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DO Cee nent eit ea eae ity of Califoria, Santa Bau SA ee eee Cocco ot a een oe University of Chicago AUIS [oF nh 20) Content | Acknowledgments i Introduction: History, Culture, and Tes Part One: Models for Cultural History ‘Michel Foucailt’s History of Celture ‘raTRIcIA aes 5 ‘Crowds, Commarity, and Ritual in the Wark of E,P. Thompson and Natale Davis suzann vesat a Local Knowledge, Local History: Geertz and Beyond . [ALETTA BIERSACK n Liter, Crt, and Hire agin: The Literary Challenge of Hayden White and Dominick LaCepra toe aan » Poet Two: New Approaches ‘The American Parade: Representations ofthe Nineteenth-Century Social Order Man vas ps “ va Contos 6. Teas, Printing, Readings 1 ‘dies, Details, and the Humanitarian Narative "THOMAS W. LAQUEDR {8 Secing Culture ina Room for a Renaissance Prince Contibutors Index 13 m6 23 235 Acknowledgments ‘Theis for this book originally took shape at a conference, “French History: Texts and Culture)” held atthe University of California, Berkeley on Apri 1, 1987, on the occasion of 4 month-long vist by Roger Chartier to Berkley during tie spring semester of that year. Although the project eventually expanded to take in work in other national elds of toy {he conteibutors to this volume were present atthe orginal ‘meeting, and that collective experince tas decsive tn helping Us to look for common themes and understandings about the story of culture. The conference was organize by the French Studies Program atthe Univesity of Califo, Berkely, and tas funded by the Florence . Gould Foundation and the Georges Lurcy Charitable and Educational Trust. We are grateful to these two foundations and tothe University of Clk fornia, Berkeley for making the mecting—and the meeting of Inlnds possible. We vould als ike to thank Natalie Zemon Davis, who acted as commentator at lange, and the many other Scholars in French history and in other ils of history who st tended the conference. Yosef alone Pee ay a Lar Anite Calorie ‘nie of aoa Peay, Li ond, ngand Fi Rg fe une of Catla eee oe ee piri eas Se CE mma oie Seaton ate tat oicesnitaetal ceatiace™ En fees aes EErereae eaten Spat ete ete ngs Roger Chaee™= Se iSite ee ppt mmo eer seme ge sap Bac iB sy nog ape sy Pm nthe ed Sates of Amica ‘To Natalie Zeman Davis, ‘npration to alt Introduction: History, Culturg, and Text LUNN HU} {In 196, EH. Carr announced that "the more sociological his tory becomes, and the more historial sociology becomes, the better for both.” At the time, the pronouncement was a batle cy directed primarily at Carr's fellow historians especially those ofthe English varietywhom Catr hoped to drag along, however unwilingly, into the new age ofa socially enented History. In retrospect, it seoms that Cart was quite tight the cutting edge for both fies was the socia-historcal. Historical Sociology has become one ofthe most important subfields of sociology and peshaps the fastest growing: meanwhile, social history has overtaken politcal history as the most important area of research in history (as evidenced by the quadrupling of “American doctoral dissertations in social history between 2938 and 2978 surpassing those in pola history) in history the move foward the socal was fostered by the inluence of two dominant paradigms of explanation: Marxism ‘on the one hand and the “Annales” schol on the other, Al. ‘though Marxism vas hardly new inthe 19508 and 19605, new 1, lad alt Cat, Wht le toy? (New York, ist ped 2 Kat Dana, “sede ant Col Histon" in The Pst “Us Conenpiray Hora ring ine Ueto Michael Ramtaes Mise, Ng) P34 | : tym Ht currents were coming tothe fore within that explanatory mode that promoted historians’ Interest in sociel history. At the end ‘of the 1ysos and early in the 19603, a group of younger Marxist Historians began publishing books and articles on “history from below,” induding the by now canonical studies of George Rude on the Pat rd, Albert Soboul on the Parisian sansculottes, and P. honpiony the English working lass? With this inepi the 19608 and 19708 turned kom more traditional histories of political leaders and polit ‘al institutions towerd investigations ofthe social composition and dail life of workers, servants, women, ethnie groups, and the like. “The Annales school, thougha more recent influence, came to prominence at the same time. The original journal, Annales histoire économique et sociale, was founded in 1929 by Mare ‘Bloch and Lucien Febvee, I moved to Paris from Strasbourg in the 19305, and took its current name, Annales: Economy, So- ‘Gites, Chlsaions, in 1946. The Avmales became a school—or at Teast began to be so called—when it was institutionally afii- ated with the Sixth Section of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes after World War Il, Fernand Braudel provided a sense of unity and continuity by both presiding over the Sixth Section land directing the Armaes in the 1950s and xg60s.* By the 19708, the prestige of the school was international; the 1979 Inter- national Handbook of Historical Studies contained more index en tvies for the Annales school than for any other subject except ‘Marx and Marxism ‘But was there veally an Annales “paradigm,” as Traian Stoianovich insisted in his book by that name? He claimed that the Annales school emphasized serial, functional, and struc- tural approaches to understanding society as a total integrated organism, “The Annales paradigm constitutes an inquiry into 4. Geoe Rat, he Cr te recht (Oto, Abert sale Pee etae anaes Ge gov EF owe Sone ating te Eich Worng Clos (London, 1969. ne oe Anal scho so Trace Sanh Fe Hla Met Te Ama Peaig (oes, NY, 978 ona uy Ba ‘lire Man fs Eos horus Pu 98) ‘Eiger and Harold 1 Parker, dy neato! Hanis of 5, Goo lil Salis (Westport Conn, 1979) Intctin 3 “how one of the systems of a society functions or how a whole cole funcons mtr offs mile egal sat ye temporal patil sted dive toward (Tal hi it lones all speci Fernand Bade the conta gine of he Anas shoo in miner becomes eur ber baeeere ren eect ance ieumwae catia inaeit 1 chang Speers a Sri re ieee nee ec io ee er nena Goubert—established_an_alternative-model of total regional history, focusing not on world economic regions but on regions: hin France, In their work, economic and social history domi- inated the longue durée cextainly gotits due, but the geographical Sesame tere ave Being feck stud not as a uking spit Stl this Y eS eee ‘similar to Brau- (Getined usual ned usually or even fy Years) fonaltted second order of historia realty: and pole cultural, and intllectual-life-mado-up a third, largely depen ‘ent level of historical experience ion beth er as an einteraction-between the “The Annales emphasis on ecanomic and social history soon 6 Sm Hd hr Mt ard Laer tc eran 8 rg Philippe II (Paris, soa) English translation London, 1972-73. ‘Npenece 4 yn spread erent the mor trian Nistor ounas. By 72, om and ssi story ad replaced Bogaphy and it {ous soy a0 the got categories ater pol story In Every convention Rene here? The numberof So tlt ond soil sory artes in the U3 onal Pc foal Su nearly Gould (rom 24 to 4b erent) Between ges and gh Alhough have looked carla ony a jour fis of French Ntry Fauspect tht te sue tend can be Se tected in most feds EH Cae was nt an Annales Historian, tats words eres te Aut poston well “Since the pre cecupation wih economia soca ends represents abroner tne ote advanced dagen human develope han the pre Gecupation wih pull and cnsttional end, 9 the Ee om and coil nett of sory nay bea tere fants move advanced sage In Hotory than the exaely cial inten." eecet yas, however, the very model of explanation hat contributed mot eigiicrly wo the eof ral Noy ave fen undergoing jorshi in emphasis as Mare ad Ane falits al have become increasing intrested nthe istry feature The tum iver surety Mavtnpied Noy tro alendy present in Tompeorts work on te English work the das. Thompoonexpity jected the melphro Dsel ‘these tn dete hn the su of wa he Caled “cultural and moa meatone’—he way thee ma Sid expences ge Padi sin cla wage tn Te Bain he Englth Waring Chi ps), he described cae Conse athe nyo whch expen [op ductive retina] ae handled incur tem! endian traifons,slveystems ins and etitoal forms” Al 4 Alnin Cabin," ue histori: Anas conte ne pbs: on snk ee iii in ev de aL hi rst, Foto en ree We XAS sl, ed. Chaes Ofer Carbonell org vet (aloe, 1979). P96 SSN gue reco Lyn Han, “rech History in he La ‘wey Yet The Rise and Fal of he nls Prag" oa of Coton py fay 2 Gy 209-94 1 Quoiedin len kay Ttberter "EP Thompsen: Understanding he Process of History” Ys ond etd in Histor Sec, ed. Meda Stopol (Came, 198) 08 nttcton : though the book provoked great controversy among Matxsts, many of whom accused Thompson of a bias toward vellum. tarism and idealism, it nevertheless had great authority among younger historians. The most striking instance of Marsst historians’ turn toward cultute is their growing interest in language. In 1980, the edi tors of History Workshop, in an editorial enlitled “Language and. History,” recognized the growing influence of what they’ called “structural linguistics” (a misuse of the term, but showing the influence ofthe interest in anguage). They argued that attention to language could challenge “reflective theories of knowledge” andaffect the practice of ‘socialist historians” by focusing on the © “semiotic functions of language.” Wiliam Sevcell's hook on the language of labor in the French working class is the best known product ofthis interest within French history.” Yet forall their attention tothe workings of the “superstruc ture,” most Marxist historians have done litle more than fine. tone the fundamental Marxist model of historical explanation, f_ As Thompson putit, “class experience is largely detetmined by. the productive relations into which men are born--or enter ie. voluntarily." Ina self-consciously Marxist book on history ad linguistics, Regine Robin claimed that sense can be made of po litical discourse only with seference to an “extralinguistie” level ‘of experience, namely the experience of the social relations of Production." In Marxist models, then, the sacial experience i, | by definition, always primary, The most noteviorthy exception to this characterization of 1 ater oan em Regn ta 3 Fler ers sc = immense et re 2 Ton li fe Nl a a. Svan stein tnghene a lashes ett ae dts tee amt a pric pe eg acta ese sc Rrn ee lt a ge ey Corin Nocatee alt he Gea (SE aad Rant a te ah eur nw um re eget MN ie tr fr ey No ‘ Ln tt Mans interest in culture may prove the rule. In his path- Breaking olection of esays Language of ise, Gareth Sted ‘an ones orppl with he nega of he Mast approach In dscesing the Chast language of dss, he serves. "What has not been sulfienly questioned is whether this language cn simply be analysed in terms of ts expresion {or coespondencet, the putative coscoustess of «par tular das or social or occupational group” Likewise, he el {Stes Thomaon for asuming “svelte direct eatonship ietween soci being’ and ‘socal consciousnest which leaves Hite independent space othe declogil context within which the colo rel gag of cl cane Situte.” Yet by showing the importance ofthe Recoil tr Silom of asim and ef the changing chaacer and pots ofthe state Stedman Jones Is effect moving away om a Manvst anit: As he himself matin inf introduction, ‘We cnnot therfore decode pelea! language to reach apr mallard material expression of nlerest since isthe dlscursve Structure of politcal langage which conceives and define in. terest in the fist place” Can sucha radi displacement of the Mats agenda sil be considered Maras “The challenge to old models has been especially dramatic within the Anal school Although economl, socal and de- Imograpic history have rein dosnant inthe Aas tl {accountng for more than half the ates from 1965 fo 298), Intel and cultural story have tka tong second pce (Gang some 35 percent ofthe ates, x posed fo 11-34 percent on pola history)" Ae the fousthgenertion of Att Tales historians have become ineeasingly preoccupied with ‘what he French rater enigma trm mata ean tnd socal hintory have receded in portance Tis deepen ing interest in morals (even among the older generation of ‘Annales Wstoriana) has Mkewise led fo new challenges to the ‘Annales paredign 7, Gareth Stedman Jonas, Languages of Clas Stats Engl Working ing ye Cal) 4, od 1p: Vole Sein races he etry of the word and ofthe concept ln "Men ‘ait und Menage,” Histor Zteri 44 (98) 335-98 Intaetin 5 Fourti-generation Annales historians such as Roger Chartier and Jacques Revel reject the characterization of mental being part ofthe so-called third level of historical experience For them, the third level isnot alevel atall bt a primary deter. minant of historical reality. As Chartier claimed. “the elation ship thus established is not one of dependence of the mental Structures on their material determinations. The representa, tions of the social world themselves are the constittients of so cial ealty."* Economic and social relations are not prior to o¢ determining of cultural ones; they are themselves fields of cul, tural practice and cultural produdtion—which eannot be oe Plained deduetively by reference tan extracultural dimension ‘of experience. In turning to the investigation of cultural practies, Annales Historians such as Charter and Revel have been influenced by Foucault's criticism of the fundamental assumptions of sockt history, Foucault demonstrated that there are no "nataral” tellectual objects. As Chartier explained, "Madness, medicine, and the state are not categories that can be conceptualized i {terms of universals whose contents each epoch partcilarizes”=? they are historically given as “discursive objects,” and since they are historically grounded and by implication always chang, ing, they cannot provide a transcendent or universal founds fiom for historical method, Certain similarities exist between Foucault and even the fst- and second-generation Annales historians; all these scholars ‘were looking for anonymous rules governing collective prac. ties, and all participated in displacing the individual “subject” from history. Unlike the first generations of Annales historians, however, Foucault was fundamentally antipositivst, He did 23, Roger Chore, “Inelectual History or Sociocultural History? The ciuh Taectris,” in Mater Ege ca gg Re oe ‘Neg Poses, ed, Donk LaCapa ond Soren L.Roplan bcs NY 198) po. i Asc lal on fs wrk on dco, he wa nok ners in determining the “undertyng” eases of cursive formations ee Sein ‘hstonaly how ives are prdeces nade discourses wih [TenBtin themselves ite rae or aloe” quoed in Mark Posten Fonech Snare Rawk as [asl 6 ds uct fy "2 Chater, “nelctual sory pg 8 po ant not believe thatthe socialsciences could be united "ingen an, pei became ented he concept ofan’ and te very possibly of method inthe Socal sciences. Tndeed, some commentators have called his “genealogies” an “antinethod."