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From the late nineteenth century until World War II, competing spheres of professional identity and practice redrew the field of history, establishing fundamental differences between the roles of university historians, archivists, staff at historical societies, history teachers, and others. In "History's Babel", Robert B. Townsend takes us from the beginning of this professional shift - when the work of history included not just original research, but also teaching and the gathering of historical materials - to a state of micro professionalization that continues to define the field today. Drawing on extensive research among the records of the American Historical Association and a multitude of other sources, Townsend traces the slow fragmentation of the field from 1880 to the divisions of the 1940s manifest today in the diverse professions of academia, teaching, and public history. By revealing how the founders of the contemporary historical enterprise envisioned the future of the discipline, he offers insight into our own historical moment and the way the discipline has adapted and changed over time. Townsend's work will be of interest not only to historians but to all who care about how the professions of history emerged, how they might go forward, and the public role they still can play.
This book discusses the merits of the theory of agonistic memory in relation to the memory of war. After explaining the theory in detail it provides two case studies, one on war museums in contemporary Europe and one on mass graves exhumations, which both focus on analyzing to what extent these memory sites produce different regimes of memory. Furthermore, the book provides insights into the making of an agonistic exhibition at the Ruhr Museum in Essen, Germany. It also analyses audience reaction to a theatre play scripted and performed by the Spanish theatre company Micomicion that was supposed to put agonism on stage. There is also an analysis of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) designed and delivered on the theory of agonistic memory and its impact on the memory of war. Finally, the book provides a personal review of the history, problems and accomplishments of the theory of agonistic memory by the two editors of the volume.
Winner of The Alexander Nove Prize 2018 The nomads of Central Asia were already well accustomed to life under the power of a distant capital when the Bolsheviks fomented revolution on the streets of Petrograd. Yet after the fall of the Tsar, the nature, ambition and potency of that power would change dramatically, ultimately resulting in the near eradication of Central Asian nomadism. Based on extensive primary source work in Almaty, Bishkek and Moscow, Nomads and Soviet Rule charts the development of this volatile and brutal relationship and challenges the often repeated view that events followed a linear path of gradually escalating violence. Rather than the sedentarisation campaign being an inevitability born of deep-rooted Marxist hatred of the nomadic lifestyle, Thomas demonstrates the Soviet state's treatment of nomads to be far more complex and pragmatic. He shows how Soviet policy was informed by both an anti-colonial spirit and an imperialist impulse, by nationalism as well as communism, and above all by a lethal self-confidence in the Communist Party's ability to transform the lives of nomads and harness the agricultural potential of their landscape. This is the first book to look closely at the period between the revolution and the collectivisation drive, and offers fresh insight into a little-known aspect of early Soviet history. In doing so, the book offers a path to refining conceptions of the broader history and dynamics of the Soviet project in this key period.
This Very Short Introduction looks at Africa's past and reflects on
the changing ways it has been imagined and represented, both in
Africa and beyond. The author illustrates important aspects of
Africa's history with a range of fascinating historical examples,
drawn from over 5 millennia across this vast continent. The
multitude of topics that the reader will learn about in this
succinct work include the unity and diversity of African cultures,
slavery, religion, colonial conquest, the diaspora, and the
importance of history in understanding contemporary Africa. The
book examines questions such as: Who invented the idea of "Africa"?
How is African history pieced together, given such a lack of
documentary evidence? How did Africa interact with the world 1,000
What can visual artifacts tell us about the past? How can we interpret them rigorously, weaving their formal and material qualities into rich social contexts to reach wider historical conclusions? Unfolding key historiographical and methodological issues, Writing Visual Histories equips students to answer these questions, showing visual analysis to be a key skill in historical research. A multifaceted structure makes this a practical guide for writing and reflecting on visual histories. A first section includes six case studies -- on topics ranging from medieval heraldry to Life magazine. These examples are followed by an exploration of essential concepts that inform historical thinking about visual matters, a treatment of disciplinary practices, and discussion of the practicalities (such as accessing museum collections and organising permissions) that scholars working with visual sources have to navigate. This book is an invaluable tool kit for opening up a historical understanding of visual phenomena and practices of looking, and for writing that takes an integrated approach to studies of the past.
This volume explores the relationship between place, traumatic memory, and narrative. Drawing on cases from Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, and North and South America, the book provides a uniquely cross-cultural and global approach. Covering a wide range of cultural and linguistic contexts, the volume is divided into three parts: memorial spaces, sites of trauma, and traumatic representations. The contributions explore how acknowledgement of past suffering is key to the complex inter-relationship between the politics of memory, expressions of victimhood, and collective memory. Contributors take note of differing aspects of memorial culture, such as those embedded in war memorials, mass grave sites, and exhibitions, as well as journalistic, literary and visual forms of commemorations, to investigate how narratives of memory can give meaning and form to places of trauma.
