History in a Post-Truth World: Theory and Praxis explores one of the most significant paradigm shifts in public discourse. A post-truth environment that appeals primarily to emotion, elevates personal belief, and devalues expert opinion has important implications far beyond Brexit or the election of Donald Trump, and has a profound impact on how history is produced and consumed. Post-truth history is not merely a synonym for lies. This book argues that indifference to historicity by both the purveyor and the recipient, contempt for expert opinion that contradicts it, and ideological motivation are its key characteristics.
Taking a multidisciplinary approach, this work explores some of the following questions: What exactly is post-truth history? Does it represent a new phenomenon? Does the historian have a special role to play in preserving public memory from ‘alternative facts’? Do academics more generally have an obligation to combat fake news and fake history both in universities and on social media? How has a ‘post-truth culture’ impacted professional and popular historical discourse? Looking at theoretical dimensions and case studies from around the world, this book explores the violent potential of post-truth history and calls on readers to resist.
Table of Contents
1. Who Controls the Past? Part 1: What Is Post-Truth?: Theoretical Considerations 2. Post-Truth as Crisis of Trust and Critical Source Assessment 3. Post-Truth and Consequences 4. The Post-Truth Condition and Social Distribution of Knowledge: On Some Dilemmas with Post-Truth Uses Part 2: Case Studies of Post-Truth 5. Pinkersonian Post-Truth: History, Ideology, and Postmodernism 6. Denying the Stolen Generations: What Happens to Indigenous History in a Post-Truth World? 7. The Oldest Post-Truth?: The Rise of Antisemitism in America and Beyond 8. Post-Truth and the Construction of Representations of the Past: The Theory of the Two Demons and the Case of Argentina 9. The Post-Truth Environment: Indian Politics and History Education 10. Business as Usual: Feminist History in a Post-Truth World 11. "I’m Not Even Making That Up": Myths About Moriori and Denials of Indigeneity in New Zealand Part 3: The Truth About "Post-Truth": Evaluation and Response 12. Trump, Fascism, and Historians in the Post-Truth Era 13. Decolonising Historiography in South Africa: Reflecting on "Post-Truth" Relevance 25 Years Since Mandela 14. Museums as Critical Spaces for Alterity in a Post-Truth World 15. Academic Activism in the Age of Post-Truth: How Do Genocide Scholars Respond to Denial? 16. Essence of Post-Truth History and Ways to Respond
Marius Gudonis is a PhD candidate at Collegium Civitas University, Poland.
Benjamin T. Jones is a lecturer in history at Central Queensland University and a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Studies Institute.