™ ‘Although historian have hen Intgued by Foucault’ tren- chant erdcsm, they have not taken his method-—or ant Iethod-—as a model for ther practice, oueault refed 0 ‘fer causal analysis and denied the vay of any reductive Telaonship between discursive formations and thelr soco- politcal conteste~between changes in views of madnes, for ramp, and socal and polit changes in seventecrt- and tighteentivcentary France. He vehemently argued gains - Search nto origins and hit “genelopes” required none ofthe ‘tual grounding in economies, seity,o politics, Asa conse- uence, thougt hs loca inaghs no the functioning oF par {Ear instiations and types of discourse have generated Gon Siderable research (mach of it aiming to correct Foucauls own citenjery-uilt constrictions), he overall agenda remains iosynertic, And how could it be thers, when Foucault desclbed aversion of history ab one that “turks what seve previously considered mati; agents What Was Thoughtunited,. shows the eterogsnety of what was ag ined consistent wl ie,” and when he prodlaimed that "Tam ‘ellaware that have never walten anything bt tons”? Ad- ited, he went onto ay. dont mean to gos fora toy iat felons are beyond ath [or wre} sem ome tat is posible o sake tion work inde of tuth™ Yt he never 2, Fors useful dgcusson of Foucnlts methods, ee Larry Shiner, “Read ing oon Antietam of er Kgs Hato {on Toy 20 (gaa). 9ee-g7, ad Habe L. rey and Paul Habinow, oe! Pot Syd Statute sed ements (Chicago, 982), The dlference beeen the Anais schoo! and “scturasn” i divas In Stans Cai “The Anas trian,” in The Ret of Grae Thany fe he Huon Scr, Quentin Shines (Cabri, 193), pp. 177-98. Chk ‘errs tht the trctral story of Braudel and he Ath es more fo {ht howity to any fons of phenomensiogy than to thee anipation of ctrl (p. 198). nudes determin war bed on 8 preference fot oral athe har elt acunt of experience (P50), uted in Alan Meg Popnef omy Nace, Helper, Fa co’ Dre Barely ane Ls Angles 985) po. 35,234 Ibadan ° specifies how he ean determing this “truth” oF even what its epistemological status might be. Even though Foucaul! may ot have entirely succeeded in blazing a thied path through the terain of cultural history, be- side Marxism and the Annales sthoo, his influence on the con- ‘ceptuaization of the field has been undeniably tremendous, In ‘her essay in this volume, "Michel Foucaul’s History of Cul- ture” (chapter 2), Patricia O'Brien examines both Foucault in- fluence and his practices as a historian of culture. She argues convincingly that Foucsult studied culture through the prism of the technologies of power, which he located strategically in discourse, He did not try to trace the workings of power to the state, the legislative process, or the dass struggle; rather, he looked for them in “the most unpromising places”——in the op- erations of feelings, love, conscience, instnet, and in prison blueprints, doctors’ observations, and far-reaching changes in disciplines such as biology and linguistics. What, then, is the agenda for the “new cultural history"? Like Foucault work, the broader history of mentalits has been itcized as lacking clear focus. Francois Furet denounced this lack of definition for fostering an “unending pursuit of new topics” whose choice was governed only by the fashion of the day.” Similarly, Robert Darnton has charged that, “despite a spate of prolegomena and discourses on method ...., the French have not developed e coherent conception of menalts a5 field of study.” ‘The entcisms of Puret and Danson strongly warn us against developing a cultural history defined only in terms of topies of ry. Just a sGcal history sometimes moved from one group -.inqui © to another (workers, women, children, ethnie groups, the old, the young) without developing much sense of cohesion or ine teraction between topics, soto a clara history defined top ‘aly could degenerte nto an endless sarc fv ne alr practies to describe, whether emivals, cat massacres, ori potence trials 2, Fano Fue, “yond the Ane” fu f Modo (4983): 389-410; quote p. 405. comme mal 2” Darton, Tet and Cll Hr" 2, Rerer snp cv ono nny Be at tet copes he casas of ein sr Baer NS “Sve ny od ” yo Hat ‘But Furet and Damnton are in some ways uniaie in thete criti not least because they themselves work in the genre they ‘attack. Historians such as Chartier and Revel have not simply proposed a new set of topics for investigation; they have gone eyond mentaiés to question the methods and goals of history generally (which is why their work sso filled with prolegomena fn method). They have endorsed Foucault's judgment that the Yery topics of the human sciences—man, madness, punish- nent, and sexuality, for instance—are the product of histor: tally contingent discursive formations. This radical eitque has {basic problem, however, and that i its nilistc strain. Where will we be when every practic, be it economic, intellectual, $o- ial, or politcal, has been shown to be culturally conditioned? “To put it another way, can a history of culture workif tis shorn ofall theoretical assumptions about culture’ relationship tothe social world if, indeed, its agenda is conceived as the under- mining ofall assumptions about the relationship between cul- frre and the social world? "The essays in this volume are devoted to an exploration of 4 such questions. Part One examines, critically and appre: Ciatively, the models that have already been proposed for the history of culture, Part Two presents concrete examples of the rnew kinds of work that are currently under way. The reader ‘will find litle in the way of sociological theorizing in these pages because the rise of the new cultural history has been frarked by a decline of intense debate over the role of socio- Togical theory within history (at least among historians of eul- ture in America) For this reason, the 2960s pronouncements of E_HL. Carr on the subject seem very dated. Now, in place of so cology, the influential disciplines are anthropology and liter Him A Progress Report” four of Soil sory 29 (985 319—34. AS Stat sl ited nan ere, Topi a isn RENT Snipe tendency. The opal approach thas not ony eects 8 ati Beater ecepisin but tis pouty hinders the development Stan appropiate schists! perogzntan” (Toward Wier Yio Pans Set sry Te et Before Us, Kamae, p24) 1 oteworhy tet clr hatory appeared in the as Bef in andes tenth eects! hotry Damion, tellctl an Cultural History”) eather than wth soci stor. Dat of cose, Darton himself ite ont 20h i {oxy_onete fntelecta stones Inti a ary theory, felis in which socal explanation isnot taken for ranted; nevertheless, cultural history must wrestle with new fensions within and between the models they offer. We hope that the essays in tis volume wl give some sense of bath the prospects and the potential problems of using insights from These neighboring disciplines ‘At the moment, the anthropdlogcal model reigns supreme in cultural approaches. Rituals, carivalesque inversions, and tes of passage ate being found in every counlzy and almost every century, The quantitative study of mentale as the “third level” of socal experience never had many fllowers outside of France. The influence in Anglo-Sewon and especially American approaches (othe history of culture came as much (or even ‘ore from English and English-truined socal anthropologists ts froman Annaler syle history of metalits.ln her pioneering essays In Sveity and Culture in Early Maver Frane, Natalie Z Davis showed the relevance of concepts borrowed from Max Gluckman, Mary Douglas, and Victor Turner, as well as the French anthropologist Amold Van Gennep. Her work, along with that of EP. Thompson in “The Moral Economy’ of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century,” promoted wide- spread interest inthe motive power of "community." As Davis explained in "The Reasons of Misrule” she hoped “to show that eather than being a mere safety valve, deflecting attention from social reality, festivelife can. perpetuate certain vals ofthe community.” Similarly, in interpreting rites of violence dlring the French religious vers, she concluded that “they can be reduced to a repertory of ations. intended to purify the religious commutty."" A straightforward soc interpretation seemed much less fitful than concepts introduced from the anthropological iterature. Inher essay inthis volume, “Crowds, CCommtnty, and Ritual in the Work of EP. Thompson and Natale Davis” (chapter 2), Suzanne Desan explores the virtues 25 wellas the problematic aspets ofthis nation of community. She concludes that historians of clture must develop a more differentiated notion of community and ritual, one more sen- 2, Thotipsons sori ate tn Pt aud Pmt 5 (171: 76-196 2. Nate Zamon Davi, Society and Cult t En Mart Fee as Sond Cal 975) 9.18 a ® yo ut sitive tothe ways in which diferent groups, including women, Use ritual and community to foster their own separate post tions. Violence, in her view, can transform and redefine com- munity as much as it defines and consolidates it In recent years, the most visible anthropologist in cultural historical work has been Clifford Geertz, His collection of e- says The Interpretation of Cultures has been cited by historians ‘working in a wide variety of chronological and geographical settings." In The Great Cat Masscere and Other Episads in French Cultural History, for example, Robest Darnton clearly stated the advantages of Geertzian interpretive strategies, Cultural his- tory, he announced, is "history in the ethnographic grain. ‘The anthropological mode of history... begins from the prem’ ise that individual expression takes place within a. general {diom,” As such, itis an interpretive scence: its aim isto read “for meaning—the meaning, inscribed by contemporaries.” The deciphering of meaning, then, rather than the inference of causal laws of explanation, i taken tobe the central task of cul- tural history, just as it was posed by Geertz to be the central task of cultural anthropology. Some of the problems aasocated with the Geerteian ap- ‘proach have been discussed by Roger Charter in a long review In the Journal of Modern History. He questions the assumption that “symbolic forms are organized intoa ‘system... [for] this ‘would suppose coherence among them and interdependence, ‘hich in turn supposes the existence of a shared and unified symbolic universe.” How, in particular, can a “general idiom” be capable of accounting for all expressions of culture? In other ‘words, Chartier questions the validity of a search for meaning in the Geerizian interpretive mode because it tends to efface differences in the appropriation or uses of cultural forms, The $0: {Dor Goes, The terrtton of Culture (New York. 197) 3. Rater Damon, The iat Cat Mase and Ota Ear tach Cal wage 0p loge Char, “Tet, yr, snd Frenchnens” Jol of Madore lor 5985 82-957 quote pest. Danton rphied a engi The ‘Symbic lement in ita Julia Mar ty 38986 8-94. See sho the echargs of ere Boule, Hoge Chale, snd Robe Dart in ‘Dlogac apropos de hstie careless discreet =>. es 59 (9) 8095. tation 8 lurge to see order and meaning obscures the existence of con- Act and struggle. In her essay “Local Knowledge, Local History: Geertz and Beyond’ (chapter 3, Aletta Biersack echoes some of these crli- cisms. She suggests that a dose of Marshall Sains might be salutary for future work on the history of culture, given his “te thinking” of structure and evgnt, or structure and history in dialectical terms that rejuvenate both halves. Tt should be noted, however, that Geert’s own increasingly literary under- standing of meaning (the consttuing of cultsial meaning as a {ext to be read) has fundamentally reshaped current directions in anthropological self-reflection. ln the final section of heres say, Biersack traces Geert’s influence on ths textualizing move in anthropology and shows how the concerns of anthropolo sists are intersecting increasingly with those of historians of culture Chartier himself advocates “a definition of history primarily sensitive to inequalities in the appropriation of common mate rials or practices.” In proposing this reorientation away from community and toward difference, Chartier shows the influ: tence ofthe French sociologist Pierre Bousdieu (also discussed in Biersack’s wide-ranging essay). Bourdieu recast the Mar explanatory model of social ite by giving much more attention, to culture: though he insisted that “the mode of expression. characteristic of a cultural production always depends on the Jaws ofthe market in which its offered,” he directed his own, ‘work to the uncovering of the "specific logic” of “eulturel goods.” Central to that logic are the ways and means of appro- priating cultural Dbjects. Now that Bourdieu's mot influential ‘work, Distinction, has been translated into English, his in lie ence on historians of culture will ikely grow.” Chartier insists that historians of culture must not replace a reductive theory of culture as reflective of social realty with an ‘equally reductive assumption that rituals and other forms of 233- Chater, “Tes, Symbols and Frenchnes” p88 [bound is perhaps bet howe for is concep of “habs” which hodeined in fee but nonetheless induental enti follows he habe tusig not ona structuring strut, whch nganizs practi and the pet ‘apn of prac, but aos eructured sila the pice of dion a tat mboic action simpy express a cena coherent, communal teaming, Nor mis they forget tha the texts they work with aft he reader in Yarn an inva way, Daren dleserbing past symbole ations ate no innocent, transparent tent they were waiten by authors with various intentions and Strategies, and historians of alte must devise their own Strtepes for weaing them. Historians have alays been crit fal about ther docunens therein ls the foundation of his- force method, Chater goes further by advocating acrticism of documents based ona new Kid of history of Feng. He effers an example, with ts emphasis on diference, In his essay “Tents, Ptng, Readings” (Chapter 6). Taking the seen century prologue to the Cestins a6 his point of departure, hart hows that he meatng of texts neatly modern Eu- rope depended ona variety of ators sanging rom the age of ‘ender fo typographial innovations such a the muliptstion ot slage dcetone His focts onthe tanga relationship be feet the tent a conceived by the author, as printed bythe publisher, and as read (or heard) by the reader throes into Eabt some ofthe canonical conceptions ofthe history of cue ture, in particular the dichotomy betweén popular and edt Cate or ite altar. nike Royer Chartier, mot historians of culture have been relatively reactant to use itary theory io any direct wy. In his coay “Literatre, Ceti, and Historia Imagine tony he Liferay Challenge of Hayden White and Domanick Lacapra (Chapter 4, Lloyd Kramer surveys the work ofthe to storia most sey associated with Rerary theory. Hs Ceaay shows cealy how literary approaches live enabled White and LaCapra to expand the boundaries of eltral his tory, ye it emins sensive to the reason forthe entinued trargnalizaton of such work. Its no scent that, n America, terry influences ist emerged in intelectual sory, with ts {ie nga dees which ganas he perception ofthe soil ord eel the pit of intmoleticn ofthe avon ino socal dases” (Dstt: 14'S! Cro elo Tse, card Ne (Camb tse pps) This quote eapttes very well Borda rel chip ohidion th itun nbn determined byte socal wort