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On the Future of HistoryThe Postmodernist Challenge and Its Aftermath$
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Ernst Breisach

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780226072791

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226072814.001.0001

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A Prelude to Poststructuralist Postmodernism

A Prelude to Poststructuralist Postmodernism

(p.59) 14 A Prelude to Poststructuralist Postmodernism
On the Future of History
University of Chicago Press

Structural postmodernists had foreseen a resolution of the crisis of modernity in a static postmodernity. Historiography, although untouched in its epistemological infrastructure, would have to tailor its accounts to fit into the now limited postmodernist framework of human experience. Since the late 1960s, poststructuralist postmodernists have argued the case of a quite different postmodernity. In its simplest meaning the term poststructuralism referred to the chronological fact that the postmodernism which appeared after structuralism had waned. Claude Levi-Strauss's anthropological version had lost its prominence and the version of Roland Barthes had stopped working strictly in the mode of structuralist linguistics and literature. As in the case of structural postmodernism, the term poststructuralist postmodernism was not chosen because a uniform group of scholars set out to revise the thinking about modernity and progress in accord with a well-formulated, unified program. All of them, however, shared in a profound disenchantment with the main tenets of modernity: that full rationality would provide complete knowledge and that one of its important results would be a beneficial and complete control over human destiny.

Keywords:   postmodernity, poststructuralist postmodernism, poststructuralism, human experience, rationality, progress

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