Measuring Time, Making History

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Central European University Press, Jan 1, 2008 - Philosophy - 138 pages
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First volume of the Natalie Zemon Davis Annual Lecture Series at Central European University, this small but rich book contains three lectures delivered at CEU. Explores some of the ways in which time matters or should matter to historians. Like everyone else, historians assume that time exists, yet despite its obvious importance to historical writing--what is history but the account of how things change over time?--writers of history do not often inquire into the meaning of time itself. Hunt asks a series of related questions about time in history. Why is time now again on the agenda, for historians and more generally in Western culture? How did Western Christian culture develop its distinctive way of measuring time (BC/AD or BCE/CE) and how does it influence our notion of history? What is the role of modernity--our most contentious temporal category--in the historical discipline? Is modernity an experience of temporal ty or an ideological construction? Are modernity, the discipline of history, and even the notion of history itself a western, and therefore imperialist, imposition? Should we, can we, move beyond the modern within the historical discipline?

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About the author (2008)

Lynn Hunt is Eugen Weber Professor of Modern European History.

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