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A critical reader in history and theory, second edition
Authors: Anna Green and Kathleen Troup

Every piece of historical writing has a theoretical basis on which evidence is selected, filtered, and understood. This book explores the theoretical perspectives and debates that are generally acknowledged to have been the most influential within the university-led practice of history over the past century and a half. It advises readers to bear in mind the following four interlinked themes: context, temporal framework, causation or drivers of change, and subjectivities. The book outlines the principles of empiricism, the founding epistemology of the professional discipline, and explores the ways in which historians have challenged and modified this theory of knowledge over the past century and a half. It then focuses upon three important dimensions of historical materialism in the work of Marxist historians: the dialectical model at the basis of Marx's grand narrative of human history; the adaptations of Marxist theory in Latin America; and the enduring question of class consciousness. The use of psychoanalysis in history, the works of Annales historians and historical sociology is discussed next. The book also examines the influence of two specific approaches that were to be fertile ground for historians: everyday life and symbolic anthropology, and ethnohistory. The roles of narrative, gender history, radical feminism, poststructuralism and postcolonial history are also discussed. Finally, the book outlines the understandings about the nature of memory and remembering, and looks at key developments in the analysis and interpretation of oral histories and oral traditions.

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Anna Green and Kathleen Troup

This chapter presents some concluding thoughts on the exploration of historical theories. It includes William Sewell's and Joan Wallach Scott's discussions of their intellectual journeys to demonstrate the way in which individual historians, as well as schools of history, develop in their thinking and practice over time. Scott and Sewell contextualize their development, consider what drove the changes in their historical practice, and reveal something of their own historical subjectivities. Global history and world history seem likely to continue to attempt to break through a previously Eurocentric view of the world. Global history authors, considering a longer time span, have included 'natural history' as well as human history. A trend to considering the history of the environment, perhaps triggered by anxieties about climate change, extends the natural history approach. Historians have continued to develop new approaches, so that historiography is continually invigorated.

in The houses of history
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Azzedine Haddour

struggle is marked by two defining features. First, the colonized have to reaffirm their historical subjectivity; second, and more important, they have to adopt modern and revolutionary principles.43 The necessity of the struggle is engendered by the desire to espouse modern values without being colonized, assimilated and hegemonized. Fanon’s struggle is obviously determined by the exigencies of a brand of nationalism Conclusion 253 that is open to embrace the values of other progressive cultures. In his words: The necessity of being reborn generates in the Algerian

in Frantz Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference
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Anna Green and Kathleen Troup

. The theories and concepts that inform many contemporary analyses and interpretations of historical subjectivities are fully explored in later chapters of this book. The four themes of contextualization, temporal frameworks, causation and drivers of change , and subjectivities will enable you to interrogate the assumptions and perspectives, theories and concepts upon which historians draw to analyse and interpret the past. We have sought to include examples from a wide range of historical contexts, but length and language requirements for an introductory text

in The houses of history
The UPC and France in Cameroonian history and memory
Thomas Sharp

state and non-state actors, who could be supportive, indifferent or hostile to France’s close ties with Cameroon. Cameroon’s relationship to France has therefore been continuously open to shifting alliances and interacting networks of opposition and cooperation, representing a variety of political objectives that refutes conventional analytical categories of dependency, collaboration and resistance. The political and historical subjectivities that have been articulated around such a relationship have similarly been open to constant negotiation and appropriation by

in Francophone Africa at fifty
Open Access (free)
Pleasantville and the textuality of media memory
Paul Grainge

historical subjectivity are given an added, more explicitly textualised, dimension in Pleasantville . Rather than revisit the 1950s, David and Jennifer are placed in an idealised representation of the 1950s. Here, they proceed to challenge, interrogate and deconstruct its ideological assumptions. In some sense, Pleasantville makes literal the process of postmodern historicism that Linda Hutcheon

in Memory and popular film
Gender (and) politics in Colombian women’s documentary
Deborah Martin

postmodern: the film’s reflexivity and blurring of fictional and documentary elements create a filmic language which muddies its seemingly straightforward political waters; the questioning of a unified subject and the refusal to adhere to a linear form do not allow for an unproblematic understanding of historical subjectivity. The use of flashback, too, privileges subjective, over objective, truth (Hayward

in Hispanic and Lusophone women filmmakers
Dana M. Williams

apparent in any analysis. Second, as an international movement – especially one intent on eliminating state borders and global capitalism – common opportunities may be larger in scale than the country level. Opportunities may be more general than any one country and instead may be shared across national borders. This possibility suggests that countryspecific opportunities are less important. Opportunities must be perceived as real to insiders in order to be useful in the analysis of historical, subjective narratives, either in the present or in retrospect. Subjectivity

in Black flags and social movements
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Amy Levine

the bourgeoisie or a more modern type under the hegemony of workers and peasants, that is, a ‘new democracy’ – it is the study of failure which constitutes the central problematic of the historiography of colonial India. (1987: 7) Abelmann writes, ‘Because Korea’s liberation was imposed and because there are two Korean states that claim to be the legitimate offspring of colonial struggles, many historians endeavor to explain or explain away failure’ (1996: 261). Namhee Lee has extended this footnote into a theory of the ‘crisis of historical subjectivity’, which

in South Korean civil movement organisations
Rebecca Munford

assume inextricable Gothic aspects. 15 Woman is, once again, posited as a site or space against the historical subjectivity of the male Gothic agent. Nevertheless, Charles Bernheimer proposes, male artists’ relation to the figure of the prostitute in nineteenth-century France was extremely complex, involving ‘both identification and repulsion. As an emblem for their own artistic

in Decadent Daughters and Monstrous Mothers