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What is the point of history? Why has the study of the past been so important for so long? Why History? A History contemplates two and a half thousand years of historianship to establish how very different thinkers in diverse contexts have conceived their activities, and to illustrate the purposes that their historical investigations have served. Whether considering Herodotus, medieval religious exegesis, or twentieth-century cultural history, at the core of this work is the way that the present has been conceived to relate to the past. Alongside many changes in technique and philosophy, Donald Bloxham's book reveals striking long-term continuities in justifications for the discipline.
Hegel's philosophy of history-which most critics view as a theory of inevitable progress toward modern European civilization-is widely regarded as a failure today. In Does History Make Sense? Terry Pinkard argues that Hegel's understanding of historical progress is not the kind of teleological or progressivist account that its detractors claim, but is based on a subtle understanding of human subjectivity. Pinkard shows that for Hegel a break occurred between modernity and all that came before, when human beings found a new way to make sense of themselves as rational, self-aware creatures. In Hegel's view of history, different types of sense-making become viable as social conditions change and new forms of subjectivity emerge. At the core of these changes are evolving conceptions of justice-of who has authority to rule over others. In modern Europe, Hegel believes, an unprecedented understanding of justice as freedom arose, based on the notion that every man should rule himself. Freedom is a more robust form of justice than previous conceptions, so progress has indeed been made. But justice, like health, requires constant effort to sustain and cannot ever be fully achieved. For Hegel, philosophy and history are inseparable. Pinkard's spirited defense of the Hegelian view of history will play a central role in contemporary reevaluations of the philosopher's work.
Through the collection of letters sent by members of a Jewish family between 1923 and 1942, this fascinating book explores phenomenological and psychoanalytical aspects of the Holocaust and its associated trauma, and the impact on future generations of the same family. This book charts a postmemorial study of the Cohen family of Salonica which branched out to Paris and Tel-Aviv during the 1920s and 1930s. The exploration of the contents of four boxes containing hundreds of letters, pictures and other documents portray a microhistory of one family that was once a part of a thriving community. Showing how the shadows of trauma can be passed through the generations, the book uncovers the tragedies that befell the Cohen family, and how the discovery of these materials has affected existing family members. In an intriguing work of postmemory research and analysis, this book appeals to both scholars of the Holocaust and psychoanalysts interested in the unconscious impact of history.
This is a book about the conflict between history and poetry - and historians and poets - in Atlantic World society from the end of the seventeenth century to the present day. Blending historiography and theory, it proceeds by asking: what is the point of poetry as far as historians are concerned? The focus is on W. H. Auden's Cold War-era history poems, but the book also looks at other poets from the seventeenth century onwards, providing original accounts of their poetic and historical educations. An important resource for those teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in historiography and history and theory, Poetry for historians will also be of relevance to courses on literature in society and the history of education. General readers will relate it to Steedman's Landscape for a Good Woman (1987) and Dust (2001), on account of its biographical and autobiographical insights into the way history operates in modern society. -- .
In an attempt to counteract the doom and gloom of the economic crisis and the politicians' overused dictum that 'there is no alternative', this interdisciplinary collection presents a number of alternative worlds that were conceived over the course of the last century. While change at the macro level was the focus of most of the ideological struggles of the twentieth century, the real impetus for change came from the blue-sky thinking of scientists, engineers, architects, sociologists, planners and writers, all of whom imagined alternatives to the status quo. Following a roughly chronological order from the turn of the nineteenth century to the present, this book explores the dreams, plans and hopes as well as the nightmares and fears that are an integral part of alternative thinking in the Western hemisphere. The alternative worlds at the centre of the individual essays can each be seen as crucial to the history of the past one hundred years. While these alternative worlds reflect their particular cultural context, they also inform historical developments in a wider sense and continue to resonate in the present.
This landmark work from a renowned feminist historian is a foundational demonstration of the uses of gender as a conceptual tool for cultural and historical analysis. Joan Wallach Scott offers a trenchant critique of the compartmentalization of women's history, arguing that political and social categories are always fundamentally shaped by gender and that questions of gender are essential to considerations of difference in history. Exploring topics ranging from language and class to the politics of work and family, Gender and the Politics of History is a vital contribution to feminist history and historical methodology that also speaks more broadly to the ongoing redefinition of gender in our political and cultural vocabularies. This anniversary edition of a classic text in feminist theory and history shows the evergreen relevance of Scott's work to the humanities and social sciences. In a new preface, Scott reflects on the book's legacy and implications for contemporary politics as well as what she has reconsidered as a result of her engagement with psychoanalytic theory. The book also includes a previously unpublished essay, "The Conundrum of Equality," which takes up the question of affirmative action.
