Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Humanities and Social Sciences

Kinds of Historians

  • art historian
  • cultural historian
  • economic historian
  • many historian
  • political historian
  • social historian

  • Selected Abstracts


    Ulrich Vollmer
    First page of article [source]

    The Serf, the Knight and the Historian , By Dominique Barthélemy

    HISTORY, Issue 319 2010
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]

    The Historiography of a Construct: "Feudalism" and the Medieval Historian

    Richard Abels
    Between 1974 and 1994, two influential critiques of feudalism were published, an article in 1974 by Elizabeth A. R. Brown and a book by Susan Reynolds in 1994, that crystallized doubts about the construct of feudalism harbored by many historians of the Middle Ages. Over the last few years textbooks have begun to reflect the new consensus. Medieval historians responsible for chapters on the Middle Ages in Western Civilization and World Civilization textbooks now shy away from the term ,feudalism'. This reticence is less evident in civilization textbooks lacking a medievalist among the collaborators. In several of these we still find the ,feudal Middle Ages' presented without apology, as well as comparisons drawn between Japanese, Chinese, and medieval Western feudalisms. Whether or not the assigned textbook mentions ,feudalism', most Western civilization instructors probably continue to use the term because it is familiar to them and to their students. This article presents an overview of the historiography of one of the key concepts for the study of the Middle Ages, and an assessment of where the state of the question now stands. The author concludes that, although the critique of feudalism is powerful and necessary, the pendulum is threatening to swing too far in the other direction, away from the vertical ties and power relations that once dominated discussions of medieval politics and society, and toward a new paradigm of horizontal bonds, consensus making, and community. [source]

    Thinking Inside the Box: A Historian Among the Anthropologists

    LAW & SOCIETY REVIEW, Issue 4 2004
    Kunal Parker
    First page of article [source]

    Combining Work as an Historian and Activist: A Personal Account1

    PEACE & CHANGE, Issue 2 2007
    Lawrence S. Wittner
    This essay examines how I have blended my roles as an activist and as a historian. Over the years, I have participated in the peace, racial justice, and labor movements, and this activism has significantly affected both my scholarship and teaching. It has also complicated my professional life in a number of ways,absorbing time and energy that might have been devoted to additional scholarship, limiting fellowship opportunities, and (at least initially) blocking my receipt of tenure. Overall, however, I have found the combination of activism and historical work very satisfying, for it has contributed to humane causes and provided me with an interesting and meaningful life. [source]

    Memoirs of a Peace Historian

    PEACE & CHANGE, Issue 1 2005
    Irwin Abrams
    This article will tell the personal story of how I came to write about the peace movement and then something about my work on this subject during my year in Europe 1936,37 as a Harvard Sheldon Traveling Fellow. Due to time and space restrictions, I will concentrate mainly on my time in Geneva at the International Peace Bureau and the Library of the League of Nations. In the journal I started on January 18, 1936, I wrote, "I do not know how long I can keep this up, but if I am able to, how much pleasure I shall have when I, as a bearded and bent octogenarian, can read over this record." I did keep it up through those years, and though I am not bearded and not too bent, but still an octogenarian for another month, I have indeed been reading with much enjoyment my pages about how this rather naive twenty-two-year-old encountered Europe for the first time. [source]

    Beyond Essence: Ernst Troeltsch as Historian and Theorist of Christianity , By Lori Pearson

    Andrew Dole
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]

    Matthew: Poet, Historian, Dialectician (Studies in Biblical Literature 103).

