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An introduction

History in the historiographical sense is made by us, not by people in the past, nor by the record of their actions. This book facilitates the critical reading of works of history. It looks at the historical profession, its predilections and traditions. The Whig interpretation of history has been chosen to illustrate the relationship between historiography and a prevalent culture because of its central role in the period when the historical profession began to establish itself in England and because of its continuing popular and political influence. The book acts as a guide to reading historiographical texts, looking at the relationship between 'facts' and 'theories', and at 'meta-narrative' and causation. The book examines the issues of planning and structuring in the process of writing an essay. It offers a guide to the writing of academic history at undergraduate level and to the skills involved, and contrasts this with the non-academic uses of history. The book talks about some gender historians who viewed gender identities as expressions of social change within a wider society. It explores the unique fascination that the Nazis has exercised on both academic and popular historiography, along with the allied study of the Holocaust. The book also explores the works of Marxist historians associated with the Communist Party Historians' Group and considers the earlier approaches to cultural history, as influences on the Group, and the development of newer theoretical positions that developed both out of and in opposition to Marxism. The developments in British historiography are discussed.

Richard Jackson

allow them to fit into a number of pre-existing and highly popular meta-narratives: World War II (the Pearl Harbor analogy), the cold war, the struggle of civilisation against barbarism and the globalisation narrative. These fashionable political and cultural narratives assign particular meanings to the events and provide a very specific kind of contextual framework for their interpretation. Finally, I will briefly

in Writing the war on terrorism
Passing, racial identity and the literary marketplace
Sinéad Moynihan

focuses on contemporary fiction that deploys passing plots in order to consider the act of writing. In other words, it extends Bennett’s analysis by examining texts that invoke passing at both a narrative and meta-narrative level in order to reflect upon the politics of the literary marketplace. Indeed, in his recent work on African American writers and white publishers, John K. Young implicitly makes this connection when he claims that The American publishing industry … has historically inscribed a mythologized version of the ‘black

in Passing into the present
Abstract only
Douglas Morrey and Alison Smith

mind of the spectator, over and above the disavowals provided by dialogue. The investigation of secrets in Rivette’s films is productive of meta-narrative forms: secrets, by inviting enquiry, generate narrative and so these stories become labyrinthine tales of their own inception and nourishment. At the same time, though, these paranoid conspiracy theories are not only the fabrication of the characters’ minds but also relate

in Jacques Rivette
Anna Green and Kathleen Troup

truth back there, which we could discover if only we had all the information, or were examining it from the correct vantage point. But for a poststructuralist thinker, the system is not closed and never can be. Absolute truth therefore does not exist. For a historian, this lack of closure implies that there can be no meta-narratives, no overarching explanation of the passage of human history from past to future. Historians have commonly based their analyses on material artifacts – documents, art, and architecture, archaeological remains – and we might label these

in The houses of history
Mateja Celestina

a political and symbolic meaning. Rather, I analyse the ways in which the category is produced, reproduced and used, the assumptions that it contains, how it can, aided by the scope of the phenomenon, depersonalise those it is supposed to help, and ultimately how categorisation can impact the meta-​narratives about conflict and social reality in Colombia. I first look at the historical development of how the category came into being. I then look at the politicised process of registering the desplazados, and then turn to the examination of who is perceived as a

in Living displacement
Anastasia Marinopoulou

and genealogically consummated. The modernism that Foucault presented opposed Kant’s idea of critique, and in the overall assessment served as a meta-​narrative of modernity or as the formative idea of postmodernism. Such critique conforms with modernism when elaborating the significance of scientific elenchus that acts as the magnifying glass which emphasizes social and political problematics. Foucault’s critique also indicates that self-​reflection on the political, in the scientific domain, influences both scientific and social rationality. However, the new

in Critical theory and epistemology
Re-inventing the gothic personae in bizarre magick
Nik Taylor and Stuart Nolan

magic and which can refer to ‘deception in all areas of life’ (Burger and Neale, 1995 : 187). The magic assemblage presents a complex series of reflections, mirrors, and meta-narratives that interpret and reinterpret the various rhetorics of magic. Within this, bizarre magick offers numerous examples of transformations/translations of classic and contemporary gothic rhetorics of

in Monstrous media/spectral subjects
Paul Darby, James Esson, and Christian Ungruhe

socialist developmental philosophy, to an era where the meta narrative for economic development is neoliberal marketisation, has understandably transformed how the Ghanaian football industry and the actors within it function. Football is now a business and driven primarily by a profit motive. Financial speculation over players is now a core feature of the game, and the country's success in the 1991 FIFA youth championship is considered the watershed moment in the positioning of player migration as a means to generate surplus value. Accordingly, the number of amateur clubs

in African football migration
Roger Spalding and Christopher Parker

This chapter provides a guide to reading historiographical texts, looking at the relationship between 'facts' and 'theories', and at 'meta-narrative' and causation. The examples are chosen to illustrate the problems inherent in the idea of there being an easy distinction between fact and theory. They include the empiricist-Marxist debate on the French Revolution, class and English social history, and imperialism in the context of globalisation. Historians can be excused for feeling very ambivalent about the relationship between narrative and historical explanation. Narrative often appears to be the lazy way of avoiding a selection of material or the application of reason to a historical problem. Narration can be taken to imply a causal connection between events that are narrated consecutively. A successful narrative always has to have an analytical structure as well; and, in historiography, an analytical approach has an implied narrative, if it is to have any meaning.

in Historiography