The editors introduce the core areas of current debate within historical theory, bringing the reader as up to date with continuing debates and current developments as is possible. The book is divided into three parts, covering: • Part I. Foundations: The Theoretical Grounds for Knowledge of the Past • Part II. Applications: Theory-Intensive Areas in History • Part III. Coda. Post-Postmodernism: Directions and Interrogations This important handbook brings together in one volume discussions of the role of modernity, empiricism, realism, post-modernity and deconstruction in the historian's craft. Chapters are written by leading writers from around the world and cover a wide spread of historical sub-disciplines, such as social history, intellectual history, narrative, gender, memory, psycho-analysis and cultural studies, taking in, along the way, the work of thinkers such as Paul Ricouer, Michel Foucault and Hayden White. The Sage Handbook of Historical Theory is an essential resource for practicing historians, and students of history, and will appeal to scholars in related disciplines in the social sciences and humanities who seek a closer understanding of the theoretical foundations of history.
Chapter 11: Michel Foucault: The Unconscious of History and Culture
Michel Foucault: The Unconscious of History and Culture
The French thinker, Michel Foucault (1926-84), is noted for his extensive and controversial forays into the historical disciplines. When his work first began to circulate in the 1950s and 1960s, historians did not quite know what to make of it and philosophers resented the appearance of what they saw as the importation of the tedium of concrete events into the pure untainted realm of ideas. If these responses to his work remain alive and well decades after Foucault's death, the uptake of his work has become far more complex. To restrict ourselves to the discipline of history here: if one very visible and vocal camp of historians remains deeply ambivalent ...