I’ve been reading about moral reform in the nineteenth century the past week or so. For my class on the Gilded Age in the US, I have one short paper, a long paper, and approximately 7 more classes to go. My long paper will center on the nexus of moral reform, sex, and women…something like that. I am delving into abortion, contraception, and pornography as they relate to the female sex and the working class.
This is not a new area for me, I wrote my MA thesis for the degree in Demography on the topic of fertility, although that paper concerned female fertility and labor force participation, and was based on current (1970) US statistics. After I do all this, I will be through with my program.
Prof gave me an A on my first paper with an admonition increase my development of the “historiographical context’ in the next paper. Historians worry a lot about historiography. This, according to Prof, involves not what happened but how the author describes what happened. In other words, even well-written and researched history is written by someone, and every someone has a particular POV. Not all POV are equal, however.
The definition of historiography below comes from the Encyclopedia Britannica:
historiography, the writing of history, especially the writing of history based on the critical examination of sources, the selection of particular details from the authentic materials in those sources, and the synthesis of those details into a narrative that stands the test of critical examination. The term historiography also refers to the theory and history of historical writing.