All rooms are equipped with an overhead projector
Rooms C, D, E, F, G and H (H only on Saturday): slide projector (framed slides, carrousel. There are extra carrousels available to set up your presentation in advance)
Rooms C, D, M, N, O, U and Committee Room 2: beamer to connect your laptop. You have to bring you own laptop. (If you want to use your Apple notebook, please contact us, as it may be incompatible.)
Rooms C, T and U: VCR
|Looking Backwards, Thinking Forwards: the present-minded focus of modern American historical writing."|
|This paper focuses on recent developments in American historical writing on modern U.S. history (from the civil war to the present).
U.S. historians often speak of the fragmentation of American historical writing into a wide variety of subfields (divided by topic and methodological approach). This paper argues that far from being distinct, a present-minded focus is common to all the various subfields. This approach is intertwined with the various methodological debates. This is not presentism in the sense of simply connecting past and present (or judging the past by the present), but a desire to use history to influence America's future.
This present-mindedness is not remarked upon by historians assessing historiographical developments in modern American history.
This paper focuses initially on a selection of new subfields, to show the presence and influence of present-mindedness.
The paper then explores the causes of this present-minded approach, tracing its origins to the founding of the American historical profession.
The paper then compares American present-mindedness with recent historiography in Europe and around the world, to assess what is (and what is not) distinctive about the American example.
Finally, the paper considers why contemporary present-mindedness in American historical writing is somewhat constrained by comparison with previous generations. The paper also explores the benefits, or otherwise, of this characteristic of American historical writing.|