    THE HEYTHROP JOURNAL, Issue 1 2009
    By Marshell Carl Bradley
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]

    HISTORY: Adrian Walton Zorgniotti (1925,1994): Renaissance Urologist

    Eli F. Lizza MD
    Abstract Adrian Zorgniotti was born on March 3, 1925 and died on July 6, 1994. During his 47 years as a physician, he brought innovation and imagination to the field of Urology, especially in the field of erectile dysfunction (ED). Biographical information was obtained from Dr. Zorgniotti's curriculum vitae, his published articles, and his eulogies. Several of his colleagues and peers were also interviewed by telephone. In addition, personal experiences of this author, from the 9 years we spent as associates, and of several other friends were recounted. Dr. Zorgniotti's involvement with the history of Urology began in 1970 when he published his first historical treatise on Rome's first doctor, Arcagathus. He continued his involvement when he served as moderator for the History Forum of the American Urological Association (AUA) from 1975 to 1988 and as Historian for the AUA from 1979 to 1988. This innovator brought vision to the field of ED when he introduced the combination of papaverine and phentolamine as an intracavernous injection for the treatment of ED. He also organized the first International Conference on Corpus Cavernolum Revascularization in 1978 at New York University and published long-term results with this therapy. Adrian Zorgniotti will probably be best remembered by the multitude of Urologists whose lives he has touched for his generosity of spirit and for his ability to help shape our careers with a kind gesture, suggestion, or phone call. I am proud to call him a mentor, a colleague, and a friend. [source]

    Front and Back Covers, Volume 22, Number 2.

    ANTHROPOLOGY TODAY, Issue 2 2006
    April 200
    Front and back cover caption, volume 22 issue 2 Front & back cover ANTHROPOLOGY AND THE SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE. The debate around the likelihood of humans encountering extraterrestrial life is based in the broad context of cosmic evolution, which encompasses astronomical, biological and socio-cultural evolution. In this depiction of cosmic evolution from the US National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA), the upper left portion shows the formation of stars, the production of heavy elements and the formation of planetary systems, including our own. On the lower left-hand side prebiotic molecules, RNA and DNA are formed within the first billion years on the primitive Earth. The centre shows the origin and evolution of life leading to increasing complexity, culminating with intelligence, culture, and the astronomers who contemplate the universe on the upper right. The image was created by David DesMarais, Thomas Scattergood and Linda Jahnke at NASA's Ames Research Center in 1986, and reissued in 1997. In this issue Steven J. Dick, Chief Historian at NASA, recounts the history of anthropological involvement in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and discusses SETI's broader relevance to anthropology. Anthropologists are uniquely qualified by knowledge and training to contribute to SETI, since central concerns when and if contact is made will include socio-cultural difference and cross-cultural communication. In turn the extraterrestrial perspective has much to offer anthropology, both in expanding its boundaries, its insights and its tools, and in casting a fresh light on cultures on Earth. Valerie Olson, in her review of the session dedicated to SETI at the 2005 American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, argues that the SETI vision of a terrestrial/extraterrestrial dichotomy between human and alien ,others' brings older and more recent anthropological ideas into a new juxtaposition, and that SETI has potential for stimulating the anthropological imagination. [source]

    A Possession for Ever: Charles Bean, the Ancient Greeks, and Military Commemoration in Australia

    Peter Londey
    For many people after the First World War, the classical world of Greece and Rome provided a language of commemoration; those who fought on Gallipoli were often keen to see parallels with the Trojan war of 3,000 years earlier. Charles Bean, Australia's classically-educated war correspondent, Official Historian, and chief visionary behind the Australian War Memorial, was as imbued with the classics as any. What is striking, however, is that Bean largely ignored parallels with Troy, focusing instead almost exclusively on fifth-century BC Athens. Bean wanted more than a language of commemoration; he desired an historical backdrop which would emphasise the place in history of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). Only the Athenians could provide a fitting parallel for the youthful democracy of Australia. [source]

    Villein rents in thirteenth,century England: an analysis of the Hundred Rolls of 1279,1280

