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Experiments in Rethinking History / Edition 1

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Overview

"History is a narrative discourse, full of unfinished stories. This collection of innovative and experimental pieces of historical writing shows there are fascinating and important new ways of telling the past. The pieces illustrate the performative and fictive nature of history, and point to new ways of thinking about the past." "Fourteen engaging and thought-provoking pieces lead the reader to a deeper understanding of some of the possible responses to the question 'What is history?', and even suggest that this traditional question might be better replaced with a new question, 'How shall I engage with the past today?' The collection includes subjects as diverse as a lynching in South Carolina, the life of an eighteenth-century French marquise and a journey to a string of Pacific islands. The pieces show what is possible in doing history, and demonstrate how other factors, such as the impact of emotions, the feeling of 'otherness', the confining character of boundaries, authorial subjectivity, and even a sense of boredom with conventional ways of doing history, intrude on historical practice." As well as being a compelling read, the book includes a thorough two-part introduction on theory and practice, as well as further introductory matter at the start of each Part to allow the reader to engage fully with the theoretical aspects of each section of the book. This book should be read by all those with an interest in history and its theory.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415301459
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Alun Munslow is Professor of History and Historical Theory at Staffordshire University. He is the author of Deconstructing History, The Routledge Companion to Historical Studies and most recently The New History and is the UK editor of Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice.

Robert A. Rosenstone, Professor of History at the California Institute of Technology, is author of six books, including Romantic Revolutionary: A Biogrpahy of John Reed, Mirror in the Shrine: American Encounters with Meiji Japan, Visions of the Past: The Challenge of Film to Our Idea of History and King of Odessa. Currently he serves as Founding Editor of Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : practice and theory 1
Introduction : theory and practice 7
Pt. I Self-reflexive 13
1 When I was a child, I danced as a child, but now that I am old, I think about salvation : Concepcion Gonzalez and a past that would not stay put 17
2 Writing, rewriting the beach : an essay 30
3 Reconditioning history : adapting knowledge from the past into realities of the present 56
4 Not a "Kodak moment" : picturing Asian Americans 77
Pt. II New voices 85
5 Impressions of the Somme : an experiment 89
6 Antonio Foscarini in the city of crossed destinies 124
7 Narrating a southern tragedy : historical facts and historical fictions 156
8 Reconstructing the voice of a noblewoman of the time of Peter the Great : Daria Mikhailovna Menshikova : an exercise in (pseudo)autobiographical writing 183
9 A prologue for La Dame d'Esprit : the biography of the marquise Du Chatelet 195
10 Blackout 209
Pt. III Miniatures 223
11 Dictator in a dumpster : thoughts on history and garbage 225
12 The abattoir of the prairie 228
13 Liberace : behind the music 231
14 Rethinking Charles Atlas 234
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