I was reading a ebook on Rethinking History by the post-present day Historian Jenkins. The ebook brings out Philosophical perspectives on the crafting of History that is Historiography.
In the first portion of the ebook he faithfully tries to define what History is and his definition is that History is a discourse. Then proceeds to break down History into an ideology, methodology and epistemology. He laments that History taught in schools does not incorporate post present day History and its numerous perspectives.
To start with of all I would like to say that the phrase History is a misnomer and should really be a self-control that embodies Histories. The phrase History if utilized would be symbol-centric and rooted in a Western Historical paradigm. There are many Histories circulating these days this kind of as black History, Counter Tradition, and Feminist History and so on.
The crafting of History can by no means be goal. Facts are interpreted by Historians as ideological sutures. Outdated facts can be offered in new-gentle as the Historiography of crafting. For case in point there are extremely minimal scientific tests on the plight of the feminine gender in Nazi Germany. The severe treatment method of Germany immediately after the defeat of Earth War A single can be observed empathically as a bring about for the increase of Nazi fanaticism. A Marxian would deal with Histories as course battle. Ideological positions have to be deconstructed. For case in point Marxism as a grand narrative when set into application in Soviet Russia failed bitterly. Queer heritage deconstructs the ideology of gender and interactions to intercourse. Historical text books should really incorporate numerous narratives. For case in point: a soldier’s diary entry. The narratives created by a Nazi mother are some illustrations. History taught in schools is one dimensional. The college text books should really incorporate numerous narratives.
When encountering the methodology of one can not be usually goal, neutral and scientific. How can we narrate a black mother getting raped by a white? If she writes a poem about it, is it not a portion of a Black tradition that’s repressed. For case in point if we glance at current day Hong Kong we see a optimistic effect of it as British Colonization. The British colonizers labored challenging with advantage to make Hong Kong now underneath China as affluent country. The poverty of India immediately after Independence has been worse than it was through the British regime.
Now what is History as a discourse? A discourse is a narrative, an prolonged rationalization of some thing. In a Historical discourse the past is explored and proof gathered and set into interpretations. For case in point Hitler’s Mein Kamp and Diary of Annie Frank are equally discourses, one which promotes the racial delight and superiority of the race and the other the struggles encountered by a woman through the second environment war. The ontology of political consciousness turns into a discourse the place folks symbolize History with numerous points of look at.
History as an epistemology should really encompass numerous narratives into its literary mould. For case in point I would have to read Toni Morrison, if I am crafting a historiography of Black Ladies. Epistemology has to place its roots in the ontological structure of consciousness. Re-deciphering History should really have the ontological structure of poetry, a fiction.