    Junichi Kanzaka
    What factors played the principal role in determining the level of villein rents in thirteenth,century England? Historians have assumed three factors: economic and demographic forces, seigneurial power, and custom. This analysis of the Hundred Rolls of 1279,80 for Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Oxfordshire, and Warwickshire indicates that community custom was the most important factor. It is only on ecclesiastical estates in Huntingdonshire that seigneurial power had a decisive influence in imposing heavy labour services on villeins. Furthermore, since villeins were protected by custom, the level of their rents was usually lower than that of competitive freehold rents, which reflected market forces. [source]

    The New Men's History and the Peculiar Absence of Gendered Power: Some Remedies from Early American Gender History

    GENDER & HISTORY, Issue 1 2004
    Toby L. Ditz
    Historians with feminist commitments have expressed reservations about men's history and men's studies. This unease has existed more or less from the first appearance of men's history as a specialised area of inquiry, and shows no signs of abating. The first part of this article explores the sources of this unease. It discusses several guiding premises of men's history and shows that they tend to lead to the occlusion of men's gendered power over women. Nonetheless, the scrutiny of the gender of men is the logical outgrowth of several decades of theoretical and empirical work on gender,witness the many historians of women and gender who have recently turned their attention to the systematic study of manliness and masculinity. With the help of examples drawn from the scholarship on the history of the British colonies in America and the early United States, the second part of this article enumerates several strategies for successfully highlighting men's gendered power in histories of manliness and masculinity. [source]

    Cornish identities and migration: a multi-scalar approach

    GLOBAL NETWORKS, Issue 3 2007
    Abstract In this article we argue that theories of transnationalism have value in exploring the historical context of migration and that historical contexts help to shape such theoretical conceptualizations. Historians of migration have now begun to engage more directly with the literature of transnationalism, focusing on the networks that linked settler and home communities. Here we add to this by examining a nineteenth-century migrant community from a British region through the lens of transnationalism, applying the concept to the case of the Cornish, whose economic specialization produced culturally distinct Cornish communities on the mining frontiers of North America, Australia and South Africa. In doing so, we bring together the issues of scale and time. We review the multiple levels of the Cornish transnational space of the late nineteenth century, which exhibited aspects of both core transnationalism and translocalism. This waned, but in the later twentieth century, a renewed interest in a transnational Cornish identity re-emerged, articulating with changing identity claims in Cornwall itself. To capture better the experience of the Cornish over these two very different phases of transnationalism we identify another subset of transnationalism - that of transregionalism. [source]

    Politic history, New Monarchy and state formation: Henry VII in European perspective

    HISTORICAL RESEARCH, Issue 217 2009
    Steven Gunn
    Historians have repeatedly compared Henry VII with his continental contemporaries, Louis XI of France and Ferdinand of Aragon. Around 1600 the writers of politic history emphasized Henry's wisdom in drawing lessons in statecraft from his fellow monarchs. By 1900 analysts of the ,New Monarchy' placed more stress on the common circumstances that underlay the revival of monarchical power, but thereby raised awkward questions about similarities and differences in the development of national states. Latterly a model of European state formation has been constructed which sets Henry's kingship less comfortably alongside those of Louis and Ferdinand. This should lead us not to abandon, but to reshape the attempt to set Henry in his European context. [source]

    Historians in ,the liberal hour': Lawrence Stone and J. H. Plumb re,visited

    HISTORICAL RESEARCH, Issue 189 2002
    David Cannadine
    This articles assesses the careers and impact of Lawrence Stone and J. H. Plumb, examining their formative influences, and the effect which they in turn had on the writing and practice of history, particularly in the nineteen,sixties. It assesses their two most resonant books: Stone's The Causes of the English Revolution, 1529,1642(1972) and Plumb's The Growth of Political Stability in England, 1675,1725(1967). The article traces historiographical debate through the twentieth century and into the new millennium, focusing on the buoyant and heady atmosphere of the sixties, which so affected Stone, Plumb and their contemporaries, and the revisionist response which peaked in the nineteen,eighties, and concludes that no historian could or should claim to be unaffected by the times in which he or she writes. [source]

