Several weeks ago, this question appeared in my email:
The history department at MSU is part of the College of Social Science with Social Work. Yesterday a colleague said she thought it should be in Humanities. I’m curious what you think.
As it turns out, this is something I’ve spent some time thinking about over the last 30 years.* History is also part of the Social Science Division at the University of Chicago, where I did my graduate work, along with anthropology, economics, political science, psychology and sociology. As someone who worked primarily with sources from literature and the visual arts,** it never felt like a good fit. Today, as a historian-storyteller, I feel more strongly than ever that history belongs with the humanities. My historian friends who use lots of statistical data disagree.
I throw the question out to you, Gentle Readers: History: social science or humanities?
*Actually, now that I stop and count, it’s been 36 years. Eeep!
**Though I did build a nifty spreadsheet and perform some statistical analysis regarding the number of Orientalist works in exhibits at the Royal Society in London and the Paris Salon over the course of the nineteenth century–a task that consumed far more time than the final results warranted.