Should Ethics Training Be Part of Historical Pedagogy?

AHA Session 80
Friday, January 5, 2018: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Delaware Suite B (Marriott Wardman Park, Lobby Level)
Pamela Scully, Emory University
An Undergraduate Perspective on Ethics
Catherine J. Denial, Knox College
Ethical Dilemmas and the Dean’s Office
Catherine Epstein, Amherst College
Ethics and the Public Historian
Valerie Paley, New-York Historical Society
Ethics Training and the Graduate Student
Jason M. Wolfe, Louisiana State University

Session Abstract

“Accuracy is a duty, not a virtue,” said E. H. Carr in his book What is History? Should ethics training be part of historical pedagogy? Is it integral to becoming a historian, and if so what might it look like? What value might it have for training students who seek to go beyond academic careers? Should ethics training also be considered a skill that universities and colleges impart alongside the teaching of history?

This roundtable visits these questions on the purpose and nature of ethics training as part of historical curriculum. The roundtable seeks to raise questions about the specific ethical issues historians grapple with in their research, teaching and service. It also invites suggestions for what an undergraduate and the graduate curriculum in ethics training can and should involve; how to fit this into graduate work at a time when there is pressure to finish PhDs in a limited amount of time. Through these discussions, the roundtable also seeks to engage the contemporary political moment which has seen the rise of “alternative facts,” “post-truth” world and attempts to rewrite histories through multiple erasures across the globe.

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