Dust: The Archive and Cultural History

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Rutgers University Press, 2002 - History - 195 pages

In this witty, engaging, and challenging book, Carolyn Steedman has produced an originaland sometimes irreverentinvestigation into how modern historiography has developed. Dust: The Archive and Cultural History considers our stubborn set of beliefs about an objective material worldinherited from the nineteenth centurywith which modern history writing and its lack of such a belief, attempts to grapple. Drawing on her own published and unpublished writing, Carolyn Steedman has produced a sustained argument about the way in which history writing belongs to the currents of thought shaping the modern world.

Steedman begins by asserting that in recent years much attention has been paid to the archive by those working in the humanities and social sciences; she calls this practice "archivization." By definition, the archive is the repository of "that which will not go away," and the book goes on to suggest that, just like dust, the "matter of history" can never go away or be erased.

This unique work will be welcomed by all historians who want to think about what it is they do.


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User Review  - klai - LibraryThing

I'm not a historian, and thus not the target audience, and hence this review is highly subjective. I felt that most of the essays in this book revolved around literary-theory-type ramblings, only ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Othemts - LibraryThing

Nothing like reading a bunch of children’s books and then delving into deconstructionism and a response to the writings of Derrida on archives. Or Freud. Or whatever it is that Derrida writes about ... Read full review


In the archons house
Something she called a fever Michelet Derrida and dust
The magistrates
The space of memory in an archive
To Middlemarch without benefit of archive
What a rag rug means
About ends on how the end is different from an ending
The story of the dust

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