Samuel Rawson Gardiner (1829-1902) is the colossus of seventeenth-century historiography. His twenty-volume history of Britain from 1603 to 1656 and his many editions of key texts still serve to underpin almost all study of the Civil Wars and of the Commonwealth and Protectorate. Yet, despite his importance, his work has often been reduced by historians of historiography to simple caricature, in which his personal politics and his denominational allegiances got the better of his worthy empiricism. This book seeks to challenge the inadequate view of him and his work, offering a rich contextualisation by locating his writings within a wide range of literary and philosophical milieux, British and continental European. In so doing it not only suggests new ways of looking at Victorian historiography in general, but also proposes a new approach to the growing history of historical writing. Mark Nixon is an independent scholar and museum curator.
Forgetful Remembrance examines the paradoxes of what actually happens when communities persistently endeavour to forget inconvenient events. The question of how a society attempts to obscure problematic historical episodes is addressed through a detailed case study grounded in the north-eastern counties of the Irish province of Ulster, where loyalist and unionist Protestants-and in particular Presbyterians-repeatedly tried to repress over two centuries discomfiting recollections of participation, alongside Catholics, in a republican rebellion in 1798. By exploring a rich variety of sources, Beiner makes it possible to closely follow the dynamics of social forgetting. His particular focus on vernacular historiography, rarely noted in official histories, reveals the tensions between professed oblivion in public and more subtle rituals of remembrance that facilitated muted traditions of forgetful remembrance, which were masked by a local culture of reticence and silencing. Throughout Forgetful Remembrance, comparative references demonstrate the wider relevance of the study of social forgetting in Northern Ireland to numerous other cases where troublesome memories have been concealed behind a veil of supposed oblivion.
Our understanding of ourselves and the world as historical has drastically changed since the postwar period, yet this emerging historical sensibility has not been appropriately explained in a coherent theory of history. In this book, Zoltan Simon argues that instead of seeing the past, the present and the future together on a temporal continuum as history, we now expect unprecedented change to happen in the future (in visions of the future of technology, ecology and nuclear warfare) and we look at the past by assuming that such changes have already happened. This radical theory of history challenges narrative conceptualizations of history which assume a past potential of humanity unfolding over time to reach future fulfillment and seeks new ways of conceptualizing the altered socio-cultural concerns Western societies are currently facing. By creating a novel set of concepts to make sense of our altered historical condition regarding both history understood as the course of human affairs and historical writing, History in Times of Unprecedented Change offers a highly original and engaging take on the state of history and historical theory in the present and beyond.
Germany's acceptance of its direct responsibility for the Holocaust has strengthened its relationship with Israel and has led to a deep commitment to combat antisemitism and rebuild Jewish life in Germany. As we draw close to a time when there will be no more firsthand experience of the horrors of the Holocaust, there is great concern about what will happen when German responsibility turns into history. Will the present taboo against open antisemitism be lifted as collective memory fades? There are alarming signs of the rise of the far right, which includes blatantly antisemitic elements, already visible in public discourse. But it is mainly the radicalization of the otherwise moderate Muslim population of Germany and the entry of almost a million refugees since 2015 from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan that appears to make German society less tolerant and somewhat less inhibited about articulating xenophobic attitudes. The evidence is unmistakable-overt antisemitism is dramatically increasing once more.The Future of the German-Jewish Past deals with the formidable challenges created by these developments. It is conceptualized to offer a variety of perspectives and views on the question of the future of the German-Jewish past. The volume addresses topics such as antisemitism, Holocaust memory, historiography, and political issues relating to the future relationship between Jews, Israel, and Germany. While the central focus of this volume is Germany, the implications go beyond the German-Jewish experience and relate to some of the broader challenges facing modern societies today.
a[C]onsistently amusing and edifying throughout. [Hoffer]
demonstrates an extraordinary mastery of a wide variety of
materials. Heas a mature historian at peak form.a
aHoffer has a knack for using contemporary situations that will
eventually be topics for historical writing.a
How do we know what happened in the past? We cannot go back, and no amount of historical data can enable us to understand with absolute certainty what life was like athen.a It is easy to demolish the very idea of historical knowing, but it is impossible to demolish the importance of historical knowing. In an age of cable television pundits and anonymous bloggers dueling over history, the value of owning history increases at the same time as our confidence in history as a way of knowing crumbles. Historical knowledge thus presents a paradox a the more it is required, the less reliable it has become. To reconcile this paradox a that history is impossible but necessary a Peter Charles Hoffer proposes a practical, workable philosophy of history for our times, one that is robust and realistic, and that speaks to anyone who reads, writes and teaches history.
