On the Future of HistoryThe Postmodernist Challenge and Its Aftermath

On the Future of HistoryThe Postmodernist Challenge and Its Aftermath

Ernst Breisach

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226072791

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


What does postmodernism mean for the future of history? Can one still write history in postmodernity? To answer questions such as these, this book provides an overview of postmodernism and its complex relationship to history and historiography. Placing postmodern theories in their intellectual and historical contexts, the book shows how they are part of broad developments in Western culture. The book sees postmodernism as neither just a fad nor a universal remedy. It presents and critically evaluates the major views on history held by influential postmodernists, such as Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard, and the new narrativists. Along the way, it introduces major debates among historians over postmodern theories of evidence, objectivity, meaning and order, truth, and the usefulness of history. The book also discusses new types of history that have emerged as a consequence of postmodernism, including cultural history, microhistory, and new historicism.

Table of Contents

Part I A Preliminary Exploration of the Postmodernist Challenge

Part 2 Postmodernity as the Triumph of Continuity: Structural Postmodernism

Part 3 Postmodernity as the Age of Dominant Change: Poststructuralist Postmodernism

Part 4 Poststructuralist Postmodernism and the Reshaping of Society