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Beyond Presentism

Heritage and the Temporality of Things

Torgeir Rinke Bangstad

Heritage is often seen as a symptom of a temporally disjointed and all-pervasive present which shapes the pasts it requires to make up for the failures of linear, modern and progressive history. As a consequence, the pasts in heritage are often regarded as the result of unidirectional processes of attributing value to largely compliant materials. This article explores the constitutive role of materials in different stages of heritage-making and stress the specific material memory of buildings as central in the negotiation of temporalities in conservation practice. The notion of material memory allows for a closer consideration of both the unsolicited material effects of past events that is part of the historical fabric of buildings, as well as their ongoing transformation exceeding any one unitary and neatly contained historical present.

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“Presentism” Versus “Path Dependence”?

Reflections on the Second World War in Russian Textbooks of the 1990s

Serguey Ehrlich

memory is not a collection of static “snapshots,” but is more like a dynamic “movie” in which each frame both differs from and also resembles the previous one. He suggests counterbalancing Halbwachs's one-sided approach, according to which “the present

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“Clear and Present Danger”

The Legacy of the 1917 Espionage Act in the United States

Petra DeWitt

expressions could have dangerous consequences and thus pose a “clear and present danger” to society. Instead of protecting the basic rights of citizens from the abuses of government, this interpretation gave the federal government the constitutional authority

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Engaged Lingering

Urban Contingency in the Pandemic Present with COVID-19 in Denmark

Mikkel Bille and Mikkel Thelle

further into the autumn, with congregation numbers lowering again from fifty to ten at the time of writing in October 2020. The ‘precautionary principle’ highlights that a crisis shapes the present as a threshold decisive for both past and future (cf

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Reflections on History Education

Easy and Difficult Histories

Ed Jonker

History education inevitably is a thing of the present. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries it has always answered to problems that were urgent at the time of discussion. This has mostly taken the form of explaining and thus smoothing over painful ruptures in the past. Although nowadays we generally acknowledge this contemporary character of history education, the professional ideal of doing proper, authentic history remains—a desire that is understandable, but compatible neither with epistemological standards nor with public expectations. While teaching instrumental history is not an option, history education cannot live on criticism and deconstruction alone, we need a reflexive presentism that self-consciously confronts the present day—“difficult“ rather than “easy“ histories.

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Philosophy in the Present Context of Africa

Tsenay Serequeberhan

What I hope to do in this article 1 is to explore the role that philosophy can play in our present African situation. My chosen title commits me to two tasks: (1) laying out, broadly, the character of the discipline that goes by the name

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German Colonial Rule in Present-day Namibia

The Struggle for Discursive Shifts in History Education

Patrick Mielke

perceptions. The article is based on a chapter from my dissertation in which I explore the enactment of belonging and difference in German history instruction based on an examination of German history lesson units on imperialism. 4 After presenting

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‘A Scorneful Image of this Present World’

Translating and Mistranslating Erasmus's Words in Henrician England

Luca Baratta

produces only the bloated and grotesque figures of power oblivious to its own spiritual ends. There can be only one solution: the men of the Church must despise earthly goods. The final paragraphs delineate a panorama of the present that manages not to

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Sacrifice/Martyrdom in Lady Lumley’s Iphigenia and Contemporary Palestine

Bilal Tawfiq Hamamra

imprisoned and executed so that the Catholic monarch Mary I could ascend the throne. The methodology of ‘presentism’ allows Lumley’s Iphigenia to be read as a springboard for discussion of Fadwa Tuqan’s A Mountainous Journey and the Palestinian

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Historizing the Present?

Wolfgang Kaschuba

The aims of this contribution are first to give short review of the conditions of development of the ethnographic disciplines – especially of the German variant “Volkskunde” – and of their shaping as historical sciences. Second, it’s an attempt to balance the new orientations of historical research as they have crystallized in the last two decades. Third, the present role of a “cultural history” is discussed which seems to be ambivalent: on the one hand it is characterized by growing public attention to the ethnological interpretation of the cultural and the historical process; on the other, it is characterized by problems of the current scientific as well as sociopolitical position finding. In an ethnological understanding “Historizing the Present” should mean to reconstruct that specific “ethnic paradigm” which influenced social as well as scientific self-images in past and present – and to deconstruct the ethnic discourse as a phenomenon of “politics of identity”.