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.

New National Narratives

Kevin Foster

In this chapter I will examine the ways in which British writing about a non-imperial space, Latin America, over almost two centuries, has provided a crucial means of self-analysis and self-assessment; how, in knowing South America Britons have endeavoured to better know themselves. I will argue that South America has occupied a central place in British writing over this period because it has consistently been of use, furnishing a redolent, symbolic space within which the contradictions and anxieties of empire could be held up for inspection. As such, I will explore how, over two hundred years, narrative theory in Britain has intersected with shifting endeavours to articulate, interrogate and promote the nation's identity, anxieties and ...

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