This book provides an analytical overview of the vast range of historiography which was produced in western Europe over a thousand-year period between c.400 and c.1500. Concentrating on the general principles of classical rhetoric central to the language of this writing, alongside the more familiar traditions of ancient history, biblical exegesis and patristic theology, this survey introduces the conceptual sophistication and semantic rigour with which medieval authors could approach their narratives of past and present events, and the diversity of ends to which this history could then be put. By providing a close reading of some of the historians who put these linguistic principles and strategies into practice (from Augustine and Orosius through Otto of Freising and William of Malmesbury to Machiavelli and Guicciardini), it traces and questions some of the key methodological changes that characterise the function and purpose of the western historiographical tradition in this formative period of its development. -- .
Ancient Persia in Western History is a measured rejoinder to the dominant narrative that considers the Graeco-Persian Wars to be merely the first round of an oft-repeated battle between the despotic 'East' and the broadly enlightened 'West'. Sasan Samiei analyses the historiography which has skewed our understanding of this crucial era - contrasting the work of Edward Gibbon and Goethe, which venerated Classicism and Hellenistic history, with later writers such as John Linton Myres. Finally, Samiei explores the cross-cultural encounters which constituted the Achaemenid period itself, and repositions it as essential to the history of Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Europe is inseparable from its history. That history has been extensively studied in terms of its political history, its economic history, its religious history, its literary and cultural history, and so on. Could there be a distinctively philosophical history of Europe? Not a history of philosophy in Europe, but a history of Europe that focuses on what, in its history and identity, ties it to philosophy. In the two volumes of Europe: A Philosophical History - The Promise of Modernity and Beyond Modernity - Simon Glendinning takes up this question, telling the story of Europe's history as a philosophical history. In Part 1, The Promise of Modernity, Glendinning examines the conception of Europe that links it to ideas of rational Enlightenment and modernity. Tracking this self-understanding as it unfolds in the writings of Kant, Hegel and Marx, Glendinning explores the transition in Europe from a conception of its modernity that was philosophical and religious to one which was philosophical and scientific. While this transition profoundly altered Europe's own history, Glendinning shows how its self-confident core remained intact in this development. But not for long. This volume ends with an examination of the abrupt shattering of this confidence brought on by the first world-wide war of European origin - and the imminence of a second. The promise of modernity was in ruins. Nothing, for Europe, would ever be the same again. Part 2: Beyond Modernity is available now from Routledge. ISBN 9781032015828
Europe is inseparable from its history. That history has been extensively studied in terms of its political history, its economic history, its religious history, its literary and cultural history, and so on. Could there be a distinctively philosophical history of Europe? Not a history of philosophy in Europe, but a history of Europe that focuses on what, in its history and identity, ties it to philosophy. In the two volumes of Europe: A Philosophical History - The Promise of Modernity and Beyond Modernity - Simon Glendinning takes up this question, telling the story of Europe's history as a philosophical history. In the wake of two world wars of European origin, Europe's modern promise of universal peace, freedom and well-being for all humanity lay in ruins. In Part 2, Beyond Modernity, Glendinning picks up the story of this promise after the Second World War. Taking in Isaiah Berlin's defence of a pluralist ideal, Francis Fukuyama's vision of a new 'end of history' in liberal democracy, and Jacques Derrida's critique of the very idea of an end of history, Glendinning invites us to affirm a new philosophical-historical self-understanding: not the history of the rational animal on the way to its final end, with Europe at the head, but a history of the unpredictably self-transforming animal without a final end. In this context, Glendinning argues, Europe remains promising, its cosmopolitan heritage opening a future beyond its exhausted modernity. Part 1: The Promise of Modernity is available now from Routledge. ISBN 9781032015804
What is our relationship with the past? A quiet revolution has transformed the ways in which History provides us with answers. Indeed, not so long ago the very question might have seemed odd. But in recent decades the solid moorings to which History was seemingly tethered have proved less secure than earlier supposed. That realization has produced some discomfiture, but also many more opportunities for approaching worlds with which we have lost connection. No single book can hope to reflect all the ways in which History has 'changed with the times' nor can, or should, a volume with numerous contributors speak with one voice. Yet the Companion does range widely, addressing key themes and structures from new areas of enquiry as well as providing fresh treatment of established fields; and it does mark a significant departure in a genre still shaped by stories that are predominantly Western. It reflects a practice of history that seeks global connections and pioneers a sustained dialogue between historians specializing in the history of particular continents. It does not, in the sharply ridiculing phrase of one historian, compare the Ashanti empire to the British empire. But the scholars writing in this book build on the much greater awareness that 'Western' achievements and claims to modernity were often not as unique as once portrayed, and that the history of interconnections and multi-centric developments of different civilisations is crucial for a proper critical understanding of the past. Escorted by some of the world's leading historians, readers of the Companion will find pages an indispensable guide to what history is today.
