Postmodernism for Historians: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Postmodernism for Historians

1st Edition

By Callum G. Brown


208 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780582506046
pub: 2004-12-22
Hardback: 9781138169319
pub: 2016-02-01

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Postmodernism is an essential approach to History. This is the first dedicated primer on postmodernism for the historian. It offers a step-by-step guide to postmodern theory, includes a guide to how historians have applied the theory, and provides a review of why its critics are wrong. In simple and clear language, it takes the reader through the chain of theory that developed in the 20th century to become now, in the early 21st century, the leading stimulant of new forms of research in History.

With separate chapters on The Sign, The Discourse, Post/Structuralism, The Text, The Self, and Morality, this book will encourage a new critical awareness of Theory when reading books of History, and when writing essays and dissertations. Armed with the principal ideas of Saussure, Barthes, Foucault, and Derrida, the historians can formulate how to combine empirical History with the excitement of fresh perspectives and new skills, merged in the new moral impetus of the postmodern condition. Designed for the beginner this is the essential postmodern starting point.

Table of Contents



1. Empiricism

2. Signs

3. Discourse

4. Poststructuralism

5. Text

6. Self

7. Morality

8. Criticism of postmodernism in history



Further reading

Web links


About the Author

Callum G. Brown is Professor of Religious and Cultural History at the University of Dundee. He teaches and researches in the history of community ritual, personal memory and secularisation. He is author of The Death of Christian Britain (2000) and Up-helly-aa (1998).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
PHILOSOPHY / History & Surveys / Modern