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History and polemics: historiographical debates and the public space

História e polémicas: debates historiográficos e espaço público

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Published on Monday, October 19, 2020 by Céline Guilleux

Summary

Ever since history became an academic knowledge, historiographical debates have been exceptional moments of construction, condensation and dissensus, often resulting in historiographical turns. Controversies around specific themes have divided entire fields of knowledge production, bringing into light different, often contrasting conceptions, methodologies and practices of historical knowledge. Such debates were, at the same time, moments in which the description and interpretation of the past represented a public intervention in the present, in which the defense of a certain way of making sense of history was also a way of taking of sides in a specific contemporary political discussion. Historiographical polemics were therefore moments in which historiographical knowledge had to confront in the public space other approaches to the past, thus making visible, and challenging, the paradigms that rule the historical discipline and public history.

Announcement

Argument

Ever since history became an academic knowledge, historiographical debates have been exceptional moments of construction, condensation and dissensus, often resulting in historiographical turns. Controversies around specific themes have divided entire fields of knowledge production, bringing into light different, often contrasting conceptions, methodologies and practices of historical knowledge. Such debates were, at the same time, moments in which the description and interpretation of the past represented a public intervention in the present, in which the defense of a certain way of making sense of history was also a way of taking of sides in a specific contemporary political discussion. This is true for epistemological debates, such as the one that took place around post-modernism and the historiographical turns associated with it (the linguistic and cultural turns), as well as for public debates associated with specific historical events, such as the Historikerstreit or the discussion over the shadow cast by the colonial past on the present. Historiographical polemics were therefore moments in which historiographical knowledge had to confront in the public space other approaches to the past, thus making visible, and challenging, the paradigms that rule the historical discipline.

We are interested in proposals that focus on those moments where different conceptions of the past, as well as the relationship between the writing of history and the public space, were discussed. We want to engage with, among others, the following themes:

  • History and the public space: the relation between academic knowledge and the public space, understood in a wide sense (squares, streets, social networks, television, cinema, books, etc.);
  • Official history: curricula, school manuals and the construction of national narratives;
  • Major polemics: among others, the Historikerstreit (debate over the Holocaust in the eighties in West Germany); the debate around the French Revolution at the bicentennial’s commemoration (1989);
  • National history, official memory and the politics of commemoration: the celebration of memory and the debates around official practices of memorialization; museums and other forms of monumentalizing history;
  • History and justice: history under the eye of the juridical and the judicialization of history; debates around historical reparations, such as the ones related to the transatlantic slave trade or the restitution of objects to their countries of origin;
  • Polemics on concepts: feudalism and manorialism; slavery and serfdom; fascism, totalitarianism and authoritarianism; colonialism and imperialism;
  • Epistemological disputes: post-modernists vs. Marxists vs. realists and other empiricists;
  • Historiography and methodologies: debates around biography as a genre or around cliometrics and other historiographical methods;
  • Academic historiography and personal memory: the epistemic virtues of testimony;
  • The rhetoric of polemics: satire, insults, parody and other linguistic resources;
  • Forms of argumentation: science, authority, utility and other sources of legitimacy;
  • Polemical subjectivities: the figure of the historian, the intellectual, the politician, the specialist, etc.
  • Modes of constructing historical time and their influence in political debates. 

Práticas da História. Journal on Theory, Historiography and Uses of the Past welcomes proposals within this thematic framework coming from researchers in all the disciplines of the humanities.

Submission guidelines

The proposals for publication should be submitted until 31 december 2020.

Only the articles and essays submitted according to the journal’s guidelines for submission will be considered.

Práticas da História accepts original academic research in the form of articles (6000-10000 words), essays (3000-6000 words), book reviews (1500-2500 words), and interviews (1500-3000 words) under the subject matter of historical theory, historiography, methodology or the uses of the past.

All contributions should be sent to the e-mail address praticasdahistoria@gmail.com in a single word file (.docx). The text should be in Times New Roman size 12, 1,5 line spacing.

Footnotes should be in size 10, in Chicago Style (Notes and Bibliography – http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html). All tables, images, maps and other attached elements should be placed at the end of the text, with reference to where they should be inserted (page, paragraph). Papers should also include an alphabetically-organized bibliography of all referenced works after all attached elements, again in Chicago Style (Notes and Bibliography).

In order to assure anonymity in scientific refereeing, any explicit information regarding the author (contact, institutional data and other) should be sent in a separate page and should not appear in any part of the article’s text. Likewise, self-citation or references to the author’s previously published or accomplished work should be restricted to a minimum.

We accept contributions in Portuguese, English, Spanish and French.

All articles should include an abstract of 200 words in Portuguese and English, and 4 keywords. A short biographical note containing the author’s academic affiliation, areas of expertise and contact details should be provided as well.

Práticas da História does not charge author fees (APCs) or Article Submission Charges.

Selection of contents

All articles, essays, book reviews and interviews proposed for publication are first evaluated by the Editorial Board of the journal, considering the degree to which they fit the journal’s focus and their relevance and/or originality in the current historiographic and scientific framework. Chosen articles and essays will be subsequently submitted to peer review. The editors reserve the right to publish texts which are not peer-reviewed. Those texts will be flagged appropriately. 

Both articles and essays will be submitted to double-blind peer-review procedure in which the identities of authors and evaluators remain confidential.

Articles will be evaluated by two external referees, while essays will be evaluated by one external referee.

Editorial Board

The editorial board of Práticas da História is composed of the following members:

  • Elisa Lopes da Silva, managing editor Instituto de Ciências Sociais (ICS-ULisboa) 
  • Inês Nascimento Rodrigues Centro de Estudos Sociais (CES-UC)
  • Joaquim Gafeira Instituto de Estudos Medievais (IEM – NOVA FCSH)
  • José Guedes Centro de História da Universidade de Lisboa (CHULisboa)
  • José Miguel Ferreira Instituto de Ciências Sociais (ICS-ULisboa)
  • José Neves Instituto de História Contemporânea (IHC – NOVA FCSH)
  • Margarida Rendeiro CHAM – Centro de Humanidades (CHAM – NOVA FCSH/UAç) e Universidade Lusíada
  • Matheus Pereira Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp)
  • Pedro Martins, editorial director Instituto de História Contemporânea (IHC – NOVA FCSH) 
  • Rui Lopes Instituto de História Contemporânea (IHC – NOVA FCSH)
  • Sandra Ataíde Lobo CHAM – Centro de Humanidades (CHAM – NOVA FCSH/UAç)

Places

  • Lisbon, Portugal (1069-061)

Date(s)

  • Thursday, December 31, 2020

Keywords

  • Hhstoriography, public history, polemic, epistemology, official memory

Contact(s)

  • Elisa Lopes da Silva
    courriel : praticashistoria [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Elisa Lopes da Silva
    courriel : praticashistoria [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« History and polemics: historiographical debates and the public space », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, October 19, 2020, https://calenda.org/809201

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