    New Liberalism, J. L. Hammond and the Irish Problem, 1897,1949

    HISTORICAL RESEARCH, Issue 180 2000
    G. K. Peatling
    Historians have regarded new Liberalism as an ideology primarily concerned with domestic social reform. Yet this does little justice to the intensity and longevity of new Liberals' support of self-government in Ireland. This side of new Liberal ideology is particularly illuminated by the career of J. L. Hammond (1872,1949), especially his Gladstone and the Irish Nation (1938). Hammond's historical scholarship, indeed, was heavily influenced by Liberal ideology, and can be seen as a belated effort to justify Gladstonian Liberalism's long mission in Ireland. Fittingly therefore, Hammond's arguments possessed the same strengths and weaknesses as earlier Liberal efforts to pacify Ireland. [source]

    Education of the Laity and Advocacy of Violence in Print during the French Wars of Religion

    HISTORY, Issue 318 2010
    At the turn of the seventeenth century King Henri IV of France sought to reconcile his Catholic and Protestant subjects by blaming the violent excesses of the French Wars of Religion on religious radicalism. In particular, Catholic preachers and pamphleteers were accused retrospectively of having poured oil on the fire of religious violence through vitriolic sermons and pamphlets. Historians have tended to reproduce this charge while at the same time emphasizing the ,modernity' of Protestantism, particularly in view of religious education. A review of books printed in the sixteenth century enables historians to test empirically the extent to which violence was fuelled by religious polemic. From the beginning of the Reformation the Catholic Church had been torn between educating the laity in correct doctrine on one hand and denouncing heresy on the other. A closer look at the book trade reveals that these concerns were reflected in the kinds of books that were published in the vernacular in the second half of the sixteenth century. While the clergy increasingly saw the merits of educating the laity, it had to compete with the public's taste for polemic that printers were keen to cater for. [source]

    ,Memories of the Maimed': The Testimony of Charles I's Former Soldiers, 1660,1730

    HISTORY, Issue 290 2003
    Mark Stoyle
    Historians have paid little attention to the experiences and attitudes of the ordinary men who enlisted in the royalist armies during the English Civil War: chiefly because such individuals , most of them poor and unlettered , left no formal memoirs of their wartime service behind them. The present article suggests that the petitions for financial relief which were submitted by wounded and impoverished Cavalier veterans after the Restoration can help to bridge this evidential gap and to illuminate the mental world of the king's more humble supporters. By putting the language of the ,maimed soldiers' petitions' under the microscope, it shows how the artisans, husbandmen and labourers who had fought for Charles I viewed the conflict in retrospect. The article begins by considering the strengths and limitations of the petitions themselves and the purposes for which they were initially composed. It then goes on to discuss what these documents reveal: not only about the physical suffering which the king's soldiers had undergone in the field, but also about their views of their comrades, their commanders and their enemies. The article concludes by arguing that the personal and political links which had been forged amid the fiery trials of the Civil War continued to bind together former royalists, of all ranks, for decades after the conflict came to an end. [source]

    Knowledge and Language: History, the Humanities, the Sciences

    HISTORY, Issue 285 2002
    Arthur Marwick
    Knowledge is not, as Marxisant post-modernists insist, mere ideology or expression of bourgeois power. The high standards enjoyed in the developed countries are fundamentally due to the expansion in human knowledge over the centuries. Decent living conditions, freedom and empowerment for the deprived millions everywhere depend upon the continuing expansion, and, above all, diffusion of knowledge. History is but one domain of knowledge among many, with its own autonomous methods and principles; though very different in detail, these are in spirit similar to those governing the natural sciences. There is a fundamental distinction between the domains of knowledge and the creative arts. ,Language' has a number of significations. In the most fundamental one, it is a human faculty which enables us to communicate, but which raises many problems for historians; none the less language does not control us: we can control language. Usages in foreign languages can often be revealing, while scientists have to master a special language, mathematics. Historians should be aware of other disciplines, and ready to borrow from them. There are many fascinating interdisciplinary problems to which historians can contribute, but these do not call for abstruse cultural theory; what they do call for is an extra-cool application of historical methodology. A case in point is that of the possible relationship between total war and the arts. Does total war affect artistic language or just content and philosophy? [source]

