A time of uncertainties and critical turning-point: on discussions in french historiography at the turn of the 20th/21th century
In my article I have tried to outline of the basic features ofwhat is known as the “critical turning-point” (“Tournant critique”) in French historiography of the 1990s. I have tried to emphasise the fundamental factors that led to new critical reflection in historical science in France, and did so directly on the pages ofthe “pillar periodical” ofthe “new” historiography - the Annales review. I have stressed specifically the socio-political factor (the collapse of the Soviet bloc and expressions of nationalist separatism in Central and eastern Europe) and ideological (the exhaustion ofthe structuralist and Marxist model in the social sciences), which undermined the classic explanatory framework of the „current of history14 interpreted primarily as a linear, causally linked “process”. Other factors in the intellectual crisis included various manifestations of the “crisis ofthe university function” (university overpopulation, the absence of academic jobs). I have also tried to reflect on the problems brought for history by experiments in interdisciplinary co-operation with adjacent fields (mainly philosophy, sociology and anthropology). I have also emphasised the growing interest in - or rediscovery of - cultural and political history, and the history of“the present”. In this period self-conscious exploration ofthe nature ofhistorical “writing” itselfand the relationship between history-science and literature-fiction began to play a role as well.
Dějiny – Teorie – Kritika, redakce, Masarykův ústav a Archiv AV ČR, v.v.i., Gabčíkova 2362/10, 180 00 Praha 8, Czech Republic
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