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A Promised Land
The Ethos of History
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At a time when rapidly evolving technologies, political turmoil, and the tensions inherent in multiculturalism and globalization are reshaping historical consciousness, what is the proper role for historians and their work? By way of an answer, the contributors to this volume offer up an illuminating collective meditation on the idea of ethos and its relevance for historical practice. These intellectually adventurous essays demonstrate how ethos-a term evoking a society's "fundamental character" as well as an ethical appeal to knowledge and commitment-can serve as a conceptual lodestar for history today, not only as a narrative, but as a form of consciousness and an ethical-political orientation.
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"This volume offers much and important food for thought by describing the variety of the historical-theoretical debate and pointing out numerous open questions. It suggests focusing especially on concepts of time as well as ontological and epistemological uncertainty in historical thinking and perhaps to learn to appreciate these." * Geschichte fur Heute "This well-written volume offers plenty of material for cultural and literary studies as it explores how to live with the past, and how the past lives in us." * Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen, University of Oulu, Finland "This book is very useful for understanding the relationship between ethos and temporality. In showing how ethical questions blur the boundary between past, present, and future, it represents an important contribution to the literature." * Harry Jansen, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Stefan Helgesson is Professor of English at Stockholm University. He is the author of Writing in Crisis: Ethics and History in Gordimer, Ndebele and Coetzee (2004) and Transnationalism in Southern African Literature (2009), has edited volume four of Literary History: Towards a Global Perspective (2006), and is co-editor (with Pieter Vermeulen) of Institutions of World Literature: Writing, Translation, Markets (2015).
Acknowledgements Introduction: The Ethos of History Stefan Helgesson and Jayne Svenungsson Chapter 1. Towards a New Ethos of History Aleida Assmann Chapter 2. The Vampire, the Undead and the Anxieties of Historical Consciousness Claudia Linden and Hans Ruin Chapter 3. History, Justice and the Time of the Imprescriptible Victoria Fareld Chapter 4. Narrating Pasts for Peace? A Critical Analysis of Some Recent Initiatives of Historical Reconciliation through 'Historical Dialogue' and 'Shared History' Berber Bevernage Chapter 5. Psychoanalysis and the Indeterminacy of History Joan W. Scott Chapter 6. Does Time Have a Gender? Queer Temporality, Anachronism, and the Desire for the Past Kristina Fjelkestam Chapter 7. 'The One Who Should Die Is the One Who Shall Live': Prophetic Temporalities in Contemporary Colonial Brazil Patricia Lorenzoni Chapter 8. Radical Time in (Post)Colonial Narratives Stefan Helgesson Chapter 9. Engaged History Marcia Sa Cavalcante Schuback Chapter 10. Speakers for the Dead: Digital Memory and the Construction of Identity Alana M. Vincent Chapter 11. History Begins in the Future: On Historical Sensibility in the Age of Technology Zoltan Boldizsar Simon Afterword Hans Ruin Index