    Radical Opinion in an Age of Reform: Thomas Perronet Thompson and the Westminster Review

    HISTORY, Issue 281 2001
    Michael J. Turner
    Historians have long been interested in the growth of the nineteenth-century political press, and many commentators recognize the instrumentality of newspapers, pamphlets, prints and publications of all kinds in the development of radical opinion and popular participation in politics. This article is offered as a contribution to continuing debates about the links between radicalism and the press. Its purpose is to examine the establishment and early history of the Westminster Review, the leading radical periodical of the early nineteenth century. Special attention will be paid to the role of Thomas Perronet Thompson (1783-1869), who was associated with the review for several years as owner, editor and contributor. This article will demonstrate the importance of Thompson's involvement with the Westminster Review with reference to its politics, reputation, influence, management and status. Personal relationships which had a bearing on the review's early history - particularly those between Thompson, Jeremy Bentham, John Bowring and the Mills - will be examined, and there will also be discussion of editorial processes, journalistic standards, business rivalry, the nature of the Westminster Review's content, and its conflict with the Whig Edinburgh Review. [source]


    HISTORY AND THEORY, Issue 3 2008
    ABSTRACT Historians looking to make history a professional discipline of study in Victorian Britain believed they had to establish firm boundaries demarcating history from other literary disciplines. James Anthony Froude ignored such boundaries. The popularity of his historical narratives was a constant reminder of the continued existence of a supposedly overturned phase of historiography in which the historian was also a man of letters, transcending the boundary separating fact from fiction and literature from history. Just as professionalizing historians were constructing a methodology that called on historians to be inductive empirical workers, Froude refused to accept the new science of history, and suggested instead that history was an individual enterprise, one more concerned with drama and art than with science. E. A. Freeman warned the historical community that they "cannot welcome [Froude] as a partner in their labors, as a fellow-worker in the cause of historic truth." This article examines the boundary work of a professionalizing history by considering the attempt to exclude Froude from the historian's discourse, an attempt that involved a communal campaign that sought to represent Froude as "constitutionally inaccurate." Froude suffered from "an inborn and incurable twist," argued Freeman, thereby diagnosing "Froude's disease" as the inability to "make an accurate statement about any matter." By unpacking the construction of "Froude's disease," the article exposes the disciplinary techniques at work in the professionalization of history, techniques that sought to exclude non-scientific modes of thought such as that offered by Froude. [source]

    Historians and Moral Evaluations

    HISTORY AND THEORY, Issue 4 2004
    In dem Gebiet der Geschichte liegt die ganze moralische Welt. ,Schiller ABSTRACT The reappearance of the question of moral judgments by historians makes a reappraisal of the issues timely. Almost all that has been written on the subject addresses only the propriety of moral judgments (or morally charged language) in the written texts historians produce. However, historians have to make moral choices when selecting a subject upon which to write; and they make a tacit moral commitment to write and teach honestly. Historians usually dislike making explicit moral evaluations, and have little or no training in how to do so. They can argue it's not their job; they are only finders of fact. Historians holding a determinist view of actions do not think it appropriate to blame people for doing what they couldn't help doing; for those believing there is an overall pattern to history, individual morality is beside the point. Finally, since earlier cultures had values different from ours, it seems unjust to hold them to contemporary standards. This essay modifies or rejects these arguments. Some historians have manifested ambivalence, acknowledging it is difficult or impossible to avoid making moral evaluations (and sometimes appropriate to make them). Ordinary-language philosophers, noting that historiography has no specialized vocabulary, see it as saturated by the values inherent in everyday speech and thought. I argue that the historicist argument about the inevitably time-bound limitation of all values is exaggerated. Historians who believe in the religious grounding of values (like Lord Acton) obviously disagree with it; but even on a secular level, morals are often confused with mores. If historians inevitably make moral evaluations, they should examine what philosophical ethicists,virtue ethicists, deontologists, and consequentialists,have said about how to make them; and even if they find no satisfactory grounding for their own moral attitudes, it is a brute fact that they have them. I end with an argument for "strong evaluations",neither treating them as a troublesome residue in historiography nor, having despaired of finding a solid philosophical ground for moral evaluations, concluding that they are merely matters of taste. I believe historians should embrace the role of moral commentators, but that they should be aware that their evaluations are, like all historical judgments, subject to the criticisms of their colleagues and readers. Historians run little risk of being censorious and self-righteous; the far greater danger is acquiescing in or contributing to moral confusion and timidity. [source]

