Tuesday, 13 January 2009

I'm Postmodern?

It turns out I've been doing up to the minute history all this time. Who'd have thought it? I've come to the point in the PhD when I'm reworking the initial literature review and placing myself more firmly somewhere within the historiographical context, and as such I've been looking through the various trends in history writing.

I had originally thought that my PhD would be quite an old fashioned sort of project; a big institutional history of three medieval minster churches, but I've found a clever way of pointing out that I am in fact doing history that A: plays up to postmodernist concerns and B: plays up to recent thoughts about historical networks and institutional development.

The slightly worrying facet of all this is that I actually find historiography and the theory of history slightly more interesting than the actual writing of history. Amongst other things, it means that I won't be spending much time in Texas in the near future since that (probably otherwise lovely) state acquired laws under the other Bush forbidding the teaching of historical interpretation and insisting that American history be seen as solid fact. This may have been introduced for the entirely reasonable aim of preventing ideologically driven pseudo historians from making up whatever they wanted, but it still causes problems for those of us inclined to think that historical meaning is something constructed by the historian.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Boggles the mind.