and ¢etermining of he poeepion a focus on documents that are texts in he terry sense, but cu tint historian who work with doguments other than great Books hae not found Iterary theory Tobe espa relevant One a the purposes ofthis volume to show how anew gen: tration of Horne of calture use ear tecuigues and ap proaches to develop new mata and methods of analysis, Krnner essay alco demonstates he pres variety of ierary influences ot work, The watings of Whe and LaCapra alone Aleplay significant divergences in emphasis “What ign her Selfits Foucault and Pye, taCapr ith Bakhtin and Bera There are, alter al thers thal emphasize the reception, of reading of texts and those that emphasize thelr production, Cr wring, thowe tat emphasize the unity and eaereee of meting and those that emphasize te play offence and thes in which tent york to suber thee apparent goals? Just os Geert and Sins represent vo ple anthrpeleg fal writing “Geeta emphasing unity, Saline diferenee £0 too does iterary eis have hs silty dichotomsed pproades in Fede Jamesons words, “leashioned terpreation’ which stil aks the tex what It means, and the fewer Kinds of analyse which. nk how ito (ti Parca, deconstruction, a crcl approach dosely asec Hed with Jacques Deda) The former emphasizes unity the Inte diterence ‘Unity is made possible in “Interpretation” by what Jameson cal “on allegorical operation In with a ext systray reorten in ere of sme fundamental mater cde oUt Tafely determing instance Felling ths Tne of reason ing, we might say tint n Dave and Thompson the risaly of ‘trlence ate rad-—orrewiten-— alopores fr commun Iris preety ths allogezing that Jameson ids otfetionable inlleray encom. At heinsists, “Te dared ilo whch ie terpretation has aon thu atone with the disrepute vsted tm allegory sel" “ea eho rary ore cre in op an be found in ety Eagleton, teary Tar A aration Mneape 9) 36, Fear jameso, The Pi Uni Nari Socal Sy oie tac, Ns 198) pce 27 Bs po 6 po ant Yet atthe same time, Jameson concludes thatthe tension be- tween the analysis of what a text means and how it works is tension inherent in language itself.” Unity is not possible with ut a sense of difference; difference is certainly not graspable without an opposing sense of unity. Thus, historians of culture really do not have to choose (or really cannot choose) between the two—between unity and difference, between meaning and ‘working, between interpretation and deconstruction, Just as historians need not choose between sociology and anthropol- ‘ogy or between anthropology and literary theory in conducting thei investigations, neither must they choose once and forall Detsveen interpretive strategies based on uncovering meaning fon the one hand and deconstructive strategies based on un covering the texts modes of production on the other. Histo- rians do not have to ally themselves single-mindedly with ther Clifford Geertz or Pierre Bourdiew, with either Northrop Frye or Jacques Derrida, “Although theze are many differences within and between an- thropological and literary models, one central tendency in both seems currently to fascinate historians of culture: the use of lan- guage as metaphor. Symbolic actions such as riots or cat mas sacres are framed as texts tobe read or languages to be decoded, In his criticism of Darnton, Chartier has drawn attention to the [problems caused by the "metaphorical use ofthe vocabulary of linguistics’ it ubliterates the ditferonce between symbolic ce tions and written texts, it defines symbolic forms so broadly that nothing is excluded, and it tends to consider symbols as fixed in their meaning.” Yet, though these waenings are cer tainly wel taken, the use of language as metaphor or model has proved undeniably significant and, I would argue, critical to the formulation of a cultural approach to history. In short, the linguisticanalogy establishes representation asa problem which historians can no longer avoid. In both art history and literary crticm, representation has long, been recognized as the central problem in the discipline: 238 Tid. pp so8-9.1donet have the space hereto comment moe exten shel on fsnaon' om parent warty of Mart postural Ie Sy crtigen, Uni ner, ne had lil nfuenceon hic sng sp Charen, “Ten, Syl, and French” p60 Intact 2 what does a picture oF novel do, and how does it doi What is the relation between the picture or novel and the world it par. ports to represent? The new culliral history asks the seme kinds of questions; frst, though, it has to establish the objects of historical study’ as being ike thise of Bterature and art An example of this endeavor ean be geen in Thomas Laqueur’s essay in Part Two, “Bodies, Details, and Humanitarian Nar. rative (chapter), in which autopsy reports ae shown fo com. stitute a kind of trary canon, T attempted a similar task inthe fist chapter of my recent book on the French Revolution sehen Ieained fo treat “the di verse utterances of revolutionary poiicians as constituting tone text”" The only basis fr this aim wa its potential rat fulness for analysis and explanation, and the lan must stand or allo those grounds. My aim wes not to reduce revolton ary discourse to one stable system of meaning the reflection of ‘community, for eample) but rather to show how politial lane sage could be used rhetorically to build a sense of community and atthe same time to establish new fils of soci, politcal and cultural strugsle—that is, make possible unity end differ: ence at the same tie. The point ofthe endeavor Was to exam ine the way’ in which linguistic practice, rather than simply re flectng social reality, could actively bean instrument of (or constitute) power, When national guardsmen asked, “Are you othe Nation?” they were not tying merely to Kentfythelt ‘siends in troubled times; they were actually helping to create a sense of national community aia, at the same time, they were establishing new ways to oppose that sense of comms nity. Words did ot fst reflect social and politcal reality they ‘were instruments for transforming reality. Mary Ryan makes a similar point inher essay in Pact Two, “The American Parade: Representations of the Nineteenth {Century Socal Ocer” (chapter 5). Ths essay brings the Unt) ‘nd-ifference theme into sharp reli. Prades crested a sense of community (pluralist democracy) in American ities pre, ‘ely by expressing important lines of socal and gender divi son, Ryan shows how critical historia! understanding of st 4. Hut, Pals, Cults, ent Clas, p25 8 yp Hunt ual can be by demonstrating how parading changed in function ‘overtime: whereas in he 1820, 18302, and 1649 the parading Of ciferences under a unifying banner of civic pide served to footer evi unity, after mid century the parade was tans- formed into an ethnic Festival that more exclusively empl sized difereces, Ryan also points tothe ole of gender in these Constructions of civic Ment, and, ke Desan im er pece on Davis and Thompson, she reminds us that gender was one of the mort cra lines ofefferentiation incite and society No account of cultural unity and diference can be complete veoumme daca of gender. is ‘The importance of gender goes beyond ts undeniably cen- tral positioning in soil and cultural, however, studies of ‘women’s Ristry inthe 29608 and 19708 and the more recent emphasis on gender diferenition played a significant role in he development of the methods of the history of culture ‘ore generally In the United States in parila (and pethaps Uniquely), wometvs history and gender studies have been at the foreront of the new cetural history. Natalie Davis, forex ample, relies on the datncions between men and women to iluminate the workings of early modern elke, The work of Carroll Smith Rosenberg, too, is exemplary ofthe ways in ‘vic womens or gender history can advance the history of Culture asa style of vestigation and ving, Inthe esays col lected inthe volume Disrry Conduct, for example, Smith- Rosenberg brings to bear both anthropological and Uterary siyies of analyte, ranging from the work of Mary Dovgls thatof Roland Barthes, As she describes her projec, "By tracing ditferences between nineteentcentary women’s and men® inythic constructs I sought to re-create the way gender chan- rele the impacto socal change and the experience and exer ibe of power The dialectic between language as soil miror fn language a social agent formed the core of my analysis." Here gender as a system of cultural representation that sat once sca terry and linguists especialy in vier "The methodological implications of the study of gender have 4, Carol Senith Rosenberg, Darker Conc: isis of Ger in Ve toi Arte York, 1585) 9.45. moi » ‘been most forcefully explicated by Joan Wallach Scott in heres ‘say collection Gender and the Poits of History (whieh includes critiques of EP. Thompson and Gareth Stedman Jones, among, others)-* Scott has been particulary influential in linking gen der history with the analysis of discpurse, In the work of Joan Scott, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, and| Natalie Zemon Davis, the rising influence of literary techniques of reading and literary theories can be dearly seen. Natalie Davis's most recent book, Fiction inthe Archives, puts the "fietional” aspect of the docu ments atthe center of the analysis. Rather than reading letters of pardon as sources reflective of contemporary social norms, she focuses on "how sixteenth-century’ people told stories.» what they thought a good story was, how they accounted for motive, and how through narrative they made sense ofthe uin- expected and built coherence into immediate experience.” The essays by Roger Chartier and Thomas Laqueut in Part ‘Two of this volume are striking examples of the trend toward the literary. Readers will find in Chartier essay, “Tents, Print ing, Readings,” a good introduction to his important new book, The Cultural Uses of Print in Early Mader France. No one has done more than Chartier to move the history ofthe book into, the mainstream of cultural history. in The Cultural Uses of Print, Chartier reiterates his conviction that “culture is not over and above economic and social relations, nor ean it be ranged be- side them.”* All practices, whether economic or cultural, de: pend on the representations individuals use to make sense of their world, i's essay, “Bodies, Details, and Humanitarian Nar- demonstrates the potential of new literary techniques in cultural history for enriching more traditional social history topics. He argues that humanitarianism depended in part on the development ofa constellation of narrative forms—the real- istic novel, the enquiry, and the medical case history—which ‘wate a sense of veracity and sympathy through nazrative de- {Joan Walch Scot, Gor a the Foi of History (New Yor, 45 Natale Zenon Dvn Faso nthe Acie Pit ste Tee hk pf Stent Conary Pon (Stand Calle 16) {Roger Chart The Culm! Uses its aks Lyi G. Coctrane (riteton: S987 ps 5 tym Hat tail By focusing on the narzative techniques of the autopsy re port, Laqueur does not aim to avoid the traditional questions of lass and power, nor to remove hurmanitarlanism fom the do- ‘main of social history; rather, he hopes to expand social history to include the sociology of narrative form. The final essay, Randolph Starn’s “Seeing Culture in a Room {for a Renaissance Prince” (chapter 8), takes us back in time but forward into new questions about the techniques of cultural history. Although Stars essay shows the influence of literary theory in its analysis of the fifteenth-century frescoes of Man- toga, it also takes us into the domain of “seeing” as opposed to “reading,” Here, the linguistic analogy is no longer preemi- nent. Instead, Starn lays out a new typology of seeing that in- ‘cludes what he terms the glance, the meastired view, and the scan. In this way Starn is able not only to show the relevance of artchistorical documentation for cultural history but also, and ‘more surprisingly, to recast the terms of art-historcal debate i- self, He historcizes the process of seeing by showing that even forms have historical content. This approach is tremendously exciting because it pushes cultural history beyond the stage of incorporating insights from other disciplines and into a posi tion of refashioning adjacent disciplines in its tur, Al of the essays in Part Two are centrally concemed withthe mechanics of representation, This concern almost necessarily entails a simultaneous reflection on the methods of history a new techniques of analysis are brought into use. And perhaps ‘methods s too naezow a word in this context, For as historians learn to analyze their subjects’ representations oftheir worlds, they inevitably begin to reflect on the nature oftheir own ef forts to represent history; the practice of history is, aftr all, 4 process of text creating and of “seeing,” that is, giving form to subjects. Historians of culture, in particular, are bound to become more aware of the consequences of their often un selfconscious literary and formal choices. The master narra tives, or codes of unity or difference; the choice of allegories, analogies, or tropes; the structures of narrative—these have weighty consequences fr the writing of history. In the 1960s, great emphasis was placed on the identification ‘fan authors politcal bas, on trying to situate oneself as ais: torian in the broader socal and poltal workd The questions are now more suble, but no less niportan. Historians are be coming more are that their supposedly matter of fact choices of armtive techniques and analytical forms also have socal and politcal implications. What is this introductory chapter, for example? stays onthe slate of the discipline often have 4 canonical form all their own: fist a narrative onthe rise of new kinds of history, then a long moment for explring te problems posed by new kinds of history, an finally lier a Jeremiad on the evil of new practices ofa celebrate of the Potential overcoming of all obstaces, My story in suite ci ferent from Carrs: where he saw the epic advance of sil and sconomic history, the heroic historian marching hand in hand with the forces of progress, I tell the perpetual romance, the quest without end, the lone doubling back over tery a. ready presumably covered. By implication, history has Ween treated here asa branch of aestheties rather than tthe hana! sain of socal theory. Reflection on such issues is not always pleasant for his torans. As Nancy Pariner seid recently about the witng of history, “language-model epistemology” (@s she termed 1) hasbeen “smggled out of linguistics and philesephy dept ‘ments by literary critics and freeanging or metas and lobed lke grenades into unsuspecting history departments Th prducts of such an explosion wil not neatly together as though preplanned, for there is no single agreed rmethod. AY Ciford Geert argued In hit oxegy ate Genres" (the very tie inacating think the ambiguity he ek about the situation), “The text analogy nov taken up by soa Scientists i, in some ways, the broadest ofthe recent eeligare, 45, The inplicatons ofthis aesthetic of istry ae very important, ‘ating compex to develop in an sanyo Us feng Ses my seen ord Soc Ther” tobe published i a colton ete oy Devil Core {er Columbia Unrerty Mes, fora fle Bl bo meare detain, 1 gh Nan. Parer, "Making Up Los Tine: Wing on the Wing of stony,” Spano 80) 909 que poe 2 ym Hat tions of social theory, the most venturesome, and the leas well developed.” For the moment, as this volume shows, th acentin cultural history ison lose examination—of texts, of pictures, and of ac tions—and on open-mindedness to what those examinations willreveal, rather than on elaboration of new master narratives or social theories to replace the materialist redictionin of ‘Macxsm and the Annales school, (Aze we headed here for & “comic” ending in Iiterary terms? An ending that promises ree onciiation ofall contradictions and tensions inthe pluralist, ‘manner most congenial to American historians?) Historians ‘working in the cultural mode should not be discouraged by theoretical diversity, for we are just entering a remarkable new phase when the other human sciences (inclding especially it ‘rny studies but aso anthropology and sociology) are dis. coverings anev. The very use of the term new histori in literary studies, for example, shows this development. The em- ‘Pass on representation in literature, art history, anthropol- ogy, and sociology has cused more and more of our counter- parts tobe concerned with the historical webs in which their objects of study are caught. Someday soon, presumably, an: other EH. Car ill announce that the more cultural histor studies become and the more historical cultural studies be- come, the better for both 1, Silo Geert, "lured Gees: The Refi ofS Thou,” in tl tele tier Bs tpt dee (New ork, 1983), Pp. 19-35 auotep. 