A 'History of the Present': reflections on the representation of History in peace and conflict research in Hudson, Robert, C. and Heintze, Hans - Joachim (eds), Different approaches to peace and conflict research
AuthorsHudson, Robert Charles
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractFor Hudson, history of the present is, at its simplest level, history without hindsight but with insight, and it is this that makes it different from other forms of history, and necessitates also that the historian of the present borrows methodologies, ideologies and practice from other academic disciplines. The historian of the present is an interdisciplinarian. Being a historian of the presnt often entails fieldwork and conducting interviews rather than working in the 'dusty' archives normally associated with the work of the more conventional historian. Indeed, to some extent the historian of the present works very much more like an anthropologist, or even like a journalist, rather than the so-called 'traditional' historian. The historian of the presnt should have a deep knowledge of the culture of the area that they are researching and representing. This involves insight, and this insight is given more credibility if the historian knows the language(s) of the area concerned and has mastered, or at least engaged in other disciplines, such as literature, or anthropology, politics and languages.
DescriptionThe articles collected in this volume reflect a range of analyses of the different approaches to Peace and Conflict research. Whilst it is obvious that there can never be any easy answers to any of these challenges, it is, nevertheless, encouraging that so many young academics from several parts of the world should come together in Venice (San Nicolo Monastery, Lido, September 2006) under the aegis the Eden Network (part of the EU-Socrates-funded Thematic Network in Humanitarian Development Studies), to discuss their interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary work.
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