Interdisciplinarity in History: An Old Method in a New World Context
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Last modified: February 26, 2014 11:51:27.
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Reminder to all presenters: The deadline for the the submission of the final papers is Feb. 20 

Interdisciplinarity in History:
An Old Method in a New World Context
5-6 March 2014

This conference has been inspired by Ibn Khaldun’s (d. 1406) hypothesis that “the writing of history requires numerous sources and greatly varied knowledge. It also requires a good speculative mind and thoroughness. Possession of these two qualities leads the historian to the truth and keeps him from slips and errors. If he trusts historical information in its plain transmitted form and has no clear knowledge of the principles resulting from custom, the fundamental facts of politics, the nature of civilization, or the conditions governing human social organization, and if, furthermore, he does not evaluate remote or ancient material through comparison with near or contemporary material, he often cannot avoid stumbling and slipping and deviating from the highroad of truth”. This passage suggests that history and other disciplines have a mutually supportive relationship, and that the application of interdisciplinary methods will enable historians to reconstruct the past in a more objective, multifaceted, and wholesome fashion, which in turn will extenuate history’s importance. David Crabtree highlights this significance in his own words, saying that: “History is important because it helps us to understand the present. If we will listen to what history has to say, we can come to a sound understanding of the past that will tell us much about the problems we now face. If we refuse to listen to history, we will find ourselves fabricating a past that reinforces our understanding of current problems.”