When we look back from the vantage point of the 21st century and ask ourselves what the previous century was all about, what do we see? Our first inclination is to focus on historical events: the 20th century was the age of two devastating world wars, of totalitarian regimes and terrible atrocities like the Holocaust - "the age of extremes," to use Hobsbawm's famous phrase. But in this new book, the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk argues that we will never understand the 20th century if we focus on events and ideologies. Rather, in his view, the predominant motif of the 20th century is what Badiou called a passion for the real, which manifests itself as the will to actualize the truth directly in the here and now. Drawing on his Spheres trilogy, Sloterdijk interprets the actualization of the real in the 20th century as a passion for economic and technological "antigravitation". The rise of consumerism and the easing of the burdens of human life by the constant deployment of new technologies have killed off the kind of radicalism that was rooted in the belief that power would rise from a material base of production. If the 20th century can still inspire us today, it is because the fundamental shift that it brought about opened the way for a critique of extremist reason, a post-Marxist theory of enrichment and a general economy of energy resources based on excess and dissipation. While developing his highly original interpretation of the 20th century, Sloterdijk also addresses a series of related topics including the meaning of the Anthropocene, the domestication of humans and the significance of the sea. The volume also includes major new pieces on Derrida and on Heidegger's politics. This work, by one of the most original thinkers today will appeal to students and scholars across the humanities and social sciences, as well as anyone interested in philosophy and critical theory.
CULTURE AND VALUES: A SURVEY OF THE HUMANITIES, Ninth Edition, takes you on a tour of some of the world's most interesting and significant examples of art, music, philosophy, and literature, from the beginnings of civilization to today. Chapter previews, timelines, glossaries of key terms, Compare + Contrast, new Connections and Culture & Society features, and "Big Picture" reviews all help make it easy for you to learn the material and study more effectively. Links to full readings and playlists of the music selections discussed in your text are available online in MindTap, where you will also find study resources and such tools as image flashcards, guides to research and writing, practice quizzes and exercises, and more.
Adam Smith (1723-1790) is widely regarded as one of the great thinkers of the Enlightenment period. Best-known for his founding work of economics, The Wealth of Nations, Smith engaged equally with the nature of morality in his Theory of Moral Sentiments. He also gave lectures on literature and jurisprudence, and wrote papers on art and science. In this outstanding philosophical introduction Samuel Fleischacker argues that Smith is a superb example of the broadly curious thinkers who flourished in the Enlightenment-for whom morality, politics, law, and economics were just a few of the many fascinating subjects that could be illuminated by naturalistic modes of investigation. After a helpful overview of his life and work, Fleischacker examines the full range of Smith's thought, on such subjects as: epistemology, philosophy of science, and aesthetics the nature of sympathy moral approval and moral judgement virtue religion justice and jurisprudence governmental policy economic principles liberalism. Including chapter summaries, suggestions for further reading, and a glossary, Adam Smith is essential reading for those studying ethics, political philosophy, the history of philosophy, and the Enlightenment, as well as those reading Smith in related disciplines such as economics, law, and religion.
Based on research in the Inquisitorial archives of Northern Italy, The Night Battles recounts the story of a peasant fertility cult centered on the benandanti, literally, "good walkers." These men and women described fighting extraordinary ritual battles against witches and wizards in order to protect their harvests. While their bodies slept, the souls of the benandanti were able to fly into the night sky to engage in epic spiritual combat for the good of the village. Carlo Ginzburg looks at how the Inquisition's officers interpreted these tales to support their world view that the peasants were in fact practicing sorcery. The result of this cultural clash, which lasted for more than a century, was the slow metamorphosis of the benandanti into the Inquisition's mortal enemies-witches. Relying upon this exceptionally well-documented case study, Ginzburg argues that a similar transformation of attitudes-perceiving folk beliefs as diabolical witchcraft-took place all over Europe and spread to the New World. In his new preface, Ginzburg reflects on the interplay of chance and discovery, as well as on the relationship between anomalous cases and historical generalizations.
