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New Questions, Recent Theories and Global History

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Title: New Questions, Recent Theories and Global History


1
New Questions, Recent Theories and Global History
  • Posthistoire, Postcolonialism, Subaltern Histories

2
Why do we search for new theories in the new
field of Global History?
  • What kind of a communication culture is required
    for GH?
  • Post-theories part from the 2nd level of
    interpretation Which consequences does this
    have for historiography?
  • How can results of local history be discussed
    within the GH-community?

3
What kind of communication culture is required
for GH?
  • Since post-theories we know, that not only the
    possessing knowledge expresses power relations.
  • The relations themselves,
  • e.g. of subject and object
  • as well as the relations between different
    scientific communities reflect the existing power
    relations.

4
Post-theories part from the 2nd level of
interpretation
  • 1st level
  • Thesis Anti-thesis Synthesis ( truth)
  • 2nd level
  • Not synthesis is the goal, but the finding of as
    many contradictions to truth as possible

POST-THEORIES
5
The offer
  1. Constructivism
  2. Linguistic turn
  3. Postmodernity and Posthistoire
  4. Postcolonialism
  5. Subaltern Histories

6
1. Constructivism in Historiography
  • In its basic understanding a constructivist
    approach was first expressed by an historian,
    Giambattista VICO in1710
  • Verbum ipsum factum Saying the truth is
    identical with acting
  • G. Vico, De Antiquissima Italorum Sarpientia,
    Neapel 1858

7
Consequences of constructivist theoretical
approaches
  • The fading away of the idea of an immediately
    perceivable truth
  • Niklas Luhmann There is no metarécit master
    narration, because there is no external observer
    status.
  • N. Luhmann, Beobachtungen der Moderne, Opladen
    1992, 8

8
2.1 linguistic turn
  • critical backslash in the field of the philosophy
    of language ? label
  • Since 1987
  • New cultural history approaches appear in
    American Historical Review
  • The common goal consists in redefining the
    content of what could be called a history of
    ideas

9
2.2 linguistic turn
  • The debate concentrates on the term reality
  • conceiving it whether to be a linguistically
    constructive or linguistically representative
    phenomena

10
3. Postmodernism, Posthistoire
  • Jean-Francois Lyotard
  • The post-modern knowledge. (1979)
  • Modernity ends with the end of the modern
    meta-narrations
  • Meta-narrations are ...
  • ... conducted by a main and leading idea.
    Knowledge and life practices of a certain time
    seem to be reflected in it.
  • Post-modernity dismantles this kind of history
    writing by reexamining their preconditions.

11
La condition postmoderne
  • Values and visions external to the scientific act
    of historical writing prefigure different aims of
    a meta-narration,
  • e.g.
  • Emancipation of mankind, teleology of the spirit
    in idealism, hermeneutics as the sense of
    Historism, the promised welfare by capitalism,
    the liberation of mankind through revolution
    (Marxism) etc.
  • Martina Kaller-Dietrich, Gibt es eine historische
    Methode? Vom Umgang mit Geschichte/n. In Theo
    Hug (Hg) Wie kommt die Wissenschaft zu ihrem
    Wissen? Bd 3 Einführung in die Methodologie der
    Sozial- und Kulturwissenschaften, Hohengehren
    2001, 246-254

12
La condition postmoderne
  • All those who live later do not know it better.
    With this result a specific historical experience
    concluded. It forced history to show itself by
    honoring progress as a truth.
  • With this experience it was proved, that the
    later generation with its more recent knowledge
    could not any longer be sure about considering
    its findings superior to former once.
  • Peter Sloterdijk, Nach der Geschichte. In
    Welsch, Wolfgang (Hg) Wege aus der Moderne.
    Schlüsseltexte der Postmoderne Diskussion. Berlin
    21994 263)

13
4. Postcolonialism
  • Postcolonial theories cannot be reduced to any
    kind of universal or leading cultural
    pattern.
  • Martina Kaller-Dietrich, Postkoloniale
    Kultur-Geschichten sind die Antwort. Was aber war
    die Frage? In Wiener Zeitschrift zur Geschichte
    der Neuzeit 2/1 (2001), 3-6

14
Effects of Globalization became an every day
experience
  • Reducing culture to technology causes a kind of
    cultural homogenization spreading out to every
    corner of the world.
  • Elmar Altvater, Feinde, Konkurrenten und
    Netzwerke oder die sozialen und politischen
    Konsequenzen der ökonomischen Globalisierung, in
    Wolfgang Dietrich (Hg.), Schlaininger Schriften
    zur Friedens- und Konfliktforschung, Bd. 1 Is
    small beautiful? Die Leopold-Kohr-Vorlesungen.
    Wien 1998, 100-124.

15
The adjective postcolonial ...
  • ... can describe the status of a country, which
    concluded its process of independence vis à vis
    the metropolis. In this sense postcolonial
    refers to economic, political, social and
    cultural characteristics typical for a
    decolonized country. Hence post-colonialism deals
    with the way in which the colonial heritage is
    assumed or rejected.
  • In the same historical moment the former empires
    accomplished their postcolonial stage. They had
    to redefine their historical existence
    recognizing that they had and would not any
    longer expropriate their former colonies, be it
    economically or culturally.
  • Kaller-Dietrich 2001, 4

16
Post-colonialism also
  • refers to the actual form of repression,
    originated in direct colonialism and demands to
    assume the responsibility for it..
  • Nevertheless progress and the increasing resource
    vasting in the techno-industrial complex enforces
    traditional colonial privileges and deepens
    historically unequal economic exchange
    relations.
  • Wolfgang Neurath, Regierungsmentalität und
    Policey. Technologien der Glückseligkeit im
    Zeitalter der Vernunft, in Österreichische
    Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften 11/ 4
    (2000) 11-33, hier 11.

17
5. Subaltern Studies
  • Program the searching for the reasons of the
    failure of national self finding processes in
    postcolonial countries
  • Ranajit Guha, On Some Aspects of The
    Historiography of Colonial India. In Ranajit
    Guha/ Gayatri Spivak (ed), Selected Subaltern
    Studies. N.Y./ Oxfort 1988, 43

18
Perspectives
  • referring to ones own subalternity in the age
    of globalization we are invited to notify utopian
    thinking without false shame.
  • Ileana Rodríguez, Rethinking the Subaltern, in
    José Rabasa (ed), Subaltern Studies in the
    Americas ( Disposito 46 (1994/1996) 24

19
Why do we search for new theories in the new
field of Global History?
  • What kind of a communication culture is required
    for GH?
  • Post-theories part from the 2nd level of
    interpretation Which consequences does this
    have for historiography?
  • How can results of local history be discussed
    within the GH-community?

20
How can results of local history writings be
discussed within, e.g. the GH-community?
  • many subjects ? differences
  • interpretations, discourses, positions,
    perspectives etc.
  • Homogenization of discourses becomes impossible
  • We -- they- dichotomy ( the west and the
    rest/ we and the others-discourse praxis)
    disappears
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