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Educational methods have developed over time each having significance in academics today Warren Susmans essay History and the American Intellectual Uses of a Usable Past specifies that there are two kinds of societies in world history the traditional status or community societies on one hand and more modern contract or associational societies on the other Maddox p39 The body of the essay maps the interaction of these societies through American intellectuals and their use of history and myth Susman accomplishes his goal of replacing history and historians back where they belong which is in the broad history-making continuum linking intellectuals and ordinary citizens in the struggle to make sense of their lives communities and the world around them Maddox p41 Bruce Kuklicks essay Myth and Symbol in American Studies is an explanation of the ideas that guide humanist writing and an attempt to assess the plausibility of these ideas and of the conclusions that humanist have reached In contrast to Susman Kuklick views historians as a problem in academics specifically Marx Kuklick implies that historians are liable to read their interest back into the past and misconstrue an individuals thought so that it is relevant for the present the result will be that historians extract from an author what is significant for society but lose the authors intentions Kuklick would like us to understand that some frameworks intellectual historical foundations of analysis are perhaps more likely to lead us astray than to help us deal coherently with the past Another point of view focuses on one aspect of academics and that is in Alice Kessler-Harris essay Cultural Locations Positioning American Studies in Great Debate Multiculturalism is her main controversy as she defines a battle over the idea of America Kessler-Harris notes that the various kinds of oppositional studies - feminist multiculturalist gay and lesbian or even Marxist - were not seen as dangerous so long as they celebrated the contributions of minorities or the working
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