Current trajectories of history?

’Unofficial histories’ is a sign of the times. The yearly conferences with this title in the UK from 2012 on have been gatherings of academics, students and of various people engaged with the past. These fully booked events have, in the words of one participant, ’looked at history as it is being presented today’. She participated in the 2013 conference in Manchester, a meeting that ’stepped out of the straight jacket of academia and actually took history to the public’.

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The linguistic turn in retrospect

That the historian presents the people studied unintentionally in his or her own terms is a permanent risk. This is why one must not forget at any stage of the research process that the people studied had a different comprehension of reality and a different discourse for expressing their beliefs than he or she. However, the message of the linguistic turn is not limited to this basic point but reaches far beyond it and to demonstrate this is my aim.

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