As the title of the first volume under consideration asserts, France is currently in the grip of a divisive and destabilising phenomenon. Guerres de Mémoires, or wars of memories, are currently wracking the land, calling into question national identity and even challenging the hallowed Republican model.
This edited collection of essays, published to mark the 20th anniversary of the journal Gender and History, is a welcome and timely reminder of the way in which gender and women’s history has successfully challenged historical orthodoxies, has been used to scrutinize and enrich established timeframes for the past and has vividly exposed the way in which female agency has too often been
History at the Crossroads. Australians and the Past is the latest work from Paul Ashton and Paula Hamilton, founding editors of Public History Review and the co-directors of the Australian Centre for Public History based at the University of Technology in Sydney.
One of the connecting strands in this major biography of the Australian historian W. K. Hancock (1898–1988) is the question of his shifting reputation. Hancock was a son of the vicarage, who took out a brilliant First at the University of Melbourne. Arriving in Oxford, via a Rhodes Scholarship, as ‘a dreadfully purposeful young man’, he went on to a glittering career.
The historian is like an actor on a revolving stage. He has a brief time in which to recite his words. He’s got to hold the audience. He must also hope that he has used the time on the stage to teach and write about things that really matter ... He must ...
Historians with an interest in personal and public memory know a great deal about the challenges entailed in attempting to document the affective contours of past and present lives.
It is rare to review a book that was published nearly 60 years ago. It is also a privilege, because Sir George Hill’s last volume in his four-volume A History of Cyprus is considered by most historians of Cyprus as the starting point for both students and scholars of the Ottoman and British periods (until 1948) of Cyprus’ past.
‘Structure’ is still an unfashionable word in history. Since the late 1980s, ‘post-structuralism’ (or, more commonly, its elastic cousin postmodernism) has seemed to dominate much historical writing and methodology. The ‘linguistic turn’ has sharpened historians’ attention to the power of language.
The former Master of Peterhouse, Herbert Butterfield, has become something of a cottage industry over the past ten years or so, with a number of monographs resurrecting a career that had previously fallen into neglect.
Over the past few decades we have been invited to rethink history, pursue it, practise it, defend it, refigure it, and generally consider what it is, what it’s for, and whether we really need to bother with it. Now, just as we think it must all be done and dusted, if not done to death, we are offered more advice on ‘doing’ it.