Category talk:Historians of the United States

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Is this a category for historians who happen to be born in the United States or is it about historians who study the United States? Can this be specified on its main page because it is rather ambiguous in my opinion. --Fastfission 06:43, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

In initially creating the category, I included only the latter, though it looks like others have added, so I guess it does need clarification. RadicalSubversiv E 20:56, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Since RadicalSubversiv has put a note on this page clarifying that it is for historians who study the US, I won't move any more US-born historians studying other countries there, but I think we have a problem, as most of the <countryname> historian categories are historians from that country. We really need to have two sets of categories, both Category:Historians of US history and Category:Historians from the US.

More immediately, should we remove Category:United States Historians as a subcategory of Category:American people, since you don't need to be an American in order to write about US history? I added this parent when I was confused about the purpose of the category. It should be a subcategory of Category:United States history instead.

For consistency in naming, the "Historians" should be lower-case ie "historians", and if the category is to be renamed, perhaps its worth using something like the Category:Historians of US history format.

I won't implement these ideas myself, as this isn't an area of specialty for me, and I've probably stepped on enough toes here already.-gadfium 01:04, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Don't worry, you've stepped on no toes. It's clearly my fault for not being clear enough in the category and looking at the others. Perhaps what we really need is go up a level and create both "Historians by field of study" and "Historians by nationality." I think the Category:American people is fine for the moment, as everyone on the list is both an American and a historian of United States. RadicalSubversiv E 01:11, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarification. I thought it was very weird when I saw Thomas Kuhn put under this distinction so I thought I would ask. --Fastfission 01:14, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)


My suggestion: How about we rename this to "Historians of the United States"? It's not entirely in sync with the others but we are trying to separate it from the implication of Category:American historians, i.e. I think it properly emphasizes the difference between subject and nationality. If anybody is curious, though, how it is done "in the field" -- it is done both ways and they most often mean subject, not nationality ("American historians" and "Historians of the US"). That's in part because the question of a scholar's nationality is very rarely used as a modifier of the profession, at least in the discipline of History (if I were to say that one was a French historian, it would mean one studies France. If I meant a French national, I would probably say, a historian from France). --Fastfission 15:50, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Sounds good. Perhaps the level above could have "Historians by nationality" and "Historians by field of study"? RadicalSubversiv E 18:30, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)