History and Narrativity
What is the purpose of history? Why do we need to tell stories about the past? And how should we tell or narrate history? We’ll explore these questions by turning to modern historiography. Historiography is the study of the methods and philosophy of history; it explores the rationales, the assumptions behind these questions. We will take a three-pronged approach by studying: 1) the history of the discipline of history and of historical narratives, 2) the philosophy of history in order to understand history’s ontology, and 3) the practical matter of how we should write histories. Throughout, we will explore how this concept of history has been revised to allow for different ways of understanding the past and, especially, to include the experiences of those who have long been seen as voiceless, as subaltern, as racialized, and othered.