The philosophy of history that Hoffer supports in The Historiansa Paradox is driven by a continual and careful search for the authentic, but without confining the real to a finite or closed set of facts. Hoffer urges us to think and live with a keen awareness that history is everywhere, to accept the impossibility of measuring its reliability, but to never approach it unquestioningly. Covering a sweeping range of philosophies (from ancient history to gametheory), methodological approaches to writing history, and the advantages and disadvantages of different strategies of argument, Hoffer constructs a philosophy of history that is reasonable, free of fallacy, and supported by appropriate evidence that is itself tenable.
The Historiansa Paradox brings together accounts of actual historical events, anecdotes about historians, insights from philosophers of history, and the personal experience of a long time scholar and teacher. Throughout, Hoffer liberally spices the mixture with humor to create a philosophy of history for our times.
"Interpreting Spanish Colonialism" offers a compelling examination of how historians in Spain and the Americas have come to understand and write about the Spanish colonial past and its meanings for national presents. Working from a transnational perspective, the book brings together scholars of Spain, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States. The eight essays situate historians writings within the context of their day, suggesting how history hasperhaps more often than notresponded to present-day needs, agendas, and expectations.
This collection retraces the link between historiography and nation-building in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It also explores how and why Spain and its colonies came to be depicted as backward and marginal to other European and U.S. modern regimes. Finally, it questions the contours of contemporary discussions of colonial and postcolonial histories that have remained largely silent about the legacies of centuries of Spanish rule.
Jeremy Adelman is the Walter S. Carpenter III Professor of
Spanish Civilization and Culture and chair of the history
department, Princeton University.
For Henry Adams at the turn of the twentieth century, as for his successors in the twenty-first, the relation of mind to a world remade by technology and geopolitical conflict largely determined the destiny of civil life. ""Henry Adams and the Need to Know"" presents fourteen essays that articulate Adams' ongoing preoccupation with knowledge, stressing his eclecticism and his need to clarify the role of critical intelligence in public life. Adams' work appeals to a wide spectrum of historical and literary inquiry and claims a place in multiple scholarly contexts. The topics covered in this volume range from international politics (of Adams' age and ours) to portraiture, from orientalism and travel literature to the disintegration of the human mind. Here, leading scholars explore often-overlooked details of Adams' relationships with people and ideas. They reopen settled topics and reframe truisms. Each essay affirms, in one way or another, that to study Adams is to discover his continuing and astonishing relevance.
CHOSEN AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NEW STATESMAN AND BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE 'In this searing book, Priya Satia demonstrates, yet again, that she is one of our most brilliant and original historians' Sunil Amrith, author of Unruly Waters For generations, the history of the British empire was written by its victors. British historians' accounts of conquest guided the consolidation of imperial rule in India, the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean. Their narratives of the development of imperial governance licensed the brutal suppression of colonial rebellion. Their reimagining of empire during the two world wars compromised the force of decolonization. In this brilliant work, Priya Satia shows how these historians not only interpreted the major political events of their time but also shaped the future that followed. History emerged as a mode of ethics in the modern period, endowing historians from John Stuart Mill to Winston Churchill with outsized policymaking power. Braided with this story is an account of alternative visions articulated by anticolonial thinkers such as William Blake, Mahatma Gandhi and E. P. Thompson. By the mid-twentieth century, their approaches had reshaped the discipline of history and the ethics that came with it. Time's Monster reveals the dramatic consequences of writing history today as much as in the past. Against the backdrop of enduring global inequalities and debates about reparations and the legacy of empire, Satia offers us a hugely important and urgent moral voice.
In Discourse on Colonialism, AimE CEsaire asserts that colonization ultimately works to decivilize the colonizer, awakening baser, brutalizing, and dehumanizing instincts in him. In Exemplary Violence: Rewriting History in Colonial Colombia, Villate-Isaza explores Colombia's violent colonial history by examining three seventeenth-century historical accounts of the New Kingdom of Granada (modern-day Colombia and Venezuela) - Pedro SimOn's Noticias historiales (1626), Juan RodrIguez Freile's El carnero (1636), and Lucas FernAndez de Piedrahita's Historia general (1676) - each of which reveals the colonizing elite's reliance on a constant threat of violence for sustaining colonial order. In spite of their attempts to convey a straightforward narrative of European political, technical, and moral superiority while conforming to Counter-Reformation Catholic orthodoxy, these accounts reveal tensions and highlight conflicts and ambiguities between the writers' social interests and personal identifications. As they attempt to reinforce the principal tenets of European culture in the New Kingdom, they also reveal contradictions inherent in a 'more advanced' culture when colonizers behave in barbaric ways.
