Volume 130, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



Academic history programmes turn students into historians through a training that combines the acquisition of historical knowledge and specific skills, such as writing and doing research. Although there are many textbooks helping students to develop historical skills, [Research and writing. Manual for the design of a historical paper] (1982), by P. de Buck, M.E.H.N. Mout, C. Musterd, and J. Talsma, has been one of the most popular textbooks in the Netherlands. For more than 20 years ‘De Buck’ has introduced students to the rules and practices of the historical discipline. The launch of a new textbook, [Writing history! Guide for historians] (2016) by Jeannette Kamp, Susan Legêne, Matthias van Rossum, and Sebas Rümke has prompted a new debate about academic history teaching. Do students acquire the skills that are necessary for a twenty-first-century historian? What skills should they be, how do you teach them, and how does academic history teaching relate to the social tasks of historians? These are the questions considered in this discussion section. Marijke Huisman (Utrecht University) opens the debate by asking whether students are really part of the historical practice, both in and beyond academia. Karel Van Nieuwenhuyse (KU Leuven) and Marianne Eekhout (Dordrechts Museum) focus on the connections between academic history programmes and two major fields of employment for historians: education and heritage institutions. Finally, the editors of reflect on the answers – and new questions – that have been raised in this discussion section.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): employment; history education; practices of history
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