Dust

Front Cover
Manchester University Press, 2001 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 195 pages
In this witty, engaging and challenging book, Carolyn Steedman has produced a highly original and sometimes irreverent investigation into the development of modern history writing. Dust is about the practice and writing of history. Dust considers the immutable, stubborn set of beliefs about the material world, past and present, inherited from the nineteenth century, with which modern history writing attempts to grapple. Drawing on over five years worth of her own published and unpublished writing, the author has produced a sustained argument about the way in which history writing belongs to the currents of thought shaping the modern world.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 looking at the attention paid to the archive by those working in the humanities and social sciences in recent years, what has become known as the practice of 'archivisation'. 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.

Historians who want to think about what it is they do will find this work enlightening, and this book is essential reading for all undergraduates and postgraduates studying historiography, and history and theory.
 

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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

Contents

In the archons house
1
Something she called a fever Michelet Derrida and dust
17
The magistrates
38
The space of memory in an archive
66
To Middlemarch without benefit of archive
89
What a rag rug means
112
About ends on how the end is different from an ending
142
The story of the dust
157
Bibliography
171
Index
192
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Page 188 - THE LEATHER WORKER'S MANUAL. Being a Compendium of Practical Recipes and Working Formulae for Curriers, Bootmakers, Leather Dressers, Blacking Manufacturers, Saddlers. Fancy Leather Workers. By HC STANDAOE.

About the author (2001)

Carolyn Steedman is Professor of History at the University of Warwick