Authoring the Past: Writing and Rethinking History, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Authoring the Past

Writing and Rethinking History, 1st Edition

Edited by Alun Munslow


224 pages

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Please explain why you think about and write history as you do?

Collecting together the responses to this question from 15 of the world’s foremost historians and theorists, Authoring the Past represents a powerful reflection on and intervention in the historiographical field.

Edited by Alun Munslow and presented in concise digestible essays, the collection covers a broad range of contemporary interests and ideas and offers a rich set of reasoned alternative thoughts on our cultural engagement with times gone by. Emerging from an intensely fertile period of historical thought and practice, Authoring the Past examines the variety of approaches to the discipline that have taken shape during this time and suggests possible future ways of thinking about and interacting with the past. It provides a unique insight into recent debates on the nature and purpose of history and demonstrates that when diverse metaphysical and aesthetic choices are made, the nature of the representation of the past becomes a matter of legitimate dispute. Students, scholars and practitioners of history will find it a stimulating and invaluable resource.


"This is a fascinating collection of responses to the "Invitations to Historians" generated by the editors of Rethinking History to narrate their personal trajectories as developing historians and their investments in its practice." - Gabrielle Spiegel, The Johns Hopkins University, USA

Table of Contents

Introduction. 1. ‘Writing, Rewriting the Beach: an Essay’ by Greg Dening 2. ‘"After" History’ by Keith Jenkins 3. ‘History Is Public or Nothing’ by Alice Kessler-Harris 4. ‘I am not a baseball historian’ by Steven A. Reiss 5. ‘Beyond History’ by Elizabeth Deeds Ermarth 6. ‘Practices of Historical Narrative’ by Richard Price 7. ‘More Secondary Modern than Postmodern’ by Patrick Joyce 8. Untitled by Frank R. Ankersmit 9. ‘Confessions of a Postmodern(?) Historian’ by Robert A. Rosenstone 10. ‘The Story of "My Engagements with the Past"’ by Peter Munz 11. ‘In Search of Ariadne’s Thread’ by Beverley Southgate 12. Untitled by C. Behan McCullagh 13. ‘An Intellectual Self-Portrait or the Story of a historian’ by Peter Burke 14. ‘History, the Historian and an Autobiography’ by Jeremy D. Popkin 15. Untitled by Alex Macfie. Glossary.

About the Editor

Alun Munslow is a founding and UK editor of Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice. His recent publications include Narrative and History (2007) and The Future of History (2010).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Historiography
HISTORY / Study & Teaching