The clash between scholarship and politics-between truth and propaganda-was ruthless for historians in Istpart, the Russian Communist Central Committee's official historical department. Istpart was tasked with preserving the documentary record, compiling memoirs, and upholding ideological conformism within the national narrative of the 1917 revolution. In Revising the Revolution, Larry E. Holmes examines the role of Istpart's historians, in both the Moscow office and a regional branch in Viatka, who initially believed they could adhere to the traditional standards of research and simultaneously provide a history useful to the party. However, they quickly realized that the party rejected any version of history that suggested nonideological or nonpolitical sources of truth. By 1928, Istpart had largely abandoned its mission to promote scholarly work on the 1917 revolution and instead advanced the party's master narrative. Revising the Revolution explores the battle for the Russian national narrative and the ways in which history can be used to centralize power. -- Indiana University Press
Among historians of Utah and the American West, few names have greater resonance than Bernard DeVoto, Dale Morgan, Juanita Brooks, Wallace Stegner, and Fawn Brodie. Each of these writers made enduring contributions not only to our knowledge of the American West but also to our view of the region and its history. In many ways their writing set the standard for scholarship and interpretation, and their influence is still felt today.
Yet they were not flawless. As Gary Topping explains in this, the first comprehensive appraisal of their work, each had serious shortcomings. DeVoto and Stegner, master storytellers, distorted their histories with excessive use of literary and artistic techniques; Morgan, the thorough researcher, failed to see larger contexts and interpretive possibilities; Brooks, courageous in finding damning new information on the Mountain Meadows massacre, stopped short of drawing conclusions that might alienate her from her fellow Mormons; and Brodie, psychobiographer extraordinaire, nonetheless succumbed to reading too much into the lives of her subjects based on her own emotions and conflicts.
All five writers experienced Mormon Utah in the formative stages of their lives and, whether they wanted to or not, fashioned their work on the American West under that indelible influence. Topping shows ultimately how, despite weaknesses, each created exemplary models of diligent research and narrative elegance while establishing new traditions in western historical scholarship.
Starting with the most meagre resources, Philip made his kingdom the greatest power in Europe The Greek historian Diodorus of Sicily is one of our most valuable sources from ancient times. His history, in forty volumes, was intended to range from mythological times to 60 BCE, and fifteen of The Library's forty books survive. This new translation by Robin Waterfield of books 16-20 covers a vital period in European history. Book 16 is devoted to Philip, and without it the career of this great king would be far more obscure to us. Book 17 is the earliest surviving account by over a hundred years of the world-changing eastern conquests of Alexander the Great, Philip's son. Books 18-20 constitute virtually our sole source of information on the twenty turbulent years following Alexander's death and on the violent path followed by Agathocles of Syracuse. There are fascinating snippets of history from elsewhere too - from Republican Rome, the Cimmerian Bosporus, and elsewhere. Despite his obvious importance, Diodorus is a neglected historian. This is the first English translation of any of these books in over fifty years. The introduction places Diodorus in his context in first-century-BCE Rome, describes and discusses the kind of history he was intending to write, and assesses his strengths and weaknesses as a historian. With extensive explanatory notes on this gripping and sensational period of history, the book serves as a unique resource for historians and students.
There is something romantic yet harshly concrete about an abandoned town. Dreams, conflicts, and losses still haunt what remains, so it's no wonder we call these locales "ghost towns." A companion volume to his "Ghost Towns of Texas," T. Lindsay Baker's "More Ghost Towns of Texas" provides readers with histories, maps, and detailed directions to the most interesting ghost towns in Texas not already covered in the first volume.
The ninety-four towns described in this book range from American Indian sites abandoned prior to the arrival of Europeans to towns abandoned within the past decade. Baker's own recent photographs of the towns are complemented by historic photographs of more prosperous times. Many of these locations have never before appeared in any ghost town guide.
Based on hundreds of miles of travel and fieldwork in abandoned towns all across Texas, "More Ghost Towns of Texas" lists sites throughout the state so that people from anywhere in the state can reach a ghost town in a day's trip.
Hayden White borrows the title for "The Practical Past "from philosopher Michael Oakeshott, who used the term to describe the accessible material and literary-artistic artifacts that individuals and institutions draw on for guidance in quotidian affairs. "The Practical Past," then, forms both a summa of White's work to be drawn upon and a new direction in his thinking about the writing of history.
White's monumental "Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe "(1973) challenged many of the commonplaces of professional historical writing and wider assumptions about the ontology of history itself. It formed the basis of his argument that we can never recover "what actually happened"in the past and cannot really access even material culture in context. Forty years on, White sees "professional history" as falling prey to narrow specialization, and he calls upon historians to take seriously the practical past of explicitly "artistic" works, such as novels and dramas, and literary theorists likewise to engage historians.
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