5, Part One Models for Cultural History Ca | Michel Foucault's History of Culture PATRICIA O'BHIEN | or mys I pret lle Fate tha commento the teres 11 The oly oli ribet thought sch a eas’ precisely to ase, deform to mae groom ent profes, Atif the committer ays tha a “ijl Mitsche, ati of abtly no intrest. © [>t a6, Michel Foucault published his rst major work, ahi tory of madness from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centrios, Hise dale tood outside the paraigms of the new oct history. Nether Marat nor Aafia, Foucault’ work in the ervening qattrcentry has been llrately paved an a tacked by historans-and most often, in both cases, misunder = Sood. The body of Foucault writing has seldom been eco "lz for what it is anallemative moe for writing the history of caltre, a model that embodies «fundamental critique of » Marast and Annaliste analysis, of sec bistoryisel, - Inthe decadesfte Word Warll a generation of young French historians stepped forward with new agendas and new con- ems. Many of them, communist in thir ideology and Marist ty training, emphasized socal and’ conomic structures in o Mice! Foucat, tretien sur epson: le Hire tsa méthode” (with [Lf Becten, Ngee 18 Jae 9975193. 4 Pari OBrien search of a model ofistory compatible with their political com- mitments, Both the Annales school and Marxist practitioners responded to postwar needs for a history grounded in socio- teconomic concerns, In 1958, three years before the appearance of Histoire dela fle, Albert Soboui’s influential work Les Sans tilottes en Tan II appeared: and in 1056, Fernand Braudel, au- thor of La Méditerranée, assumed leadership and editorship of the Annies, These goliaths presided over a conquering social history that has commanded an international audience forthe last thiety years. The disagreements, skiemishes, and wars be tween Marsst historians and Annalists in the 1970s and 1980s have obscured their common views and shared concerns." Inrecent years studies based on analysis of class have eroded under the flow of attacks of Annalistes and other historians. In tum, the history of mentaltés has questioned assumptions of social and economic primacy and threatens to undermine the ‘Annales paradigm from within, Thanks to the work of histo- rans of the last twenty-five years, we now confront the chal lenge of a history of culture that can neither be reduced to the product of social and economic transformations nor return to a ‘world of ideas cut free of them. Without the structural dom nance of the Annales paradigm and the analytic certainty of class, historians are experimenting with new theories and mod- els that owe litle tothe serial scientific disciplines. Social his tory has brought us to the brink of a new history of culture, where society may not be primary afterall and culture may not bbe derivative, The result is a period of confusion and perhaps crisis in the rise and fall of paradigms. Social historians have been slow to acknowledge “the general disintegration of the belief in a coherently unified interdiseipinarty.”* The most ‘widely articulated fear, even among the practitioners of the new cultural history, is that this post-Marxst, post-Annaliste history of culture may sink into relativism, irrelevance, antiquat- anism, and political nihilism through the rejection of world- views that no longer convince and compel. Ande Burgi, “Annales cl es)" in Dict des cece hi eri And Brgulte Pats, 98) 40-52 2 Tym Ht, "recs ory ithe Eat Twenty Years The Rise and rl ofthe Aus Pardigan,” Jor of Contenporary sory 2 (98) 25. Foucml’sHitryof Cature ” Foucault's controversial work stands as an alterative ap proach in the new history of else Traveling by a diferent Foute, Fowaul questioned he very principle mpc in all so Gul history that society sel i th elt tobe studied, Many of us have been infloenced by oh or another of Fovaults histories without perceiving the exent of hs break wth soi stra modes? Perhaps tre that Foueaults works spond tothe “now obvious prom” plaguing socal and economic histor. Ifo, then broader conssersion of Fou rol challenges to historians shoul fell ws something abut the Impasse or crossroads ofthe History of culture, aswell 3s about te contbution of Focal work to Nistor wating Tn consiering Foachlts contin ote nev cular se toy this chapter dedicated to thre main concerns) Pou. caus reltion fo and reception by members o the Motor profession (2) Fouls achievements and fares as histo Fan—whelher or nat in method research, and concerns he op trated within the discipline; and Q) Foucault’ influence onthe ‘eitngofhistory and what the prospect are forthe surcval of Such iniluonce. In understanding the dietion and develop ment of Fount ork as genial history, sand asa ho (contre toa how tus how tinue itis informative in conceptualizing and developing histor problems. ® * pens Miche! Foucault's reception by historians has een troubled and contentious. The profes in France an this county has teen slow to recognize as one ofits own someone not rained in the historical dicipline” His rejection of pootivist history is coved language and opaque texts, his dismiseal of his cites os “any minds” and “bureaacrnts and poice™ did nothing to 2, Fouts pproch an finngs in Diino Pn ave stony spec ny oh wok heen he pron ac Se sonnei, He heey Bein! sms sey (Princeton, NJ, 1983). . ene oy het omy uy pn Fouls rani pliepy ant po orubog e dcaed by Alan Sheridan, hel Fon Pe Wl te Tath Londons 98), pp EM ecole eS ing tn ly fe eo Or as pa and eT dons fee ae XN Sheridan Sow Yor, 978) Bt. * aris Oro bridge the gap between Foucnut and academe hstorans. His tate en ow inovatvenes wr coupled an Sropant perstencen being misunderstood: "Do nol ask me ‘oho Lant ard do not askin to remain the same.”” He coun- tere stinging crits withthe occasional ippant denial "Tm rota protssional historian but nobody’ perfect Neat the rd of his fe, Foucault ientifed is work as “studies of hi- tary by reson ofthe domain they del with and the erences they appeal but,” he insisted, "they are not the work ofan ‘Nistor ‘Alan Megil describes the stages of response by histor sons to ousuls work as passing fromm what he terms “non- fecrplon” tough “confontation” ta limited and tenuous “"pelmiaton.”* inspite of the postive reactions to Histoire des folie in sgba by Robert Mandrot and Fernand Braudel, Foucault was prety well ignored by historian inthe 19605 Yet ‘no reception outside the histori profession in this period sree steal onthe ise according to Megs compiatons rom the Socal Sclence Citation index snd the Arts and Humanities lation Index. The historians whe appear Inthe top rank of theve surveys are signify “on the margins, even outside the generic disp of ht” None othe nisin Inost frequently cited, including Fosca, resided in an acxe {omic department or nse of history: none was “dose othe Soc poltcal mainstream." oweaults perceived marginal as a’histovian gave way in che tops to grudging recognition ofthe historical aspects of Ns work, although tose who found in Foucauls approach fais other own often mised the Intention of Ms work 1, Foul, Acai of roe 07. 5. eia'Mcn Cape’ Cnveraty fferon,October 2, ee in ‘An Mega “The Reepion of Foot Hrs” awa of try ital sep ay . tiene Yous, The Hey of Seaalty, ol 2 The Use of les, ea Haber Hey i Yr 2) 15: Mow ees of Fou 5. 1 Meg tern Sees tod of oon seul it accuray and amas it conse conntation bd p35 See as Th lher fie Htaran re Evin Pano, artsy, sznal Gowbchs at hase, Frances Yom nett! story it, ‘hae Ra, hsiny of scene and Mircea Hinde history of eign Foes try of Catare » For historians of mentalités, for example, Foucauls study of maciness evoked Febvre intentions of the 19308. And histo rans on the Left recognized Foucault's histories of the lini, the asylum, and the prison as institutional critiques demon- strating the development of social contral.” Identification of common elements ina socialhistorical agenda shared by Foucault meant that apparent incoasistencies and contradie- tions in other aspects of his work were regarded as Foucaul’s failures, His work has been valued f9rits “local insights," but those insights were fitted into the existing agenda of social his- tory. Where they have failed to fit, Foucault has been held accountable Iinhis essay “L’Historien et le philosophe,” Jacques Léonard, social historian of nineteenth-eentury French medicine, some hat selimockingly contrasted Foucault to “the historian,” a type who “must, in onder to be competent, inhale over a long, period the dust of manuscripts grow old in the depositories of ‘departmental archives, and fight with mice for morsels in rec- {ory attics.” Foucault clearly did not conduct himself as a dust- laden, aging nibble of facts. Instead he was, Léonard tells us, “a barbarous knight,” galloping across the historical terrain, recklessly abandoning in his histories of prisons, of medicine, ‘of hospitals, careful and meticulous research, Foucault was criticized for his inatention to chronology, his oversights, his ‘minimizations, his exaggerations. Historians ofa wide range of subjects—work, the military, education, medicine-—would be able, we were assured, to marshal “concrete facts” against Foucault thesis of massive normalization. Léonard spoke for ‘many historians unetsy with the unorthodoxy of Foucault's ‘work, He nevertheless concluded in this introduction to a roundtable discussion of historians with Foucault that "M. Fot- ‘aul is himself a historian, one who is incontestably original and whom we ae interested in listening to.” If he has ventured too far as “a philosopher coming to sow seeds in the field of historians, ... his audacity,” Léonard condescended, “is al 4, Maundenandings of Foals wok are wal eed by Jie ‘ee Feu Mahal p19" n Deon de ts is, 1g, Hunt, “French History in the Last Twenty Yost,” p. 3 » Par OBrien ways seductive... Hs work s above all a beau intellec Toa construction Foucault understood the evaluation, His acerbic response to Leona damning paie i worth noting in sme deal be: Cause tis both se jutiiation of Foucuka istoran and thant uty Fwcaf he state hora ing To "Lstorien et le phioeophe” Foucealt opposed his {abil tile "La Poustre ete age” He agreed ith Leo- tard tha he “stereotypcal= Nistor has avait of hanks iets the vtuus kg of curacy (don have any ea bt teat that sy te the dts of reat norman vest sd anything out hs hing or even hat which ‘to abot and youre corny nant) the grea wines of Tally (Nora sysemotut eel withal conto The ne earthen sco bo wpe over le peo {ert pled by Darbar tae afer ata te gran would stg a This ie Foucault relishing, as an Ata, the scorched historia terrin he leaves fn he wake Thies his angry sesponte othe "Gust ofthe “true ite facts” of history measured against he "louse up by his "preat gue eas In ralingapint the narrowness, peltiness,and silty of historian, he ls nota testarian but feformer cling for something beter, somes thing grander. We, ike Léonard, serge the acy and hear the bate oy Ceitcs have isis an continue ons that Foucalin- tended in hin work to undesine the ltinacy of istry, ae ofall disciplines, as excsionay and nating of knowledge. Because of Fouculf aur to employ “the onal cites of historical scholarship” hoe, ax Meg oberves, “antdacpin 2 danding cutsle a seine and cawing rm ther “nly in the hope of undersning ther.” Mil concdes hat 15, Jaoques Léonard, “Historie ete pulsophe, A propos de: Serer tpi nance det prion” in Ingen rane Mice ert (sr 198) RB 0, 2-15, 16-9147 1. lich Rouen, "La Foust ete nuge,"in Lops prison, ed: envi p39 Focal’ Hise of Cre 5 “though he is not of the discipline, he is important fo it.” Otters, like Jacques Revel, acknowledge Foucault's contrib- tion to history as an outsider, Revel asserts that “the work which hhas pethaps most profoundly marked French historians since the 1960s is not that oftheir pees, iis that ofa philosopher, Miche! Foucault * passer Those less positively disposed realy point to Foucauis de- ficiencies, lack of method, disregard for dala, philosophical ‘opacity, special language, oversimpliications, and abstractions a indicators ofthe historical invalidity of Foacaults work. His. torians who are willing to admit that Foucault was writing his {ory find it bad history, too general, too unsubstantiated too ‘mechanistic. No wonder, then, Foucault's piqued denials end flippant admission that “noboxly’s perfec.” {tis possible that Foucault's view of historical discourse and ‘of his engagement in it was more open and fluid—albeitcom- plicated—and less destructive and corrosive than alleged. AS Foucault observed In The Discouase ont Language, "We tend to ‘ee, in an author's fertility, in the multiplicity f commentaries and in the development of a discipline so many infinite re- sources available forthe creation of discourse. Perhaps so, but they are nonetheless principles of constraint, and itis probably {impossible to appreciate their positive, multiplicatory ole wit. ‘ut first taking into consideration their restrictive, consteaining, role" In any case, some historians have chosen to dismise Foucault as.a had historian, or no historian. More favorably dis. Posed commentators have chosen to see him as something ‘ther than a historian, standing on the outside, contributing at an outsider, There can belittle doubt that Foucault saw himself as an out sider, but one who intended to reshape profoundly the disc! pline that excluded him, In his inaugaral lecture atthe College de France, Foucault implicitly presented the “monsteosity” of his own work through a discussion of Gregor Mendels cont biition to biology. AF this moment of his greatest institutional | Py Meg “Reception of Foc.” ppss3-34 1 Revel, “Foucaul” pa 4g, Michel Foul, he we ot Lagunge (New York 197) p284 2 Pate O'Ben recognition, Foucault chose to identify with an outsider, an ob- scure Austrian monk, whose contributions to his discipline were ignored until after his death. “Mendel was a true mon- ster, so much so that science could not even properly speak of him” His great discovery ofthe basic tenets of genetics could not be contained by the science of his time: “Here was a new object, calling for new conceptual tools, and for fresh theoret cal foundations, Mendel spoke the truth, but he was not dans le tra (within the true) of contemporary biological discourse. ‘A.whole change in sale, the deployment ofa totally new range of objects in biology was required before Mendel could enter into the true and his propositions appeat, for the most patt, exact” Foucault explained earlier the nature of his own, simi. Jar concerns: “What one is seeing, then, is the emergence of a ‘hole field of questions, some of which are already familiae, by ‘hich this new form of history is trying to develop its own the- ory... . My aim is to uncover the principles and consequences of an autochthonous transformation that is taking place in the field of historical knowledge,” Foucault's work denied marginalization, although he and his ‘tics relegate him to marginal status, Let us consider some ‘countervailing arguments. n creating his own ttle forthe chaie awarded to him at the prestigious Collage de France in 3970, Foucault chose “Chair in History of Systems of Thought.” He claimed to distance himself from such earlier works as The Onder of Things and The Arckacology of Knoxledge, while atthe same time deepening, his commitment to the historical inquiry (of Maziess and Civilization, The Birth ofthe Clinic, Discipline and Punish, andl the multivolume History of Sezally.” These works are self-proclaimed histories. Yet they are not “generic” prod- lets of the historical discipline Foucault was attempting in his histories (as well asin his less easily labeled historical works) to break with the conventions of the discipline, to push out its boundaries. There was litle that ‘was familar in his throwing of of constraints, his questioning so. Bi 3 Hosea, Any of Knipp. 2 Hite Boyne abo 6 oa: eo Scar te a Hemet hn, 98), p.. Foc’ History of stare » ‘f method, his measuring of, as he put it, the “mutations” of history as he hac done in The Order of Things, Yet Foucault was always singleminded and consistent, despite the counter- aims of his critics, in identifying what was wrong with the “regulatory principles’ of the traditional history of ideas, In abandoning cause and effect and "the formless unity of some great evolutionary process, whether vaguely homogeneous or "igidly hierarchised,” he did so in search of forms, not of new structures, “It was rather in order to establish those diverse converging, and sometimes divergent, but never autonomous series that enable us to ciccumseribe the ‘locus’ of an event, the limits to its Muidity and the conditions ofits emergence.” In stead of consciousness and continuities, the suff of the new so- cial history, Foucault's new cultural history countered with dis- ‘continuities, groups of notions, series, discourses, His was primarily a methodological enterprise. Foucault's methodological challenges nevertheless embraced ‘one of the most traditional of historical endeavors: his collected works represent a new history of Wester civilization. As a his- torian deeply committed to the present, he explained in The Onder of Things that he intended to uncover the historical stata of his own culture. His works before and since represent a star ting analysis of the civilization of the West in terms of not ‘alization and discipline. Through his periodization, based on ruptures of the Renaissance, the Classical, and the modem. ages, if he is not producing a foa! history, he is then producing, ‘gener! one. As he explained in The Archaeology of Knowledge, {otal history stood for the reconciliation ofthe overall form of civilization, the “laws that account for the cohesion” ofall the phenomena of a period. According to total history, economic Structures, socal institutions and customs, mental atitudes, {and politcal behavior are all governed by the same network of ‘causality, by “one and the same historicity.” General history dismisses the totality of Maraists and Annalistes alike, notin favor of plurality but in favor of interplays,coreelations, domi nnanees: “A total description draws all phenomena around a single centre—a principle, a meaning, a world-view, an overall pap. ” Pri Oren shape; a general history, on the contrary, would deploy the space of dispersion.”"* This newly deployed space is a canvas thick with bodies— bodies in hospitals in clinics, in asylums, and in prisons. Fou- cault stated his own objective as “creatfing] a history of the dif ferent modes by which, in our culture, human beings are made subjects” (emphasis mine).” In an earlier work, he described this goal somewhat differenti, as the attempt “to reestablish the various systems of subjection.”* Fernand Braudel, leader ofthe Annales in the sg60sand 1970s, himself aiming to find a new way to look at history, understood early the breadth and ambition of Foucault's undertaking. In his assessment for the Armies, Braudel recognized Madness and Cnlzaton as an attempt to trace "the mysterious pathways of the mental structures of civilization.”® Lynn Hunt groups Foucault with two other professionally marginal historians, Philippe Ariés and Norbert Blas, as historians of the civilizing process, Like Lucien Febvre, they studied. "long-range trends inthe alteration ofthe structure ofthe psyche.” In examining ‘Wester culture in terms of internal values and behavior, Fou" 3B RTRompeon, Rough Mone ecriraanga” Arlo EC aq eh ty ge Se ae Tongan’ "ine, WokeDocpie, ad Ta Beta od Pret ot a, wich ale deen Fer ances rene interest the pestis of atheopoogy Rome incre ee Mec, ineriew wif Thompeon,” p25 “Thempeon,Laghtoeth-Centary Soc.” P1355 SE Tlintbrpes, “EP Thompson,” Pp. 36-27 Ig, Thompson, cious Altheseeian thorn, bo fs riqueand Hs woth cnet of theory. ee eison,"Thoripan, Genovese, and Soca Ft istry” pp. nyo oy 2, he TRomron spec os, Comyn Ri s patterns of meaning and perception. Thompson has written tat in the study of customary sodety in eighteenth-century England, the central questions “may often be concerned lest with the processes and logic of chafige than with the recovery of past states of consciousness and the texturing of socal and ‘domestic relationships. They are concerned less with becoming than with Being.”* In short, existence and attitude rather than change and causality interest Thompson. As he delineates the formation of cultural values and views, Thompson posits a dia lectical interaction between “experience” and “social conscious ness.” He does not define his concept of “experience” clearly in either his theoretical or his historical writing, but he seems to assume that experience is determined by "social being,” thats, by one’s place within the structure of human relationships in the material world. "Social being’ determines social conscious: rness,"” writes Thompson, “as experience impinges and im- presses upon thought Ultimately, through their examination of the activism, con- sciousness, and everyday life of the people of Reformation Feance and industeialiring England, both Davis and Thompson seek above allo give voice to the masses of people who lef few ‘written records and whose history has for generations remained unwritten. In their emphasis on the role of culture as a medi ator of social relationships and structures, Davis and Thomp- fon express their conviction that the lower classes were not simply prey to external determining forces in history, but in- stead played an active and integral role in making their own history and defining their own cultural klentity. Davis and Thompson both turrtto the analysis of riots as an ideal azena fot darifying and exploring these historical convictions, To ddemonstiate the ration, autonomous, and coherent motive tion of popular activists is to show in yet another crucial realm that people in the lower echelons played an important role in shaping their own history. Moreover, the analysis ofa period of disturbance sheds light on the texture of communal values and relationships in more peaceful times. Finally, both Thompson Folkre Anthropology an Sail History" 3 Thompson, pe as lyf Thay. P35 * Sezae Dae ‘and Davis assume that the analysis of the political awakening of [Past groups may contain clues for our own understanding of ‘current political situations and behavior. ‘As they react against interpretations that stress economic oF psychological forces, Davis and Thompson both focus on two Central questions. Fist, why does the crowd view its legal and violent activism as meaningful and legitimate? Second, how oes the community play a crucial role in defining the’ moti vations, goals, and actions of the riot? At the core of these questions le two interconnecting concepts: “community” and “ogitimacy.” For both scholars, these twin concepts become critical in demonstrating the rational, indigenous nature of crowd activism. The community's sense of identity and auton- ‘omy, a5 well as its shared sense of purpose and meaning, acts asa forceful element in validating and motivating croved behav jot. Furthermore, Thompson an Davis share the methodolog cal assumption that an analysis of the pattems of crowd ac- tivism will reveal its meaning and offer clues about community structures. Iwill examine Thompson’ “Moral Economy of the English Crowd” and Davis’ “Rites of Violence” to show how their innovative focus on community autonomy and legitimacy has strengthened recent work on collective activism, but has also resulted in some limiting assumptions and methode, ‘According to Thompson, in times of dearth and high prices ceighteenth-century English food rioters believed they were jus tified in taking violent collective action because the community as.a whole felt that their common view of just marketing prac: tices, or “moral economy,” had been violated. Protesters found “legitimation” for their activism because they were “informed by the belief that they were defending traditional rights or cus- toms; and in general, that they were supported by the wider consensus ofthe community” (emphasis mine).” The community at lange, with a shared consensus strong enough to override fear or deference, fought to defend the traditional “paternalist ‘model’ as the ideal method of grain distribution, According to the traditional model, the production, harvesting, and espe: 23, Thompson, “Men Eonomy” p78 (hd, Commaty, nd Ris VBE caty marketing of rain and bread should be controle to pro tet he interest the community of consumers. The fod foe er, ho shared tis “meval economy or "paternal made condemned a free market economy tased oh the proft mtv, which in theory would eventual alow gaint fos to the aces where demand was greatest Af monsents of sere i Inger blamed grain shortages and high prices on the doen of the pater model In disciplined and onde eho ‘hey took over the role of government officias an enone te colection and sale of grin acconding tothe tadiionel soe economy by sling grain at “ust” pices, Whi tis egal a tion bythe ating crowd didnt necessary bing nein short-term sucess, over the long term the gentys aumoneee ofthe threat of collective activi spurred tem t oneal wo Hence by controling prices atl maintaining some apt the paternast model Certinly Thampson has been briliant in arguing that 2 shared communal conception of moral economy er je gece induced ation and influenced the forms of rod beers that occured His insight ito the motivations ofthe sts isespeclysshing becuse it provides a pomertly coving ing mode! fora wide valtyof forms of eolssive acon In Thompsons footsteps numerous analysis of uprisings have aberved the provocative power of commural nolons fuse And thir guiding impact on the patterned actions of te soe ing crowd: Historians have applied the concep ef te “mea economy” not only to ether food rites it Bran, fo ee anmple—but also to other types of collective stfu at ll Euiyninetenthcentty tile workers, rebellions pesca intoentet-century southerst Asia, and Davies tlie tot ers al held some commnually shared princes that le mized their violent or illegal actions,” pane " ‘Thompsons concept af communal consensus, however, may at imes suggest a more cohesive and.uited eommursty en Infact ested, He cea doesnot aim uniformity of con 4 2, Loe Ty, “The Food tas arm ef Pte Condtn Pace, foie edi Hy fp a8 eng ne ot, The Mol Eronory fhe eee St ey Aion tven Conn od Bases Resale yh et ’ Stcame Dan bythe whole community, yet he aims unanimity of concept flation. Fis model fall fo explain why certain groups within the community were more likey than others fo engage in rit Why id some people participate while others ether disap- proved oreffered only unspoken and sactve approval” Admit Tey tcan be extremely dca to trace the sotal background Of the individual partkipants in an insusrectin, although ‘Thompson hiaelf ha been quite sucessful n performing this Tink Sven iformation con be found about tre occupations, fender, an income of rotrs, con sil be dficaltt probe {Revmutatins of theve different groups within society Yet the {question must nonetheless be ested: How did atitudes vary hone groups within the community 59 that some members hase tot en others did no? ‘Thompson mentions, for example, that women were often readers of the price fing, yet he oes ite rea exploration of {his etal observation. He notes, a8 have many historians, shchuding Davi tat because women were belive tobe more Iysterta and uncontrllble By nate, they were held less r= SBonsble for criminal actions before the lw; therefore, they iE more fre to commit egal actions. Likewise, Thompson steers that women may have been more are of abuses of the pnleralst model becrase they 0 often were more involved than tele husbands in face-to-face marketing—but he then tops the question of female leadership without even suggest fing that it needs further probing. What he does not suggests thax the role of women in grain ots may have given them a Certain power base or role Klett within the community" Be- Suse Thompson interested in the power struggle between the gentry an the rowed, with each group taken as represen- tae of tn emerging dass, he does not adequately question 24: Tomo, "Mal Boon FR 35 Mana ean iterate on heroic of women nots see Ove Hulton "Women in Revolution, 1789-1796" Pat Pree 99 (72): FenSR mme Repln, "Fenske Conscioness and Calectve Acton fhe ence Barcelna,fgte™1938 Sis oul of Waren lure ad ety 7 {any saad Susan Cav Rogers, “Female Forms of ower ard Myth (Nii Simian: A Mel of Fela interaction in Peasant Sky ‘eri Eoigt = 973) 7275 Crs, Cammy, ied » the tensions in authority, role, and Function within the lover echelons of