Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 521.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
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Date: Sun, 02 Mar 2003 09:17:57 +0000
From: Willard McCarty <email@example.com>
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 || firstname.lastname@example.org
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