Creative Historical Thinking offers innovative approaches to thinking and writing about history. Author Michael J. Douma makes the case that history should be recognized as a subject intimately related to individual experience and positions its practice as an inherently creative endeavor. Douma describes the nature of creativity in historical thought, illustrates his points with case studies and examples. He asserts history’s position as a collective and community-building exercise and argues for the importance of metaphor and other creative tools in communicating about history with people who may view the past in fundamentally different ways. A practical guide and an inspiring affirmation of the personal and communal value of history, Creative Historical Thinking has much to offer to both current and aspiring historians.
Table of Contents
Section I: The Argument: Seeing History as a Creative Discipline
Chapter 1: Metaphors of space and time
Chapter 2: Beyond Simple Linear History
Chapter 3: On Facts and Creative Interpretations
Section II: Practical Strategies for Students to become Creative Historians
Chapter 4: How Creative Historians Read and Research
Chapter 5: How Creative Historians Write
Chapter 6: Networking: The Entrepreneurial Historian
Section III: Creativity in the History Classroom
Chapter 7: Rethinking history education with photographs and material culture
Chapter 8: "Why Men Stopped Wearing Hats" and Other Important Historical Questions
Chapter 9: Classroom History Diagrams
Section IV: The Consequences of History as Metaphor
Chapter 10: Can there be one metaphor for all of History?
Chapter 11: Analogies of Historical Thinking
Chapter 12: Creative Historical Thinking for Everyone
Michael J. Douma is Assistant Research Professor at the McDonagh School of Business at Georgetown University.
"If you are in the business of teaching students how to be effective history teachers, communicators, and practitioners, Michael Douma's new book deserves a place on your syllabus. Creative Historical Thinking is a wonderful contribution to the growing literature on the place of historical thinking in public life."
-John Fea, Professor of History, Messiah College, author of Why Study History: Reflecting on the Importance of the Past
"An imaginative alternative to linear history. The personal touch of relating dry, chronological events to a reader’s own personal timeline is sure to change how we view both past and present, and weigh their relevance to our lives."
- Richard E. Cytowic, Professor of Neurology, George Washington University, author of Wednesday is Indigo Blue
"Douma provides fresh ideas about the process of doing and teaching history. The emphasis on "creative historical thinking" provides a much needed humanistic emphasis within the literature of doing history. Douma provides ample examples and practical insights into the process of doing and teaching history using creativity within the bounds of the discipline."
- David Zwart, Assistant Professor of History Education, Grand Valley State University