François Hartog

Biography and/or project

François Hartog is a French historian and Chair of Modern and Antique Historiography at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris. Born in 1946, Hartog attended the 'École normale supérieure. A former student of Jean-Pierre Vernant and assistant to Reinhart Koselleck, Hartog’s early work focused on the intellectual history of ancient Greece and historiography, while his recent work deals mainly with temporality.

His most recent book to be published in English, Regimes of Historicity: Presentism and Experiences of Time (Columbia University Press, 2015, translated by Saskia Brown), engages our “ways of relating to the past, present, and future.” Hartog also tackles the concept of “presentism,” or how we adhere to present-day ideas to attempt to understand the past via interpretations of writing as the “motor of history” and the “contradictory qualities of our contemporary presentist relation to time.”

Hartog’s research frequently attempts to situate the progressions of time and memory against the realities of repetition and methodologies of understanding history from various theoretical reference points. 

His other publications include Mémoire d'Ulysse: récits sur la frontière en Grèce ancienne (Gallimard, 1996), Anciens, modernes, sauvages (Galaade, 2005), and Vidal-Naquet, historien en personne (La Découverte, 2007), as well as countless articles, lectures, and, more recently, a series of podcasts on ancient and modern history.