Is time out of joint? For the past two centuries, the dominant Western time regime has been future-oriented and based on the linear, progressive and homogeneous concept of time. Over the last few decades, there has been a shift towards a new, present-oriented regime or 'presentism', made up of multiple and percolating temporalities. Rethinking Historical Time engages with this change of paradigm, providing a timely overview of cutting-edge interdisciplinary approaches to this new temporal condition.
Marek Tamm and Laurent Olivier have brought together an international team of scholars working in history, anthropology, archaeology, geography, philosophy, literature and visual studies to rethink the epistemological consequences of presentism for the study of past and to discuss critically the traditional assumptions that underpin research on historical time. Beginning with an analysis of presentism, the contributors move on to explore in historical and critical terms the idea of multiple temporalities, before presenting a series of case studies on the variability of different forms of time in contemporary material culture.
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Marek Tamm is Professor of Cultural History at Tallinn University, Estonia. His primary research fields are the cultural history of medieval Europe, theory of history and cultural memory studies. He has recently published Debating New Approaches to History (ed. with Peter Burke, 2018) and an edited volume, Afterlife of Events: Perspectives on Mnemohistory (2015).
Laurent Olivier is Curator in Chief of the Celtic and Gallic Department at the French National Museum of Archaeology in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. His main area of research is the archaeology of the European Iron Age, but he is also interested in the history of the archaeological discipline and its place in the building of collective identities. He has recently published Le Pays des Celtes. Memoires de la Gaule (2018).
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List of Contributors
Introduction: Rethinking Historical Time, Marek Tamm (Tallinn University, Estonia) and Laurent Olivier (French National Museum of Archaeology, France)
Part I: Presentism and New Temporalities
1. Out of Time? Some Critical Reflections on Francois Hartog's Presentism, Chris Lorenz (VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
2. Return to Chronology, Helge Jordheim (University of Oslo, Norway)
3. Coming to Terms with the Present: Exploring the Chrononormativity of Historical Time, Victoria Fareld (Stockholm University, Sweden)
4. The Transformation of Historical Time: Processual and Evental Temporalities, Zoltan Boldizsar Simon (Bielefeld University, Germany)
Part II: Multiple Temporalities
5. Revolutionary Presence: Historicism and the Temporal Politics of the Moment, Hans Ruin (Soedertoern University, Sweden)
6. Time Outside History: Politics and Ontology in Franz Rosenzweig's and Mircea Eliade's Reimagined Temporalities, Liisi Keedus (Tallinn University, Estonia)
7. Pictorial Times and the Times of History: On Seeing Images and Experiencing Time, Johannes Grave (Bielefeld University, Germany)
8. Time as History in Twentieth-Century Photography, Anne Fuchs (University College Dublin, Ireland)
Part III: Material Temporalities
9. Heritage and the Untimely, Torgeir Rinke Bangstad (UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway)
10. 'Let's Get Rid of That Old Stuff!' Family Heritage Objects in France at the Age of Presentism, Jean-Pierre Legendre (French Ministry of Culture, France) and Laurence Ollivier (French Ministry of Culture, France)
11. Death and Archaeology in the Present, Tense, Shannon Lee Dawdy (University of Chicago, USA)
12. Rewilding Time in the Vale do Coa, Caitlin DeSilvey (University of Exeter, UK)
Conclusion: A Creed That Has Lost its Believers? Reconfiguring the Concepts of Time and History, Aleida Assmann (University of Constance, Germany)
In the last generation, we have seen a major shift in attitudes to time - past, present and future - both among historians and in the wider world. Rethinking Historical Time offers an indispensable guide to this shift and to its different contexts: cultural, social and ecological. * Peter Burke, Emeritus Professor of Cultural History, University of Cambridge, UK * At a time of great uncertainty, these essays on how societies have reflected on past, present and future, and on the duties those alive have to those who have been and those to come, is particularly welcome. Rethinking Historical Time is both global in its reach and human in scale. It is a lucid contribution that all those thinking and learning in the humanities will appreciate. * Miri Rubin, Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History, Queen Mary, University of London, UK *
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