What is Cultural History?
This exciting introductory text offers an accessible guide to the past, present and future of cultural history, as it has been practised not only in the English-speaking world but in Continental Europe, Asia, South America and elsewhere. Burke begins by providing a discussion of the 'classic' phase of cultural history, associated with Jacob Burckhardt and Johan Huizinga, and of the Marxist reaction, from Frederick Antal to Edward Thompson. He then charts the rise of cultural history in more recent times, concentrating on the work of the last generation, often described as the 'New Cultural History'.He places cultural history in its own cultural context, noting links between new approaches to historical thought and writing and the rise of feminism, postcolonial studies and an everyday discourse in which the idea of culture plays an increasingly important part. "What is Cultural History?" will be an essential textbook for all students of history as well as those taking courses in cultural, anthropological and literary studies.
- Hardback | 176 pages
- 146 x 230 x 6.35mm | 318g
- 29 Sep 2004
- Polity Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
"What is Cultural History? is replete with useful information. Professor Burke is excellent at giving the reader handy sketches of the ideas of Michel de Certeau, Michel Foucault, Orientalism, the representation of the body, material culture, and so on."--Andrew Hadfield, The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory "Peter Burke is the leading cultural historian of our generation, and this book shows why. Through subtlety of thought, elegance of expression and stunning scholarship, always lightly but powerfully deployed, he offers us here a series of conversations about how historians have tried to understand signifying practices in the past. His voice is that of a learned and congenial companion, taking a stroll with us through the pathways of historical writing. No one in this rapidly growing field can afford to be without this book."--Jay Winter, Yale University "Peter Burke has done it again! Outstanding scholar of early modern Europe, Burke has added an important work to his writings on the historian's craft. From its nineteenth-century origins, 'cultural history' appears here in its varied recent forms, shifting in its relation to social history, anthropology and literature, and changing its terms, concepts and targets. Both critical and generous, Burke suggests the paths ahead. This lucid book will delight any reader who wants to learn what contemporary historians are up to and where they might go."--Natalie Zemon Davis, University of Toronto
Table of contents
Acknowledgements Introduction 1 The Great Tradition 2 Problems of Cultural History 3 The Moment of Historical Anthropology 4 A New Paradigm? 5 From Representation to Construction 6 Beyond the Cultural Turn? Further reading Notes Index
About Peter Burke
Peter Burke is Professor of Cultural History at the University of Cambridge.