What Remains of the `Cultural Turn’ in Social History? A doctoral masterclass by Professor Geoff Eley
Lock Keeper’s Cottage, Queen Mary, Mile End Road, May 5th 2015 at 1pm. Drinks and refreshments to follow at the School of History
Since the 1960s historians in the English-speaking world have experienced two major waves of innovation, each leading to substantial broadening of the discipline’s range of topics, methodologies, and theoretical approaches, linked to particular modes of interdisciplinarity, and energized by the politics of their respective times. Each was moved by a desire for greater democratic inclusiveness, whether in terms of recruitment into the profession, a questioning of older hierarchies of knowledge and institutional structures, or the recognition of previously hidden or marginalized histories. The first of these waves, extending from the 1960s into the early 1980s, involved the popularity and eventual dominance of social history. Beginning at the turn of the 1980s and achieving equivalent influence by the end of the 1990s, a new set of developments materialized as what we now call the “cultural turn” or the “new cultural history,” registering the emergent influence of cultural studies across the humanities and parts of the social sciences, settling increasingly around new histories of gender, race, and sexuality, and responding further to the challenges of postcoloniality. Though marked for some years by great intellectual divisiveness, the lasting impact of the so-called “cultural turn” now allows us usefully to take stock. While proceeding firmly on the resulting new ground, this workshop seeks to explore what may have been lost as well as what has been gained.
Professor Geoff Eley is Karl Pohrt Distinguished University Professor of Contemporary History, University of Michigan.
If you would like to attend, please email Jana Kakosova: email@example.com