    Objectivity: Perspective as Problem and Solution

    HISTORY AND THEORY, Issue 3 2004
    Thomas L. Haskell
    Historians and Social Values. Edited by Joep Leerssen and Ann Rigney. [source]

    What Do Historians Argue About?

    HISTORY AND THEORY, Issue 1 2004
    C. Behan Mccullagh
    abstract Those who think that general historical interpretations do no more than express a personal point of view deny that arguments over their credibility can have any point. They commonly believe that historians decide upon particular facts about the past in the context of a general interpretation of those facts. Consequently they deny that there is any independent basis for judging the credibility of general interpretations of the past, and conclude that each coherent account is as good as every other. Similarly, those who think causal explanations are arbitrary can make no sense of arguments about their adequacy. They assume that historians simply pick out causes that interest them, and that there is no objective basis for judging the adequacy of the explanations they provide. This essay defends the credibility of interpretations against the skeptics, and the adequacy of causal explanations too. It shows that historians do discover a mass of particular facts independently of the general interpretations they finally provide, facts that provide a basis for assessing the credibility and fairness of those interpretations. It will also show that there is an objective basis for judging the adequacy of causal explanations, as some causes of an event are far more influential in bringing it about than others. A much more difficult problem concerns the need for historical interpretations to provide not just a credible account of the past, but also one that is fair, balanced, not misleading. Historians frequently argue about the fairness of general interpretations. Does this mean that fairness is always required? Quite often historians produce partial interpretations, in both senses, with no apology. It would be wrong to call such interpretations "biased" because they do not pretend to be comprehensive. So long as they are credible, they are acceptable. On the other hand, many interpretations are intended to present a fair, comprehensive account of their subject. When judging the adequacy of interpretations, it is necessary to know whether they are meant to be fair or not. [source]

    Defamation Cases against Historians

    HISTORY AND THEORY, Issue 3 2002
    Antoon De Baets
    Defamation is the act of damaging another's reputation. According to recent legal research, defamation laws may be improperly used in many ways. Some of these uses profoundly affect the historian's work: first, when defamation laws protect reputations of states or nations as such; second, when they prevent legitimate criticism of officials; and, third, when they protect the reputations of deceased persons. The present essay offers two tests of these three abuses in legal cases where historians were defendants. The first test, a short worldwide survey, confirms the occurrence of all three abuses; the second test (an empirical analysis of twenty,one cases (1965,2000) from nine western European countries) the occurrence of the third abuse. Both tests touch on problems central to the historical profession: living versus deceased persons; facts versus opinions; legal versus historical truth; the relationship between human dignity, reputation, and privacy; the role of politicians, veterans, and Holocaust deniers as complainants; the problem of amnestied crimes. The second test,the results of which are based on verdicts, commentaries, and press articles, and presented in a synoptic table,looks closely into the complainants' and defendants' profiles, the allegedly defamatory statements themselves, and the verdicts. All statements deemed defamatory were about such contemporary events as World War II (particularly war crimes, collaboration, and resistance) and colonial wars. Both tests amount to two conclusions. The first one is about historians' professional rights and obligations: historians should make true, but privacy,sensitive or potentially offending, statements only when the public interest is served; otherwise, they should have a right to silence. The second conclusion concerns defamation itself: defamation cases and threats to sue in defamation have a chilling effect on the historical debate; they are often but barely veiled attempts at censorship. [source]

