Thursday, February 25, 2010

How Important is a Resume?

When you read an article or book on history or listen to a speech, how important is a resume? How important is it that the person have a certain degree or set of degrees from a certain school? Does it matter how many previous books she has written or how many awards he has received? What role do (or should) "credentials" play in whether a person is worthy of our respect and esteem?

I explored these questions in an article I just wrote for American Creation on the subject of academic elitism. Let me know what you think.

3 comments:

Rebecca said...

Great article! You had some really good points there. I personally have seen that sort of academic elitism in certain circles. I'm one of those people without a degree that qualifies me as a historian, and I'm sure many people do not take me seriously because of that. I'm not a scholar per se, but that doesn't mean I don't have anything to offer.

franceshunter said...

Stupendous article, Brian. Until recent decades, there was no such thing as a degreed historian. I know in my period of interest, early America, many of the best books were written earlier in the 20th century, before such a "discipline" even existed. These people were writers, skilled in analysis and critical thinking.

At some point in the 20th century, many fields of study came to be guarded by gatekeepers with certain credentials. History was one of them. Now those barriers, which existed for only a short time, are falling again.

The more one looks into history, the more one's own critical thinking skills sharpen up, and the easier it is to separate historians with something to say from those churning out pap, be it popular or academic. It seems like an incentive for all historians to raise the level of their game.

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