IU History Dept

  
    HISTORY, STRUCTURE, STORY

Required Reading
Natalie Z. Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre (1983)—available for purchase in the bookstore. You may also want to read the critique by Robert Finlay, "The Refashioning of Martin Guerre," American Historical Review 93 (June 1988), on-line via JSTOR; or perhaps the positive assessment that appeared in The Hindu (2002), on-line. And, then again, there is the movie.

Jean-Jacques Hémardinquer, "The Family Pig of the Ancien Régime: Myth or Fact?" Originally published in the Annales (about which, see below) this piece appears in an anthology edited by Robert Forster and Orest Ranum, Food and Drink in History: Selections from the Annales, trans. Elborg Forster and Patricia Ranum (1979) and is available on e-reserves. Note the division of labor: the men, historians at Johns Hopkins, get credit for editing, while their wives do the translating!

Samuel Flagg Bemis, "American Foreign Policy and the Blessings of Liberty" (Presidential Address to the American Historical Association), American Historical Review 67-2 (1962), 291-305. Available on-line.

Further Suggestions
On historical narrative (that is, the idea of history writing as a form of story telling, dedicated to explaining "what happened next"), see:AHA presidential addresses
Eric Hobsbawm, "The Revival of Narrative: Some Comments," Past & Present (1980).

Lawrence Stone, "The Revival of Narrative: Reflections on a New Old History," Past & Present (1979).

Hayden White, Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe (1973).

Also relevant is the controversy around Simon Schama's Dead Certainties: Unwarranted Speculations (1991), including the reviews that appeared in: The Economist 319 (15 June 1991); London Review of Books 13 (13 June 1991); New York Review of Books 38 (27 June 1991); The New Statesman (7 June 1991); Times Literary Supplement (14 June 1991); History and Theory 31:3 (1992); American Historical Review 98:1 (1993).

On the so-called Annales-school (named after the journal founded by Lucien Febvre and Marc Bloch in interwar France, and which came to international prominence in the 1950's and 1960's—by which time it was closely associated with the historian, Fernand Braudel), see:
Peter Burke, The French Historical Revolution: The Annales School, 1929-1989 (1990).
Philippe Carrard, Poetics of the New History: French Historical Discourse from Braudel to Chartier (1992).
Stuart Clark, ed., The Annales School: Critical Assessments (1999), four volumes (!)
François Furet, "Beyond the Annales," in Journal of Modern History 55 (1983), 389-410.
J.H. Hexter, "Fernand Braudel and the Monde Braudellian," Journal of Modern History 44 (1972), 480-539 and in his On Historians (1979).

Some key texts associated with the "Annales-school" [I put the term in quotation marks because it implies unity and coherence of a sort that I think did not exist—the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme in Paris was, along with the journal, an important institutional base]:Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, Paris
Marc Bloch, The Historian's Craft (written 1941; pub. 1949).
March Bloch, Feudal Society (trans. 1961).
Marc Bloch, The Royal Touch (1924).
Fernand Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism, 3 volumes (1981).
Fernand Braudel, The Identity of France (1990).
Fernand Braudel, On History (1980)—programmatic essays about history writing; this might be the place to start, along with the famous prefaces to his The Mediterranean.
Lucien Febvre, The Problem of Unbelief in the Sixteenth Century (1947).
Lucien Febvre, A New Kind of History, ed. P. Burke (1973).
Emmanuel LeRoy Ladurie, Carnival in Romans, A People's Uprising 1579-1580 (1979).
Emmanuel LeRoy Ladurie, Mind and Method of the Historian (1979).
Emmanuel LeRoy Ladurie, Peasants of Langued'oc (1974).
Emmanuel LeRoy Ladurie, Times of Feast, Times of Famine: History of Climate since the Year 1000 (1967).

 

American Historical Association RLSpang Center for History and New Media