    The Nation as a Problem: Historians and the "National Question"

    HISTORY AND THEORY, Issue 3 2001
    Elías José Palti
    How is it that the nation became an object of scholarly research? As this article intends to show, not until what we call the "genealogical view" (which assumes the "natural" and "objective" character of the nation) eroded away could the nation be subjected to critical scrutiny by historians. The starting point and the premise for studies in the field was the revelation of the blind spot in the genealogical view, that is, the discovery of the "modern" and "constructed" character of nations. Historians' views would thus be intimately tied to the "antigenealogical" perspectives of them. However, this antigenealogical view would eventually reveal its own blind spots. This paper traces the different stages of reflection on the nation, and how the antigenealogical approach would finally be rendered problematic, exposing, in turn, its own internal fissures. [source]

    Re-Forging the ,Age of Iron' Part II: The Tenth Century in a New Age?

    John Howe
    The tenth century, once dismissed as an unpleasant ,Age of Iron', now receives increased attention as an important age of transition. Historians are attempting to understand how it fits into the broader narrative of Western Civilization. Although some scholars have identified it as the last act of the post-Roman world, others see it as a new age. Perhaps the High Middle Ages with its agricultural and demographic revolution, its new villages and parishes, its revived cities, its reformed churches and schools, and its medieval monarchs began in the tenth century? Or were those changes not novelties of the tenth century but rather manifestations of a ,take off' that had already begun back in the Carolingian Empire, and which, despite the problems posed by late Carolingian wars and invasions, was able to continue, spread, and blossom into the growth and prosperity of the High Middle Ages? New scholarly interest in the tenth century has made it much less of a ,dark age', but scholars still are not quite certain how to conceptualize its historical significance. [source]

    The Xhosa Cattle-Killing Movement in History and Literature

    Andrew Offenburger
    In South Africa's Eastern Cape frontier zone, a millenarian movement known as the Xhosa Cattle-Killing (1856,1857) devastated local populations and stunned observers. How could the messages of its prophetess, Nongqawuse, and the exhortations of her uncle, Mhlakaza, lead to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of cattle, to the death of tens of thousands of people, and to the subjugation of the Xhosa? Historians and authors of literary works have attempted to answer this question, and their explanations have followed the contours of South African history through three general phases. The first (1857,1947) characterized the movement as a failed revolt against British expansion and a necessary step in social and religious Darwinism. The second period (1948,1988) saw the continuation of these interpretations, and, with National Party rule and the rise of the Black Consciousness Movement, an increasingly radical group of historians brought about politicized and alternative interpretations embedded in Xhosa oral history. The third phase (1989,) began with the publication of Jeff Peires'The Dead Will Arise, which renewed interest in the history and has inspired a new wave of historical critique. [source]

    Celebration of Another Nation?: Australia's Bicentenary in Britain

    Robert Crawford
    Historians and contemporary critics have generally taken a dim view of Australia's Bicentennial celebrations in 1988, labelling them a wasted opportunity to redress the nation's previous wrongs. While these claims certainly have a point, they have nevertheless tended to adopt a simplified image of the Bicentenary and its significance. This article re-visits the Bicentenary by undertaking a more nuanced reading of the events and discourse surrounding the celebrations and commemorations by different groups in the United Kingdom during 1987 and 1988. These Bicentennial events were more than mere celebrations; they were an opportunity for both Britons and Australians to reflect on their history, their place in the world, and their sense of identity. By examining the different meanings associated with the Bicentenary, this article will suggest that the Bicentennial events provided an important opportunity for reflection that also revealed the state of Australian nationhood in the post-imperial age. [source]