Hayden White and liberation historiography

This text deals with issues which for the past decade preoccupied Hayden White's reflection. These are issues such as the practical past, the social role of history, global capitalism, the modern state, anarchism, utopia and the emancipatory role of the humanities. White has repeatedly stressed the ambivalent connections between utopia and history, the reductive and disciplinary character of science, as well as the oppressive nature of the state. This, among other things, constitutes the reason why the cutting edge of his critical thought is aimed at professionalized, academic history which is marked and burdened by those topoi. While calling White's approach ‘liberation historiography’ does not seem adequate, the author reflects on the liberating role of historiography (one that leads to an ultimate emancipation from the very discipline of history) which is desirable in the contemporary world.