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Rescue of the Jews and the Resistance in France

From History to Historiography

Renée Poznanski

Two obstacles blocked the incorporation of the rescue of Jews in France into the Resistance movement. The first, which can be traced back to the sources of the social imaginary, had to do with the fear of stirring the old demon of the Jewish problem by referring specifically to the fate awaiting the Jews. The second was inseparable from the meaning attached to the Resistance ever since its inception, which focused on political opposition to Vichy and on the liberation of France and never included rescuing those whose lives were in danger. This double marginalization (from the History of the French people as a whole and from that of the Resistance) survived liberation and gave way to three different historiographies: that of the French Resistance, that of the rescue of the Jews, and that of Jewish resistance. The history of the rescue of the Jews in France should be studied through an integrated perspective that leads to thinking about the Resistance as a whole, organized and unorganized, Jewish and non-Jewish.

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James Watson

New Zealand has a rich historiography related to transport, but almost all of it looks at particular sectors, such as railways or shipping, or at parts of these sectors. The most substantial attempt to look at transport throughout New Zealand’s history (and even prehistory) is my own book, Links: A History of Transport and New Zealand Society. It outlines forms of transport as they were introduced and proposes an argument explaining why various forms became preferred. Links also explores transport’s impact on the development of New Zealand society since initial human settlement and indicates how social values have shaped its use. Alan H. Grey’s Aotearoa and New Zealand: A Historical Geography also stresses the importance of transport through New Zealand’s history. More specifically, Rollo Arnold has demonstrated the influence of transport on settler society in New Zealand before the First World War.3 David Hamer explored the importance of transport links, breaks in transport and the general pace of early transport in New Zealand to explain the origins of many of its towns.

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Evan Friss

This article examines the historiography of cycling in the United States, highlighting notable works produced within the last couple of years. The author also considers several themes that are not well represented in the current literature. In particular, he suggests that scholars might focus on issues related to planning and policy, the environment, and youth studies.

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Writing Women's Lives: Auto/Biography, Life Narratives, Myths and Historiography

An International Symposium, 19–20 April 2014, Istanbul

Francisca de Haan

The Istanbul Women’s Library and Information Center Foundation, on occasion of its twenty-fourth anniversary, together with Yeditepe University organized the international symposium “Writing Women’s Lives: Auto/Biography, Life Narratives, Myths and Historiography,” which took place at Yeditepe University on 19–20 April 2014.

The symposium coordinators were Birsen Talay Keşoğlu, Vehbi Baysan, and Şefik Peksevgen, assisted by eleven more members of the Organizing Committee, including Aslı Davaz, director of the Istanbul Women’s Library.

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Robert Lee

Australian railway historiography, like its railway history and indeed like Australia itself, poses a curious paradox. Why is such a fortunate and civil polity so parochial and so divided geographically? It is now more than 230 years since British colonisation began. Ever since, Australia has been prosperous; relatively egalitarian, at least for its white population; generally free from civil strife; and efficiently and effectively governed. The temperature of its debates and conflicts rarely has risen above levels characterised by civil disobedience and strikes, which have been controlled by police and courts within usual legal frameworks.

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Caroline Ford

This essay provides an introduction to the articles by Laird Boswell, Stéphane Gerson, and Gilles Pécout in this forum, which is based on a one-day conference held at UCLA in December 2006, several months before the death of Eugen Weber. It gives a brief biographical sketch of Weber's life, the central themes of his scholarly work, and assesses his contribution as an historian to the field of French and modern European history.

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Valeria Gruschetsky

Argentina is characterized by its large territory and diverse geography. In a book that has defined Argentinian historiography, Halperin Donghi analyzes the national geography in detail and investigates the first ten tumultuous years after the May Revolution of 1810, which defined the political, economic, and social centrality of the Pampas and Littoral regions. Halperin Donghi intertwines geography with politics and economics, providing a vivid image of Argentina’s physical space. Such description challenges readers’ assumptions

about the historical problems arising from mobility, the development of modern transportation systems and their corresponding infrastructure. These topics have been covered in Argentinian historiography but from very different approaches. The historiography of mobility in Argentina reveals diverse analytical perspectives, including economic, cultural, and urban history.

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Andrei V. Grinëv

Sailing ships played a significant role in the colonization of Alaska during the Russian period (1741–1867). However, classifying them is sometimes very difficult because the historical sources are very scarce and even contradictory. These difficulties lead to many errors in classification of specific vessels on the pages of scholarly literature. In addition, some authors have poor knowledge of maritime affairs. As a result, “frigatomania” is especially frequently encountered in Russian (occasionally in American) historiography. A correct classification of the ships allows us to better understand the scale of colonial expansion.

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Corps et politique

individu et société

Arlette Farge

In this essay, two themes—the body and the political and the individual and society—are used to reflect upon the historian's task. By focusing upon the body as represented in the police archives of the eighteenth century, for example, we learn about the lived experience of domination, and the body-as-royal subject provides us with insight into the mechanisms and preoccupations of political power. The often incoherent and chaotic efforts of thinking bodies to engage with or resist that power are at the very matrix of social relations, and it is up to the historian to reconstruct these efforts in their very incoherence in order to remain as true as possible to the reality in which our historical subjects dwelled. An emphasis on articulating the experience of the individual reinforces this ability to reconstitute the ways in which subjects defined themselves via ruptures, interrupted trajectories, and reconstructed paths, which, in turn, underscores the fact that disorder is the ordinary course of social communities. Individual choices themselves reveal the lack of coherence of the social, and it is by relating and taking account of this incoherence that a historian may provide a nonteleological interpretation of the past that emanates from the interior of a society's fragile and hesitating common fate, that allows him or her to understand and recapture for contemporary readers a world that sought only to exist.

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Ariel L. Feldestein

This year, Israel marks the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of the state. It is an opportune time to study anew the discussions in the People's Administration, which was founded on the eve of the declaration of statehood. In this article, I will examine the course of the discussions and the voting with regard to the declaration, as reflected in the primary sources, in the oral interviews with members of the People's Administration, and in the historiographic descriptions.