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Postmodernism in History: Fear or Freedom? by Beverley Southgate

By Beverley Southgate

This unique and thought-provoking examine seems on the context of postmodernist concept ordinarily cultural phrases in addition to in terms of background. Postmodernism in History lines philosophical precursors of postmodernism and identifies the roots of present matters. Beverley Southgate describes the center ingredients of postmodernism and gives a lucid and profound research of the present kingdom of the controversy. His major main issue is to counter 'pomophobia' and to claim a favorable destiny for historic research in a postmodern global. Postmodernism in History is a worthwhile consultant to a couple of the main complicated questions in old thought for college students and lecturers alike.

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Sample text

History’s absence is evident, too, in the context of the important and wide-ranging collection of essays by Zygmunt Bauman, cited in Chapter 1. In Postmodernity and its Discontents Bauman discusses theoretical and practical aspects of postmodernism, including matters of time and art and fiction, which can hardly fail to impinge on an informed historical study. 3 Admittedly (as we shall consider later), there have been notable attempts by some historians to come to terms with the postmodern challenge, and to adapt their work in very positive ways.

So again, as Rilke saw and felt (and as pomophobes recognise but cannot accept), we are never very securely at home in our ordered world, where the order depends on what is only an interpretation, and so is itself contingent and constantly under challenge. 27 As the central character, Mo is (at least through most of the book, before she becomes a part-time cleaner) an anthropologist. Her researches of the huge rainforest in Borneo necessitate selecting a small (manageable) sample area, which can be divided into a grid, marked off by string into squares of land that she can then study, classify and report on in detail.

But in Plato’s terms we remain in a 20 POSTMODERNISM AND POMOPHOBIA pre-creation situation where any order that prevails is only ‘by accident’ or faith, and can be challenged at any time. And, of course, our interests do change, so that any intellectual victories we win are never final, but only ever provisionally secured. The order imposed (and the language which that order makes possible) remains always in danger of falling apart again, of dis-integration, of dis-appearing to reveal primeval realities once more.

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