This site is the working forum for a Princeton University graduate seminar, HIS/HOS 591, a course that aims to sift out and attend upon alternative ways of engaging the past. In this course we are interested in modes of historical consciousness, experience, production, and expression that are not easily assimilated to current disciplinary forms. Along the way, we are going to try to refine our understanding of contemporary professional historiographical norms, emphasizing their genealogy, and, where relevant, surfacing critical contingencies. Our question: Where might the practice of history go from here? Themes to be explored include: anachronism and nostalgia; historical fiction/metafiction; reenactment, personification, and embodiment; “Dionysian historiography” and ritual; and so on.
The plan is to build out this website as a resource for imaginative and innovative thinking about historical method and practice — and to that end all the students in the class are free to post into these threads at any time, and to update/expand reading lists or other links.
A note on conventions: Pre Class Posts for a given week, together with the readings for the session, will be found at the bottom of the posting — after the seminar summary/write-up. I will take responsibility for the first pass at these write-ups, but student commentary is welcome. We’ll use green text and single brackets for first-order interventions, blue text (and double brackets) for comments on comments, and violet text (and triple brackets) for comments on comments on comments. Initialing comments is standard.