History and Economic Life offers students a wide-ranging introduction to both quantitative and qualitative approaches to interpreting economic history sources from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century. Having identified an ever-widening gap between the use of qualitative sources by cultural historians and quantitative sources by economic historians, the book aims to bridge the divide by making economic history sources more accessible to students and the wider public, and highlighting the need for a complementary rather than exclusive approach. Divided into two parts, the book begins by equipping students with a toolbox to approach economic history sources, considering the range of sources that might be of use and introducing different ways of approaching them. The second part consists of case studies that examine how economic historians use such sources, helping readers to gain a sense of context and understanding of how these sources can be used. The book thereby sheds light on important debates both within and beyond the field, and highlights the benefits gained when combining qualitative and quantitative approaches to source analysis. Introducing sources often avoided in culturally-minded history or statistically-minded economic history courses respectively, and advocating a combined quantitative and qualitative approach, it is an essential resource for students undertaking source analysis within the field.
Reading films, television dramas, reality shows, and virtual exhibits, among other popular texts, Engaging the Past examines the making and meaning of history for everyday viewers. Contemporary media can encourage complex interactions with the past that have far-reaching consequences for history and politics. Viewers experience these representations personally, cognitively, and bodily, but, as this book reveals, not just by identifying with the characters portrayed. Some of the works considered in this volume include the films Hotel Rwanda (2004), Good Night and Good Luck (2005), and Milk (2008); the television dramas Deadwood, Mad Men, and Rome; the reality shows Frontier House, Colonial House, and Texas Ranch House; and The Secret Annex Online, accessed through the Anne Frank House website, and the Kristallnacht exhibit, accessed through the Unites States Holocaust Museum website. These mass cultural texts cultivate what Alison Landsberg calls an "affective engagement" with the past, tying the viewer to an event or person and fostering a sense of intimacy that does more than transport the viewer back in time. Affect, she suggests, can also work to disorient the viewer, forcibly pushing him or her out of the narrative and back into his or her own body. By analyzing these specific popular history formats, Landsberg shows the unique way they provoke historical thinking and produce historical knowledge, prompting a reconsideration of what constitutes history and an understanding of how history works in the contemporary mediated public sphere.
Iconic Events: Media, Power, and Politics in Retelling History examines the processes of collective memory surrounding traumatic events that have been deemed iconic in American culture. Leavy investigates the social and market forces that have shaped the meanings around and enduring significance of events that have captured the public's imagination, including Titanic, Pearl Harbor, Columbine, and September 11th. Iconic Events focuses on three interpretive phases that serve to mold public perception of these events: journalistic representations, political appropriations, and popular adaptations. With a vital, engaging approach, Leavy explores the processes by which traumatic events are made mythic in the public eye. Iconic Events is essential for collective memory scholars and undergraduate courses in communications, American studies, history, and sociology, as well as the general reader.
In this book, Gail Orgelfinger examines the ways in which English historians and illustrators depicted Joan of Arc over a period of four hundred years, from her capture in 1429 to the early nineteenth century. The variety of epithets attached to Joan of Arc-from "witch" and "Medean virago" to "missioned Maid" and "shepherd's child"-attests to England's complicated relationship with the saint. While portrayals of Joan in English popular culture evolved over the centuries, they do not follow a straightforward trajectory from vituperation to adulation. Focusing primarily on descriptions of Joan's captivity, trial, and execution, this study shows how the exigencies of politics and the demands of genre shaped English retellings of her military successes, gender transgressions, and execution at the hands of her English enemies. Orgelfinger's research illuminates how and why English writers and artists used the memory of Joan of Arc to grapple with issues such as England's relationship with France, emerging protofeminism in the early modern era, and the sense of national guilt over her execution. A systematic analysis of Joan's English historiography in its political and social contexts, this volume sheds light on four centuries of English thought on Joan of Arc. It will be welcomed by specialist and general readers alike, especially those interested in women's studies.
The book brings together many recent trends in writing history under a common framework: thinking history globally. By thinking history globally, the book explains, applies, and exemplifies the four basic strategies of analysis, the big C's: comparing, connecting, conceptualizing, and contextualizing, using twelve different branches of history.
A global history of historical writing, thought and the development of the historical discipline from the ancient world to the present. This is a definitive guide to human efforts to recover, understand and represent the past, bringing together different historical traditions and their social, economic, political and cultural contexts. Daniel Woolf offers clear definitions of different genres and forms of history and addresses key themes such as the interactions between West and East, the conflict of oral, pictographic, and written accounts of the past and the place of history in society and in politics. Numerous textual extracts and illustrations in every chapter capture the historical cultures of past civilizations and demonstrate the different forms that historical consciousness has taken around the world. The book offers unique insights into the interconnections between different historical cultures over 3000 years and relates the rise of history to key themes in world history.