society. Yet the analysis of grain rots could provide dlues to the structural bases for informal power for women within the village community. In short, rating could have a transforming impact on social and political roles at the local level Moreover, Thompson does not sgem to recognize that the “moral economy” might have different meanings oF levels of significance for various members of the community.” For ex= ample, he points out that day laborers seemed les likely than. artisans to take part in price fixing rots, yet he does not go on to inquire into the relationship of day laborers to the commu nity a a body social. Nor does he ask whether perhaps they had less invested in the paternalist model than di small farm. rs or domestic workers. Thompson also observes that in some ‘cases a core group of leaders, such as collers or embankets, spurred others to action." One wonders about the dynamics and means by which fellow villagers were incited to act. Cer: tainly some villagers had ambivalent or negative feelings about hhow worthwhile and effective violence might be as a means of {guarding communal interests, Thompson himself observes that the repressive crackdown in the aftermath of an uprising could ‘be very hard on the local community. Some community mer bers must have anticipated this hardship and hence heen wary of rioting, Furthermore, millers and wealthy farmers within the village ‘night well have preferred the new “sissez aire” system, for they would benefit from a more fluid market situation. In addi- tion, some victims of érowd violence came from within the vil- lage community itself; these “hoarding” farmers or “crafty capitalist” millers would likewise hardly favor a “communal consensus” that legitimized popular enforcement of the moral {économy. Thompson bases his discussion on a polar model, syle si cons AN 6 Seaeme Dron ‘which stresses the confrontation between the community and the gentry. Although he is keenly aware of the role of middle men as both profters and victims, his dualistic emphasis makes it very dificult to integrate analysis of this middling, froup.” Are they destructive members of the community? Are {hey foreign agent? Or are they perhaps the beginnings of gr0up not so easly dassified between crowd and gentry? In shor, Thompson never asks a crucial question: what is the power dynamic taking place within the vllage community ‘when certain members deckle to take violent, legal action? Nor does he ask how violence may alter this dynamic and even transform the roles and functions of community members Members ofthe community might consciously or unconsciously tmanipulate violence against outsider, authority figures, rfl low villagers in order to redefine their own roles or gain new status and power at the local level. Here the crtal role oft shared moral economy Becomes bound up with sues power ‘dontity, and networks within the village soca structure EP. Thompson ts not uninterested in questions of power. He does, however, seek primal 10 evaluate how power of a hegemonic nature operited between the “gentry” and the “gow” In interpreting the relationship between patriians and plebeians as emerging classes in eariy modern England, ‘Thompson sublyreformultes the Gramscian model, He thinks that Grate! overestimated the capacity of the elites to impose “cultural hegemony” onthe masses and underestimated the e sitet ability ofthe lower dsses to limit and reformulate these Calturel inpositions. Specially, Thompson cals that pate cians and plbelane had 2 reciprocal relationship in the eigh teenth century. The gentry used a vast repertolee of theatrical and symbolic means to assert ts pateralist control and to exact deference and obedience from the crowd, but the plbelane clung to their autonomous, tains! popular culate, which enabled them to resist, redefine, and limit the hegemony ofthe gentry. While this behavior was not necessarily overtly politi” cal, i€ was not purely “unpoltial” either, for the community 2, Dale Edward Willams, “fora, Makes, and the English Crowd in 6" Pet an Preset 104 (934) 56-7 eS. BP. 7-72 Cros, Community, nd Rint 6 {acted autonomously to defend “definite, and passionately held, ‘notions of the communal weal.”™ Above ll in the absence ofa coertve state mechanistn of re pression, the crowd could use rot t6 curtail the gentry’s domi- nance. For example, although Thompson’ grain rioters may rot have been immediately successful in attaining their de~ mands, over the long term the threat of popular violence did influence authority figures and prompted them to avoid con frontation by keeping prices down.” In his book Whigs and “Hunters, Thompson makes a similar argument about the limita- tions ofthe elites’ hegemonic use ofthe lar.” This conceptuali- zation of reciprocity i largely convincing, but i his concentra- tion on the power relationship between the elites and the crowed, and in his intense desire to find autonomous, prepoitical be. havior of the masses, Thompson paradoxically has failed to pay adequate attention to the power struggles within the crowed it self The village community, like the undefined “crowd,” re ‘mains an undifferentiated category in opposition tothe gentry. The fact that Thompson's portrayal ofthe crovid exaggerates its cohesion does not necessarily undermine the significance of his concept ofthe “moral economy”; analysts of crowd behav’ jo should, however, be wary of using this term as a blanket explanation for motivations shared by the whole community. ‘The concept of “moral economy” should be complemented and corrected by a more nuanced analysis, both of existing tensions ‘within the community andl ofthe inspact of roting on the com ‘munity structure and polity. Ia part, thio approach enti ine cessed allention to the structural factors that influenced the roles and atitudes of different groups within the village. Above all italso requires increased attention to local politcal dynam» ics of both the formal and the informal kind, Natalie Davis's analysis of crowd action during the vars of religion In sixteenth-century France also focases on the cute ge. Thompuon, "Mora Bonomy” p. 3. Thompson, “Patan Soy, Heian Culture onl ef Sxl Hs ten 7 9p P9 982405 en" MécelFeonomny™ pp. ts ‘YL Thowpacn, ir an Hits Ta Orie ck (New York 470; ten, The Cae of Anonymity” Als Fal Tre, ed Boles iy eat ew York 1975) 2538, concepts of community and legitimacy. Her article “The Rites ‘of Violence” first appeared in 1973, two years after Thompeo "Moral Economy” piece, and Davis clearly shares certain as- pects of Thompson’ approach. Like Thompson, Davis wants to iMlustrate the reasonable and autonomous nature of crowd ac tivism; like Thompson too, she seeks to explain the “social meaning’ of religious rots and to discover how patterns of vio- lence grew out of communal beliefs. Davis's religious rioters drew motivation, legitimation, and patterns of activism {rom expectations, traditions, and customs held by the community at large. Whether Catholic or Protestant, these activists fought in part to defend their communally shared notions of a pure, ‘unpolluted body social. The Protestants took violent action against Catholic clergymen whose sexual and quasi magical ac- tons profaned God's word and contaminated the community; they also smashed statues that, in the Huguenots’ eyes, trv alized and defiled the true nature of God's holiness. For their part, Catholics attacked individual Huguenots as heretics who ‘were themselves ” vessels of pollution,” infecting the body so- cial and ever ready in thought and action to biaspheme the Lord, vilify churches, smash altars, and demolish images the Catholics held as sacred. "Not only did communal values determine the nature of the riot and the identity ofits victims, but communal activtios alzo influenced the riots timing, legitimacy, and ritualized quality, Davis suggests that religious riots frequently became an exten- sion of religious situal: violence often stemmed from moments of worship, and Catholic and Protestant rioters alike sometimes based their destruction on a “repertory of actions” from the Bible or the liturgy. Moreover, religious activists drew inspira- tion from traditional acts of folk justice: charivaris, which had Jong been used to enforce communal norms, also provided an ‘deal and “legitimate” means of humiliating an individual who violated true doctrine and trampled the sacred. In short, com- ‘munity perceptions, traditions, and actions informed the goals, legitimation, occasion, and social basis ofthe religious rot ‘Culture and community, not economics and class, were the _§ critical forces that motivated religious rioters. In support ofthis view, Davis convincingly refutes Janine Estébe's argument that Coes, Commo, ot Renal % sing gn ps coed daly wh rete vee td that the massacres of 1973 were prt “an expres Sohne ater Do poss Ree ae of the participants in religious violence: she notes, for netaree that although Protestant activists came from different sociocco. noni hgh pong noe este ire ern’ ef ane oe tse iy heuer decane ek ea cy Pn an pacers ea stunt ofr oe tide cee ee tet epitome enema Sale athe race wee tae ese et ‘ets rauntan: Break Soares arene oe Shas cty womenndenaseloe page scene ice rt dane ety yea es Praag and enforce social norms. rth genera Davi ach moe Ste ta Than os the dyamic of eierent groups within the communi, ee tupsm parce sie el nae dent ‘in ety nd Dee see cag tepninegen ss er pceae authority within the crevices or ft ines of eating sce secur She ly ows carpe tee Sak tang fog o ei were 2 ae tinge ied sd pon a Xe peony, he Rest Vesna Pr te Sau nag wa sar 23, Di, “Rey of Ve” pp 75-78 Be: Hine Ete and iu frre Cama an anion” and Pana nthe let ou se "The Retna Mirae” and “escent ee pel St “Cy Wome ana Rage eee woten on Top," In Socety and Cults, pp- 65-96 snd aq-ses ten, Pa es ia xr bg stp 9M oh fer feted Sen Mea REE LE aoe tf en ay " 6 Steam Dee horoughly as she might have. Hermalin pont of emphasis = Thain the fda that the religous rot had os uitimae goal the ty and pty of Une body soa. She vlews the oe of the Joutha for example, escertally a8 supportive of community ‘eran cnslece rte thn a atid lent i srceply divisive power struggle. In "The fits of Violence forthe moment se relates her commenls about the relk ‘Gous tenclenies of menbers of various professions (0 a fot ote tna sense, the unity and ose ofthe coma took on even pester imporance for Davis protester than for Tham acts he lus ters wet ajo de feng shared concept of use they tuned to vclence tee pusty te comment ise and to define ts boundar Freapaitttiveats both foreign and intemal. Peshaps Davis “tresses community cohesiveness s0 strongly in part becuse {Ne 'winhes carly fo delineate the contrat between Catholic Shu Protestant belts and behavior, As aresul, she scices Shore Interal analysis o this broader ustaposion of romp Charcteristie The ital Devs ndetnding of common ao tie in the anivopolopicl approach that informs and inspires, fut alo restrict, the Lands of questions she chooses to ask Several invent symbolic anthropologists, such as Geeta, niin, Tumer, and Douglas, have defined cltre primarily fh collectively held system of symbols. While these anthro- Peingote:partculany Geertz and Sabine, have sought to in- pasate and develop aseniy to Mstorkal change within Calfural systems, thei approach imately stresses culture's fole as Lind of subtle mechani fr the maintenance of 0 ‘ler meaning, and social cohesion At the skaf oversimplify ing tet work and ts ipacton historians, I would argue tht a5, Dav “Re of Vee” pp. 17-78 3 ithe problems wih 6 secropologial approach, se, for ex ape, tera Wah, "ig ofthe Be cao Cee dE NDR: Se ker eh 997-38, cmp. PP. 593-36, Willa Sew ‘tandem or Lan fa fi i ag (Close aot) pp soe ohana Tie he ter: a A Set ats es Ee ew Sec, 183), pp 58~53, 296 M, Groeazss, ie Aree fa Reigns Rit t Tsou, wna of Ets story SAAS) 967-98. BP IBIS Cros, Commi, a Rial 6 the strong emphasis that anthropoligists place onthe aesthetic and conctating function of culture has le historians to li theie point of focus accordingly. Ih her analyst of religious violence, Davis seeks Yo interpret the riot asa cultural phe nomenon tha, though violent essentially had order and comm runal purty at its heat. Ric, as Her title suggests, Becomes ritual, with community unity as is foal Davis interpretation 4s compeling and her focus on the meaning and legitimacy perceived bythe crowd is orignal and important. Bat he reader might also be left with the disturbing impression that some critical questions go urasked. In particule, the emphasis on the cohesiveness at community ad the frelniness ois let ‘macy leads to inalequate attention to the lsues of wanaforen Sion, confi, and potve. 1 would in fact be possible, in probing or expanding Davis analysis, to tum some of her arguments ups down oe tops turvy-—touse one of er avorite cultural otis, Inverting some ‘of Davis points inthis way should reveal new possibilies of interpretation, based onthe foundation she has alten lid First, Jet us take Davis motion of community. She claims that communal sal-pereetion estimated the ot and infu enced its form; yet one could also argue that violence actually fundamentally tansforsed the urban community and entirely fedefined it. Rather than aserting tha! existing perceptions of the body social defined violence, ne ould sy tha violence ove ees Bele destroyed he exting comm and re it apart in a bloody power struggle as each group fought to thw ev comminal boundaries, Ven fred urn el to rethink traditional definitions of commit. Indeed, Davis leaves the reader wondering to what extent Catholics and Protestants were part of the same community, At times the two groups seem to bate within the community for contol of the sacred: at other tines they act as two opposing communities at wat with one another Ifthe two prone were infact part ofthe same community and share sore aspect of thei symbolic system, not to mention social space within the ety, churches, municipal politic, and the urban economy, then their violence becomes part of larger, many layered struggle fr entrain a sometimes brutal and alcencompeecing, go « anne Drs sense. While violence certainly became an integral means of de- fining religious identity and solidarity, the context of religious conilict also forced both Catholics and Protestants to live within an ideologically divided community. This reality had two major famifications: over the long term it meant that both groups ‘would eventually have to accept a new conception ofthe diver- Sity and tensions possible within the urban community; in the shorter term itmeant that Catholics and Protestants engaged ina ‘ery real struggle over power and contra, as well as over mean ing, doctrine, and definitions of the body social. Tn order to understand the characteristics ofthis conflict that was at once religious and politcal, i would be helpful to know ‘ore than Davis ells us about how the Huguenot and Cathotic CGtizens interacted in peaceful arenas, and particularly in the tealm of politic, How did they relate to one another in the marketplace? Did they live in separate neighborhoods? Did