"Why bother with history? Keith Jenkins has an answer. He helps us re-think the "end of history", as signalled by postmodernity. Readers may disagree with him, but he never fails to provoke debate about the future of the past."
Joanna Bourke, Professor of History, Birkbeck College
Keith Jenkins’ work on historical theory is renowned; this collection presents the essential elements of his work over the last fifteen years.
Here we see Jenkins address the difficult and complex question of defining the limits of history. The collection draws together the key pieces of his work in one handy volume, encompassing the ever controversial issue of postmodernism and history, questions on the end of history and radical history into the future. Exchanges with Perez Zagorin and Michael Coleman further illuminate the level of debate that has surrounded postmodernism, and which continues to do so. An extended introduction and abstracts which contextualize each piece, together with a foreword by Hayden White and an afterword by Alun Munslow, make this collection essential reading for all those interested in the theory and practice of history and its development over the last few decades.
Table of Contents
Foreword, Hayden White 1. Introduction: History Limited 2. Marxism and Historical Knowledge: Tony Bennett and the Discursive Turn 3. Living In Time but Outside History, Living in Morality but Outside Ethics: Postmodernism and Elizabeth Deeds Ermarth 4. Why Bother With History? 5. History, the Referent, and Narrative: Reflections on Postmodernism Now Perez Zagorin 6. A Postmodern Reply to Perez Zagorin 7. Rejoinder to a Postmodernist Perez Zagorin 8. Response to a Postmodernist: or, a historian’s critique of postmodernist critiques of history Michael C. Coleman 9. Against the Historical ‘Middle Ground’: A Reply to Michael Coleman 10. On Disobedient Histories 11. Modernist Disavowals and Postmodern Reminders of the Condition of History Today: on Jean Francois Lyotard 12. Ethical Responsibility and the Historian: on the Possible End of History ‘of a Certain Kind’ 13. Once Upon A Time: On History 14. Postmodernity, the End of History, and Frank Ankersmit 15. The End of the Affair: On the Irretrievable Breakdown of History and Ethics 16. ‘Nobody Does It Better’: Radical History and Hayden White 17. Sande Cohen: On the Verge of Newness 18. Cohen contra Ankersmit Afterword Alun Munslow
Keith Jenkins is Emeritus Professor, University of Chichester. He is the author of five books on historical theory and co-editor (with Alun Munslow) of The Nature of History Reader and (with Sue Morgan and Alun Munslow) Manifestos for History, all published by Routledge.
'Why bother with history? Keith Jenkins has an answer. He helps us re-think the "end of history", as signalled by postmodernity. Readers may disagree with him, but he never fails to provoke debate about the future of the past.' – Joanna Bourke, Professor of History, Birkbeck College
'Confronting thus the desolation of affirmative historical culture on thoughtful ethical grounds, At the Limits of History evinces intellectual resilience and conveys an urgent immediacy – what in the struggle for social hope Ernst Bloch calls the "actual experience of being on philosophy's 'front-line".' – Reviews in History