Imagine you want to study a big subject, like Greek Mythology or History of Italy, or American Cinema…
It’s all a matter of choices. The vocabulary is interesting :
- Boundaries : time, places, links with other fields.
- Sources : books, dictionaries, articles, web.
- Methodology : reading, writing, thinking, asking.
- Guides : what is the first book, which will help you to decide others? Who would you ask advices?
- Maps : bibliography, etc.
Mythology : What collection of myths would I study? How do I move into this? With scholars or popularizers? Greek only, or Roman too? Do I read novels? Do I link mythology with history (Troy)? Literature (Odyssey)? Do I care about legends, or characters? Do I visit the places in Greece? Do I study the influences of it in modern times? On what : words (names on places, months, characters), stories, art? Do I confront different schools of scholars?
How do I study the US Civil War? Men? Battles? Slavery? Chronology? Links with Europa? Maps?
How do I do?
- I like to have a dictionary
- Old history next to new history books
- A casualness (a freedom born from the fact I’m having pleasure, and I’m not writing a thesis)
- Zooming (studying precisely a single day, for example)
- Biographies or testimonies from people who were there
- Piling books and pecking into them
What did I study like that? Manet and Picasso, Brian de Palma and Akira Kurosawa, French Revolution, US Civil War, Napoléon, the battle of Stalingrad, the D-Day, Chekhov and Faulkner, Brahms, Bartok and Stravinsky, Puccini’s operas, strangeization in Arts,
How could we call the science of ways of studying a field?
Thanks for reading!
Pic : Tamas Deszo