they vie for postions as town magistrates? Davis probes some {issues ofthis type in her more recent article, “The Sacred and the Body Social in Sixteenth-Century Lyon,” published in 1981. In this piece, she further refines her discussion of how religious beliefs influenced Catholic and Protestant concepts of commu: nity; she also focuses on the social makeup and interactions of the two groups, Yet she leaves the political element largely un ‘explored. It remains forthe historian of collective conflict to ex- famine how political—as well as religious, symbolic, and so ‘al—levels of battle for municipal contol interconnect.” ‘In order to explore the links between meaning and power within religious violence, we might analyze and reverse a sec- fond clement of Davis's argument. She asserts thatthe patterns ‘Of the rloters’ actions reveal their assumptions about legitimacy fand their orderly, rational sense of unity and meaning; one might, however, argue that, on the contrary, these actions ilus- trate the activists’ uncertainties about legitimacy, betray their reed to forge new power, and in fact contribute to their capac ity to create nev roles for themselves within the city. For ex- ‘ample, Davis asserts that the roters felt they had a right to act in the place of civil or religious authority Sgures who fel short Chats, Comm, a Ritual © of thei duty. She reat imiation$ offical ston, such as tnock ris a8 a means for tlio ati to shape ana infore thee sense of legiagy and ive systema een cance o their valence. Yet Davi does sugges the poss iy that the reper of actions mimicking eal os might have bean way fo usunp the power author Spares in pechops simutanetsy to mosh a rte those a Cals Yor ther shortomings Beyond crating mccain ned Biimacy, soc actions may hve been deliberate meso de hhancing power and wnprecedente uthory Inver des and explicit way. ” - Furthermore, they might also dpa the doubts fhe ri exsas much asc comfvence While Bis teporetat ae ctl feed tat approval of eligous rots or even ar Pate inthe, thereat wondering about Noe gh tho sought impo ranguiity nn nde, What inde amie existed fteen them and the fates? Groupe thon citi thority didnot necessarily ave coma unity ae order 5 priory they might ao have had parla tae t defend an ave soto techniques oF doing nn ton soul be hep to ask haw tree a ees pests ten them status or authority ati te community Sth product of their religious leadership, just as the women or ac. tisans who led Thompson’ grain rots may have gained certain kinds of power or respect through their activism. In short, one. Reeds ss not only how violence refeeding rete amma, bat abo how 8 tanvfotmed the comment he song ran mene with nov ales power sate naher fascinating, hough sometimes troubling apt Davis argument that maybe ulfaly quested sel otoe turned upside down is her postion tht halle ie snes td thts result vite somehow bec rte, Dave & Seas perceptive in sggesing tht religious worship bess an occasion for enc an that voting tock. om etoaoed toms informed by htc ungal or talons! blessed customs, Davis notes that seenth-centry act may ave inured themes to the cry oftheir cons by enasing ‘Yiolence within ritual forms. Her analysis is subtle on this point, "yet the reader may be let feeling thatthe author parallts the ff ftionalization of the rioters: to say that a riot isa ritual is al. a Sane Ds most to smooth overits violence ort defect attention from the Sheer power struggles invalved inthis filing inthe set. Wes tle rot alwa}sntual Dil not someties originate na ‘ual context, then mushroom Beyond steal take ona chaos {ru brutality that can hardly be expressed within the concept af tual per set Tor example, to sone a house where Drotes- tants wet singing peas fo mp out ofa procession to atlack a scornful spectator, oft provoke the parents ina fival procsson waomot so much ritual as lence tha rgiated in Ein context and may i fact have Become a estrton of fren destruction of ua Use of the word rial to deseribe patterns of violence fits neatly within the anthropological vw of cute a8 an aes thetg and uafyng force. I vlence Sita, sem to have inherent legit) that o somehow preorained and that Feinfores the essentially cohesive nature of community. But the lnk between ritual and silence i not always 50 easly trae Inthe fot pace, we need to lferentiate beeen pa tems of repeated symbole action on the one hand ard talon the other Second, in those cases where violence became nial tve need to ask how actives managed o endow violence with tual qualiies and forge both religous legitimacy and early power by arsorming the natureand someies the meaning Efraymbols themes. In sivcentvcentary Trance, for © ample, biblical and turgcal customs fered valdaing mod- tivo violence ony i hey wer enterpeted and appropriated In catain ways, Rotts may have alfred or cistortedsjbols tn ita a pat tr tga contol ering Suthority. ins, by eecoging that patterns of vilence ae oily nature utero oy enous wth ia Teatinacy through a violent and plemeal stot the histor ‘Han eanrenterate power and conic int He aerpelaton of collective activism without losing the insights gained from anthropology. To turn Davis argument topsy-turvy once more, one should, {in addition to noting that religious belief shaped violence, ask hhow violence in fact transformed ritual and religious percep- 8, Jon Skorpal, Sel and Thy (Combo 1976), pp 69-75: Crus, Commuty nd Ritu 6 tions in fundamental ways. For on¢ thing, the very context in ‘which conflict took place expanded certain profane and polit: cal functions of ritual: ritual almost inevitably moved beyond being an expression of religiosity and of communal values, Even without turning violent, ritual became a weepon in its wn right, Take, for example, a relevant case from a diferent eta: during the radical phases of the French Revolution, some Catholics participated in ilegal worship out of both politcal and religious motives. To dance illegally on a saints day was not simply a religious and communal celebration; it became 4 politically loaded challenge as well. Similarly, in sixteenth century France public religious devotion easily became a state ment of defiance or hostility. Davis provides many examples of hostile rituals: asthe Prot estant proression came to resemble an “armed parade,” the psalms they sang fell ike challenges and insults on Catholic ‘ears; conversely, the Catholics in Pamiers who danced on the feast of Saint Anthony began to chant “Ki, Kill” and sparked off three days of serious fighting,” Davis presents such see- narios as evidence ofthe ritualized nature and context of vio. lence and as proof of the strong religious motives ofthe rioters, But one should also ask how this particularly aggressive char acter of religious practice in a time of conflict had an impact on religious feelings and how religious sentiments became inex. tricably enmeshed with power dynamics, What did it do to the attitudes of Catholic worshipers if they knew that each pro- ‘cession might infact be a provocation, that each saint’ festival right become a slaughter? How did sacred and profane mo tives mingle when Protestants smashed icons—thatis, how did religious convictions about pollution of the sacred and of the commnnity mix with anger ata postion of enforced inferiority and illegality? Religious beliefs, the defense of the true doctrine and of the religious community, were cleatly sincere and it portant motivating factors, but in this heated atmosphere rei gious goals, and even religious beliefs themselves, could not be separated from issues of stats, conflict, and power. How, then, did religious violence influence and possibly 55, Davis, Reo Vokes.” pp. 73-75 em ~ sinae Drs Cros Co and Ria A What we nad nv nts mich et tthe stata approach that avisand Thompson sought to comer at ator ‘ulin onthe bases they heli We ned tack how the cut pposch ois n gener ado colt st ism in paticular can incorporate both the anthropeogiea em Dhasisom meaning and mentaiéand a grater ammongese! tne Aynamis of power and change. te case of com stone Davis's and Thompsons stress onthe examination acon, nity and legitimacy must be reinegated wilh he nahn of power, transformation, and cone Fist, although paterne of crowd stivsm can betray thei meaning forthe patcpant, these potters arent neces COnciatng stat, a tveraly interpreted in these ey, Patterns of violence, lke the attitudes of villagers, may be ant biguous. We must therefore nt emphusize ti pattems ne uals of violence atthe expense of asking how rts haves anes forming impact not only onthe role and status of cosensaiy embers But also un ctrl aitudes and customs, Second, Cultural systems may indeed reinforce the commusty, seen “ode.” and endow various actions with leita sed near ing. But they an also become vies for Seating pose sed sowing discord. Various members ofthe communis have aie ferent attitudes toward symbolic systems and dellsgtcy ve propriate or manipulate symbols ax prt o taggleore fro We must strive to construct as nuanced a analyte of dynamics within the community asthe sours wil pesnt Moreover, the sires on the poral determining fore oe tural factors, such as elgous belie should nt eae ust nore ther motvatit ators suchas poical or soloeconsric Conflicts and interests. Davis and Thompson have advanced ine cultural approach iocowd violence by demnstatng eed {opose crea quests about commial nation of egtinaey and meaning. We nee! now to ask ow vslencs cme, no oiy tothe definition of community and moaning, bat a {othe tansfornation of symbole ystems and the neigeset of power, status and voles within the comavaniy transform beliefs and the sense of communal identity? We en- counter here the fip side of Davis's argument: ust as eommu- ral beliefs and rites influenced and legitimated violence, s0 too did violence ite tighten the boundaries ofthe Protestant and Catholic communities and also influence power dynamics and religious perceptions within each group. The Huguenot reli {gon for example, took shape in a caldron of opposition and Tegal harassment, This opposition and the resulting conflicts ‘may initially have strengthened Huguenot faith, created a sense ‘of otherness, and lent certain characteristics to their very doc trines. Likewise, this era of violence could easily have infiu- ‘enced Catholic metaphors and spirituality. Although the con- ‘cept of spirituality asa batlefield was definitely not nev in the ‘Reformation era, perhaps ils ramifications were diferent than in medieval days, Furthermore, in some cases the need to fight te defend religious doctrine or the need to practice ritual ik legally could transform the form as well asthe meaning of reli gious expression, Certainly, these questions carry us beyond the analysis ofthe riot itself into the Broader realm of Protestant and Catholic spirituality, but they offer fruitful areas for exami- nation. They also highlight the potential of violence to trens- {form and not simply to reinforce communal attitudes, By uncovering the pivotal role of the community in forging notions of legitimacy. and justice that informed popular vio- lence in rational and meaningful ways, Natalie Davis and E. P Thompson have made a striking and original contribution to the cultural interpretation of popular atitudes and activism, Together they have salvaged the study of collective action from its former overemphasis on economic or psychological forces. They have decisively shown the importance of cultural and ‘communal factors in motivating sctivists and illustrated the in- dependent and active role of rioters in making their own his- tory. Their emphasis on worldview, ritual, and shared meaning ‘has had ramifications far beyond the realm of crowd study, for they have helped shape the history of mentalits and popular culture in general. Numerous historians, influenced by Davi land Thompson's ideas, bear witness to the significance and timeliness oftheir contribution. sein NG Psp itspretatons of sym, see Roger Chat Soran Sta rd ec” al of Ba any 5 Knee, Ll Hig a | otthodox sense of the word rather in in the “geohistorial” ae ‘sense of Braudel’s Mediterranean, Ne ‘less, Sahlins’s salute fo Braudel has its point 1 serves fo deametor an cartes ; “paradigm shit" tm anthropology, fom sustain ‘Local Knowledge, Local History: ony eed ereed anthropology. ter om anther vantage, l ros pea ecomeege on Geertz and Beyond any theory The shit rom "socal itor” nope pact by thopoogy toa concern with histor texts an th ey | ty properties assed vith the work of Dor Cates | ind Hayden White (ee Krnners casay, chapter pote | lle in anthropology bya shit it foc rom cae toe intespretations muse) anthropoogieal teats (ethnographieg) fu ther seta strategies ‘The blared genre of tay are generate bya kind of post [P| iscipinary syne enemy. Braudel poe hese tory strata istry to aft hisel wis the steel “Vim of Lévi-Strauss. Meanwhile, Sains, many yess ltr sites Braudel to ground anthropology n sony sas prlae fefashioningstructurtism in stobal lemme I orcone ae thropology should be pursued asm branch teary sen, | thaough the Creve) crue of anthropolopel tet fot Iterary studs entail a “ev hisertden’ and eae | tategory of teratare isa contested ones F)_Eachin its own way, anthropology and history fave chan- E> noled the same diver intelectual currents steaming oat of Europe. Fach eld mae ine ancesty oye atthe, ‘tial ection where mltpe rations bates hegeay ‘ot capitulate, intrse and ere, and where key wees ed onvepls are highly contested. These conflicts poside de ee 55 ata Ss inp tog on orl mpg we deka an Sten fe te, eel ctrl Se eal MES ee tot et ge Et din Cee tasa erg, aie tl et cP Seon ice sera iad santa erin ne iy Sia eee tery aac Ste Sti Feed" a a enharmonic ‘nono eo a Te Medes jancthen, 9 ey ti ae parapet oon concluding dpe ° i [ALETTA BIERSACK ee seen net rr ee aL seen eatin ers i alee ieee aie coy i nr Se iy ety rae ae Pesan anim Se eatery pees age een eae a miso in, mege gain coe a smectic eige women taeeen vice fr te try fits re il een secs upc es cole ep ees Se tae ryt sn ae eee. niche oie earner seid ein te ey coma n ” Alte Beck tile soil out of which each discipline is presently struggling to creat its oven future. Tributaries ofthe same headwaters, nour- {shed by the same intellectual forces, anthropology and history row confront the same possibilities, Tha volume exploring the "new cultural history” itis fitting to survey the anthropologists present terrain with an eye to- ‘ward establishing its diversity and elucidating its current de- bates. Such a review is of necessity selective, and may choices have been governed by the occasion. Since social history and the study of mentltés mean, among other things, the employ- ment of symbolic approaches in history, the account begins with Clifford Geertz and his “interpretation of cultures.” The Lite of this essay is inspired by Geert's own language. “Local knowledge” refers to significant worlds and the indigenous out- ooks that give them life. “Local history” (aterm Geestz himself does not use) suggests the study of local knowledge inthe his- torical mode, Though Sahlins positions himself beyond’ Lévi- Strauss and Braudel, his historical anthropology may profitably be viewed as a transformation of interpretation, and I adopt this perspective in a discussion of Sahlins’s Historica! Metaphors and Mythical Realities. For historians debating whether to re- ‘sume politcal history —albeit less naively, out ofa new cultural Awareness and in such a way as to capture center and periphery ‘within a single frame—Sahline's work will prove suggestive. Geertz is not without his critics, and I review some of the chal- lenges to his “cultural analysis.” At the close ofthe essay, I dis cuss (ell too brief) anthropology’ literary turn. Here Geert2— ‘no longer the interpreter, but the critc—reenters as the author ‘of Worksoned ons, whic, ike Writing Culture, sedited by James (Clifford and George Marcus and isa key text in the burgeoning literatare on the aesthetics and politics of anthrupologizing In the opening essay of The Interpretation of Cultures, Geertz {ells us that cultural analysis involves “thick description.” Se- ‘mantically rather than materially thick, the thickness of "thick description” consists in its ability to distinguish a meaningless reflex, a twitch or a blink for example, from a consciously em- ployed communicative device, the wink, Thick description ex- Leal Kee, La Bry s ‘amines public behavior for what it sty rather than what it does, “reads” the symbolic content of action, interprets i assign [Nothing much inthe intellectual landscape ofthe sixties and seventies pleases Geertz. Materialism of any kind remains an Implicit target. Lévi-Strauss structiralism is too “cerebral,” as is the “savage” he conjures Ethnosemantic analysis, with its sterile taxonomic studies, i too mentalist. Geertz intention is “to evoke outlooks, not to anatomize codes."