In the 5th century BCE, Herodotus wrote the first known Western history to build on the tradition of Homeric storytelling, basing his text on empirical observations and arranging them systematically. Herodotus and the Question Why offers a comprehensive examination of the methods behind the Histories and the challenge of documenting human experiences, from the Persian Wars to cultural traditions. In lively, accessible prose, Christopher Pelling explores such elements as reconstructing the mentalities of storyteller and audience alike; distinctions between the human and the divine; and the evolving concepts of freedom, democracy, and individualism. Pelling traces the similarities between Herodotus's approach to physical phenomena (Why does the Nile flood?) and to landmark events (Why did Xerxes invade Greece? And why did the Greeks win?), delivering a fascinating look at the explanatory process itself. The cultural forces that shaped Herodotus's thinking left a lasting legacy for us, making Herodotus and the Question Why especially relevant as we try to record and narrate the stories of our time and to fully understand them.
This volume is designed to assist university faculty and students studying and teaching about antisemitism, racism, and other forms of prejudice. In contrast with similar volumes, it is organized around specific concepts instead of chronology or geography. It promotes conversation about antisemitism across disciplinary, geographic, and thematic lines rather than privileging a single methodological paradigm, a specific academic field, or an overarching narrative. Its twenty-one chapters by leading scholars in diverse fields address the relationship to antisemitism of concepts ranging from Anti-Judaism to Zionism. Each chapter not only traces the history and major scholarly debates around a key concept; it also presents an original argument, points to avenues for further research, and exemplifies a method of investigation.
Judith M. Brown, one of the leading historians of South Asia, provides an original and thought-provoking strategy for conducting and presenting historical research in her latest book, "Windows into the Past." Brown looks at how varieties of "life history" that focus on the lives of institutions and families, as well as individuals, offer a broad and rich means of studying history. Her distinctively creative approach differs from traditional historical biography in that it explores a variety of "life histories" and shows us how they become invaluable windows into the past.
Following her introduction, "The Practice of History," Brown opens windows on the history of South Asia. She begins with the life history of an educational institution, Balliol College, Oxford, and tracks the interrelationship between Britain and India through the lives of the British and Indian men who were educated there. She then demonstrates the significance of family life history, showing that by observing patterns of family life over several generations, it is possible to gain insight into the experiences of groups of people who rarely left historical documents about themselves, particularly South Asian women. Finally, Brown uses the life history of two prominent individuals, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, to examine questions about the nature of Indian nationalism and the emergent Indian state.
"This book provides an example of the historian's craft at its best. Known throughout the world for her balanced and influential interpretation of modern India, Mahatma Gandhi, and Nehru, Judith Brown has excelled herself by opening windows into India's recent past that hitherto have remained closed. The elegance of style adds to the power of the argument. Read it: you will enjoy the experience." --Anthony Parel, University of Calgary
"Once again, Judith Brown has amazed us with something truly remarkable. Her latest book, so exquisitely well crafted, is a gem. It gives us fresh glimpses into facets of India's (or South Asia's) recent past, of things never before seen, or imagined. Reflecting brilliance of imagination and insight, it shows us new ways of 'doing history.' By focusing upon dynastic 'lives' of specific institutions--cohorts and families of Balliol College, as well as individuals in their 'public' and 'private' worlds--this work turns our understandings around. Never again will we look at the Raj, or at Gandhi and Nehru, in quite the same way." --Robert Eric Frykenberg, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"Utilizing Balliol College records, personal photographs, life histories, and more traditional sources such as autobiographies and private papers, Judith Brown incisively explores multiple themes in the history of colonial and independent India. They range from the graduates of Balliol College who formed 'dynasties' within an imperial administration to how the iconic Indian leaders, Gandhi and Nehru, confronted public and private challenges while creating an Indian nation. Her fascinating narrative of family histories will stimulate both professional historians and popular audiences to reconsider how such histories can illuminate broader topics such as imperial dominance, nation-building, and globalization." --Barbara Ramusack, Charles Phelps Taft Professor, University of Cincinnati
"Judith Brown provides an insightful demonstration of the diverse uses historians can make of biography as a means of interrogating the past and of communicating with a wider public outside academia. In taking 'life history' beyond the study of individuals to explore family, group, and institutional trajectories over several generations, Brown's innovative analyses extend from the lives of powerful and well-documented figures central to the evolution of modern India, particularly Gandhi and Nehru, to British family 'dynasties' and educational institutions that decisively shaped the Raj to the lives of ordinary Indian women and men who left few written traces. Her work positions South Asia and its peoples, particularly its imperial and international migrants and diasporas, within a suggestively global framework." --Elizabeth Buettner, University of York
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