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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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Postmodernism and Feminist History

Postmodernism and Feminist History

Chapter:
20 Postmodernism and Feminist History
Source:
On the Future of History
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226072814.003.0020

Judged by the standards of contributions to historical knowledge and to the women's cause, women's history proved to be abundantly successful. Yet some women's historians experienced a distinct sense of unease in the midst of this success. By the late 1980s, with women's history widely accepted as an essential part of historiography, questions emerged concerning basic concepts and interpretations. They did so in an intellectual climate that had its origin in the social and cultural upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s and, in the 1980s, was powerfully reshaped by postmodernism. The climate was marked by a strong animus against the Enlightenment and its understanding of the role of reason and progress and affected many of progressive history's key elements, which had been tightly woven into women's history.

Keywords:   postmodernism, feminist history, historical knowledge, historiography, Enlightenment, social upheavals

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