemic Virtues in the Sciences and the Humanities (Cham: Springer, 2017), pp 1–10 (and the literature mentioned there). 30 I develop this argument in a book manuscript provisionally entitled ‘The

in How to be a historian
Archives and collecting on the frontiers of data-driven science

troped ‘If everything is information’ 121 as an overwhelming “‘avalanche”, “flood” or “rush” of data found in contemporary postgenomics and other fields in science … and the creative, tacit epistemic virtues that I call “care of the data”, the adroit, artful and cautious handling of large data sets that permit both multiple interpretations and multiple errors’ (Fortun 2015: 36). This relation between data, care and intense engagement is also played out at the LBA research sites, as those involved with caring for the data construct intimate relationships with it that

in Ethnography for a data-saturated world
French historiography from the 1870s to the 1950s

chemical synthesis with art.22 Hence, in Febvre’s as in Monod’s case, there is a fusion of repertoires derived from science, such as the epistemic virtues of objectivity or the values of proof and certainty, and other repertoires, derived from art and pointing in the direction of personal involvement and imagination. The persona of the historian they constructed was a synthesis in itself that could not be captured with the name of Michelet alone, and was strategically directed against other – too one-sidedly erudite – historians. Most importantly, however, there appears

in How to be a historian
The English Revolution debate of 1940–41

bursting with explanatory power that was intended to bring to an end the dominance of ‘bourgeois’ historiography and displace the persona of the ‘bourgeois’ historian.5 By relying on meticulous study of primary sources and eschewing overly reductive economic determinism, as was common among his classical Marxist predecessors,6 Hill and other members of the Group active in academia had abided by the epistemic virtues promulgated within the discipline. However, at the same time they also maintained a commitment to distinctively Marxist epistemic, moral and political goods

in How to be a historian

: G. Weisz, ‘The Self-Made Mandarin: The “Éloges” of the French Academy of Medicine, 1824–47,’ History of Science, 26:1 (1988), 13–40. More recently, attention has been directed to the epistemic virtues and scholarly personae present in such biographical texts: H. Paul, ‘What is a Scholarly Persona? Ten Theses on Virtues, Skills and Desires,’ History and Theory, 53:3 (2014), 348–71. E. Peeters, Het labyrint van het verleden: Natie, vrijheid en geweld in de Belgische geschiedschrijving, 1787–1850 (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2003), pp. 93–100; J. Tollebeek

in Medical societies and scientific culture in nineteenth-century Belgium