At the Limits of History: Essays on Theory and Practice

Keith Jenkins’ work on historical theory is renowned; this collection presents the essential elements of his work over the last fifteen years.

Here we see Jenkins address the difficult and complex question of defining the limits of history. The collection draws together the key pieces of his work in one handy volume, encompassing the ever controversial issue of postmodernism and history, questions on the end of history and radical history into the future. Exchanges with Perez Zagorin and Michael Coleman further illuminate the level of debate that has surrounded postmodernism, and which continues to do so. An extended introduction and abstracts which contextualize each piece, together with a foreword by Hayden White and an afterword by Alun Munslow, make this collection essential reading for all those interested in the theory and practice of history and its development over the last few decades.

Table of Contents

Foreword, Hayden White

1. Introduction: History Limited

2. Marxism and Historical Knowledge: Tony Bennett and the Discursive Turn

3. Living In Time but Outside History, Living in Morality but Outside Ethics: Postmodernism and Elizabeth Deeds Ermarth

4. Why Bother With History?

5. History, the Referent, and Narrative: Reflections on Postmodernism Now Perez Zagorin

6. A Postmodern Reply to Perez Zagorin

7. Rejoinder to a Postmodernist Perez Zagorin

8. Response to a Postmodernist: or, a historian’s critique of postmodernist critiques of history Michael C. Coleman

9. Against the Historical ‘Middle Ground’: A Reply to Michael Coleman

10. On Disobedient Histories

11. Modernist Disavowals and Postmodern Reminders of the Condition of History Today: on Jean Francois Lyotard

12. Ethical Responsibility and the Historian: on the Possible End of History ‘of a Certain Kind’

13. Once Upon A Time: On History

14. Postmodernity, the End of History, and Frank Ankersmit

15. The End of the Affair: On the Irretrievable Breakdown of History and Ethics

16. ‘Nobody Does It Better’: Radical History and Hayden White

17. Sande Cohen: On the Verge of Newness

18. Cohen contra Ankersmit

Afterword Alun Munslow