Film and history: Robert A. Rosenstone and 'History on Film/Film on History'

Through a reading of Robert A. Rosenstone's book History on Film/Film on History (Pearson, 2006) it seems clear that Rosenstone's contribution to the contemporary understanding of history as more than textual mode of expression is without peer. Rosenstone's epistemic scepticism has squarely confronted conventional historical thinking and practice, elevating issues of narrative construction, authorialism, point of view, and experimentalism to the forefront of concerns for the contemporary historian. Drawing telling parallels between conformist, conventional and intellectually conservative textual expression and film, Rosenstone has almost single-handedly 'turned' the historical profession toward a new understanding of how we can engage with the past-the filmic turn. Key concepts like meaning, interpretation and explanation have been radically rethought through his work.