16.521 historiography of recent history?

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Sun Mar 02 2003 - 04:47:10 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 521.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Sun, 02 Mar 2003 09:17:57 +0000
             From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
             Subject: historiography of recent history

    At the moment I am toying with the idea that as the temporal focus of
    history approaches the present day, historiography becomes ethnography, in
    other words, distance in time becomes distance in (metaphorical) space.
    One's informants are no longer silent because they are dead, rather they
    are silent, and we deaf to what we need to hear, because we share with them
    what goes without saying. How, to paraphrase the ethnographer Greg Dening,
    do we hear their silences?

    Yes, I oversimplify, but I do so in order to provoke suggestions as to
    where I might look for wisdom on the writing of recent history. I am
    looking for a Momigliano or Finley or Collingwood whose focus is on the
    historiography of the very recent past. If I cannot find a person of such
    stature and interests then a lesser but thoughtful light would do. Any

    The topic is ours because, not to put too fine a point on it, we deal daily
    with legacy artifacts that we need to understand in their contexts of
    origin, with practices which were formed around earlier media and with
    people trained on the basis of these media.

    Any suggestions would be most welcome.


    Dr Willard McCarty | Senior Lecturer | Centre for Computing in the
    Humanities | King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS || +44 (0)20
    7848-2784 fax: -2980 || willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk

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