* Much of Geerte’s ammunition is reserved for positiviem, with its search for ger eral explanatory laws and its naive objectivity and empiricism. Relying on a language inspired by Max Weber, among, others, Geertz embraces understanding (Verslehen) and particulars while rejecting, causal explanation. Never comparing. in the ordinary sense, Geertz, by setting out similarities and dissimi- lasities an effort to typologize, nonetheless does compare, if only apples and pears: he assembles cases but does not group them. His essay ” From the Native's Point of View’: On the Ne ture of Anthropological Understanding” is a well-known ex ample of the technique. Although Geertz’ choice of text, “transient examples of shaped behavior,” allows him to write of culture, there Is not ing uniquely anthropological about “cultural analysis.” In im portant ways, Geertz’ “Interpretation” is successor to Wilhelm Dilthey’s Gestsvisensfufter, which treated all historical data as so many “objectifcations” of the “lived experience” of th actors of the past. For R.G. Collingwood, ton, experience or thought was tho vory stuff of history. Planer nud more home spun in his diction, Collingwood similarly envisioned historical “facts” as indices of an underlying experiential and conceptual reality ‘The historian, investigating any event in the past, ashe «distinction botween what muy becalled the outside and the inside ofan event. BY the outside ofthe event I mean everything belonging to it which can 5: Cort Gees, The notation of Ca oe lRamnge ps 2 feds chap. Bias pie reso Yk cee * Ati isc be described in terms of thought... The historian is never con cerned with either of these to the exlision ofthe other. He is invest fing not mere events (whereby a mere event I mean one which has fnly an outside and no insie (Geert Dink, for example) But ac ‘Sons, and an action i he unit of the outside and inside ofan event.* Action, Geertz would more succinctly (and hermencutically) say, is text, ‘Although cleat precedents for Geertz cultural analysis exist in western historiography, Geertz has nonetheless enjoyed a relatively unmediated impact upon historians. In his introduc: tion fo The Great Cat Massare and Other Episoes in French Cul- luyal History, for example, Robert Damton, a Princeton histo tan who has taught courses with Geertz, cites Geertz as his principal inspiration and dedicates his exsays to “history inthe ethnographic grain,” tothe study of “the way ordinary people make sense of the world.” : ‘A more telling instance of Geertz’s impact isthe book The Re- tum of Martin Guerre. Its author, Natalie Zemon Davis, has also ‘aught with Geertz at Princeton (although Mary Douglas and Victor Tuer influence her as well). In The Return of Marlin Guerve, Davis uses series of incidents from the peasant life of sixteenth-century France to probe local sentiments, motiva- tions, values, feelings, and the lived world. ‘Once the objective methods ofthe natural sciences are aban doned, history becomes an attempt to reimagine the past while recovering it, In what does this task consist? Geertz himself addresses these matters, albeit as an anthropologist: “Anthro- ological writings are themselves interpretations, and second and third order ones to boot. (By definition, only a ‘native’ makes first order ones: its his culture.) They are ‘something fashioned'—the original meaning of fis—not that they are false, unfactual, or merely ‘as if thought experiments." The Eeturn of Marin Guerre has special value as an experiment in interpretation. As Davis vas writing her history, she was also 9.8. Tf He ed 9) 9 nar ek. SCE iy ella p.s- oct Krcole Le History 7 ‘sssting in the production ofthe film by the same title, More patently than her own history, the film script was an interpreta- tion of the events ofthe past. Working with actors whose goals were Collingwood's—to reenact, seexperience, relive the logic and sense of 2 bygone ea—served pose “the probe of Faraday, the mere vor he cetion ofthe fim the more my appetite was whetted for something beydnd it, I was prompted to dig eer int the case o make Wri sense of i Wain fo actors ‘sed ne questions ant the motatone of people inte seen fentuy.. = Watding Gerard Depariey [the ale lend made me thnk bout the accompli ofthe ral impster. 1 et ad any own historical aboratry, genesing no pros, but poste The result sa se¥-canscios novelization ofthe past in which an authorial no les than a scholarly role i assumed by Davis inher atempt to reimagine the already imagined, to de het «on imagination to reconstruct the imaginations of histone subjects and their imagining: “tdi my best through other Sources from the period and plac to discover the word they woul have seen and he reactions they might have had What oiler yo here isin part my invention but hel igh check bythe voices ofthe past” Geert, to, has writen kindof history, Near, his recon stration ofthe poly of ninetenth-entury Bl. Geert eb jetisa pulicceremomia the negara, atoncea display a status nd a dramatization of polit ideal. Underying rege ‘srctuteof ation,” then, is @“strecture of thought To de, scribe iis “to deste a constlation of enshrined Meas” and “envohiled meanings’—-to rend texts ‘Asin the ling esay of La! Rae, his second calle: tion of interpretive essays, Gert iain efor! in Nigar sto Chin for symbole analysis » novel Gomain Instead of tut. the political andthe symbolic in diferent planes or at diferent levels, Geer insists om ther entity 12, Natalie Zemen Dai, The tare of Mtn Gare (Combe, Mass ohm hae 5 3) Cord Geen, Nant: The Tate Sle ix NncewCentury Bl (Princeton, N19, pas. " * ‘ate cal Kodg Lec sry » "1° Paul Shankman writes: “The inability of interpretive theory to offer criteria for evaluating either diferent interpretations ot dlitferent paradigms poses a formidable bareiet to claim of theo retical superiority.”” If the task of interpretation inherently lacks closure, how much interpretation is enough? How thick need description be? Talal Asad is not alone in expressing dis turbing “epistemological doubis” congerning the authenticity ‘of any one reading. Vincent Crapasizano indicates his own. devastating incredulity: "Despite his phenomenologia-hermeneuatcal pretensions, there iin fact in “Deep Play” [one of Geert’ best-known essay] no under. ‘landing of the native from the natve's point of view. .- Geet ‘fers no speciale evidence for his atibutions of intention, his a terion of subjectivity, his dedarations of experience. His construc: tions of constructions of constructions appear tobe ite more thea [tojections, or atleast luring, of his pot of view, hs subjectivity, ‘with that ofthe native, or mare accurately, of the constructed native © Geertz’s endorsement of particularism and his rejection of ex- planation and generalization have also proved controversial In- stead of contributing to anthropological theory, Geertz appears tw operate to one side of it leaving his werk vulnerable fo ac- ‘usations of trviality. The historian Renald Walters complains: | “The tendency of thick description and semiotics fs to reinforce the i alse to burrow in and not to try to connect the dots, That occurs Be | Gause what isan analytical strength Geert’ sitention to partialar- ity and his orientation toward the acte'sperspoctive.-is a weakness {or synthesis. Thick description lends to bilan readings of indivi tl tuations, rituals, and stitutions. Idoes not requite saying ove “cuitural texts relate to each other orto general processes of eo omic and social change” ‘Te confinement of interpeiveanalysiin mast of conlemperary thropelogy tothe suppotely more ‘sya agpet of eure ea re pric bre tof henna gif the nee “cn that spo” opponent sobet, igure fheto fie, obeare to pm, ethctio pratl, mystical om dine an decorate tubal. To construe the expressions of theta ste apprehend ther a hey, th prelude, ong tht the aed one tht the damn wf poser exteral fe ‘orkng, must be pt ase the reas imagine as the nagar. For all its materiality the nineteenth-cntury Balinese polity, like the peasant Te Davis describes, is rooted in the human imagination “Te dramasef the thee tate, mimtief them sees, were, in theend neltheilisions nore, neither sleigh fan nor makebtee. They were what here Was Although the interpretive tun has had erong impact in oid a eta ethology, anthropology ‘nore suet oe than eve os oun Cee ak. yc thodlogal igo and te epistemological quand thepueat fameweek hermeneutic, lave curl nays ‘hina skeet main ale os Goer hs aid Stem, Sto anyng terry or nexace® Given the galt Shenae ater analy, hat gurantee of aly con ffl does Gent provide other han those of his orn prodous Tide ents would of course respond (without apo}Ry), one Gere contest tht he has never anyuhee nr tthe oto of anything have wen abot th see ty cop ee i a ITY gine compe ies. To cm aa et rar aes and erp pron See enna tacts iew ofehnopnpic etn, as, to boron W.B. Gale's by now famous phrase, “esentnlf RQQRE Fal Sanknag, “he Thc andthe Thins On the nee Teo — ; If BOTA Sa cpdel Cops ASA on Rate tn ing oe Hames of to ep vicar Cope ath “Hermes: The Maing of Sven epbing all the questions only fan the Bares f ei TERE vase ence Spee ld lr ics ad a PSE MELE 2 ter, “a of te Tn: Cid Gee an He FY sn ns ip 135-96 SE Cena mle 58; Gera, Terre) Cals, p29. & lets Berk “The same complain has been lodged by Melford Spiro, an ar Thropuogist whe wishes o revive confidence in an eer no 1 | ton of anthropology’ mission as comparative sence con- ducted ina genelzingexplanaory mde of ethnographic revench= Tn practico—ad this may flow from Geert ejection of tie explanatory mode ands sec for crser Cowra furl anaes state as any stractaraliom. Ofering up 2 thr esetpton ofa bygone ea na fo place, Neges pur Stes la story gure! nage, Tne is erly another inode of depacement farther estangement Meanings de Soribed, never derived. The metaphors Geet employee thik Scsepion, test assume new slgnfcanes in hs context Sted ef ining wath Dithey tat mas essence is crested in time, that man b therefore isherently Historical, a being hat tenes” Geers ase that "wn san animal apend in tres of significance he hineel has spun-"® The wel, not the Spinning; te cata notte istry the tet, mothe proces tentuaizing these attract Gertz attention. Foust pro | ‘ates an anoie in problema hove very "eb of Sign nce” by ister them and racing ther emergence over time cee O'Bre's sty, chapter 2). "though Geertz himsel warn agaist the vies of interpreta: tony with tendency fo tra Int "Kind of socologia acy theism? thats touch with "the hard sanacs of He withthe pote economic,statieatory reales within Iehkh men are everywhere contained.” hid description as {Gest actually practices court tat danger, sesthetisaingall eal lL ty & © domains." The language of Niger is indicative: “To under: stand the noire is to elaborate a poctice of power nao mmechanies"® Walters responds ‘there are dangers an pty loned predentin [een treatment of power. At ane point he explicitly erases the line between ‘symbian its nate [Quoing tom ane Lita Ka. ‘ge tht veils prt the mayo Nurs] "Te ey des ton betwen the tapings of rl” he ne “and itssubstance be ‘ores ess shar, even le ea what Counts the manera hie, {bi ke mars anc eneny they ave toformed i och oer This transformation cuts the symbolic ee fom ts “hard sue face” moorings, liberates tom te historia and nation settings In which iis fund, aid lunaiaps the very ello Geert ostensibly underakes—to provide adequate under Standing. Ata time when Foucault work impresses us With theubiguity ofthe polical function, ata time aso when Mars isn, softened Uvough a nev cltraie, fe enoying a test gence in arhropelogy such cans are especialy vere Some go even further, questioning whether “local Know gu” is best understood ata symbolic eal. In recent til, Roger Keesing wrote: "Culture are webs of rysifeation 8 well as signification. We need to ak who cers and whe nes utara meanings, ano what ends." Shanken, oy, fue wondee, "ow don oe dn whee ts [ese logy rele, represent, oroeruize expresses somes bolic principles in Balinese ior whether nash, dens, ob fal of mtn aliy?™ Ths question al he move compeling gven the feist cele of anthropulogy adits androcensa Kesing goes on to compan ha Geee ismainl si’ on the wy clea meas asin pone al pri Tee Indced most sym anteoplopt, in tne name of ea ‘etiam or Ierpretve detachment ave teen strangely Hind to | 2, Melon, spi, “Cultura Relat and the Future of Antvopo: | 7 Caan 98 2 | we Seed Plc “ments teeta Theory i Sher na, Diy Hegre Cadomer(Evanaton Uy 1969) Pi and ‘ene iin Ha nrg eH Wen voi Pe 48 3 Gout, heen of Calter. 3k, Ch Roger Cher, “Inlet Fister or Societal ister? The | sith Tetris,” im dem Fapopen ntelectatMitery” Rampal 2 [iw eis, Dominik LaCapee and Stven C, Kaplan (thaet NX, SSS) presd- cand lym Hn, "Hench tony nthe Last Twenty Years BS, Goes, The integration f Cle, p. 30 1A Geert Mego pis) 3 Har "Sen th eno 3-34 36 Roger M.Keesing, "Anthropology acpi Ques” Cree A opeegy 38 (2987) r61sée BY Isr ran, “The Thick nd he Thi” p26 & Ata Birch {he political consequences of cultures as ideologies, their sitatednese as jistfoaions and mystifcations of a loa historically cumulated. Status quo. Where femiusts and Mapsts ind oppression, symboits find meaning.” [Examining the ideological and political character of local knowledge requires attending tothe historical context in which such knowledge operates. With respect to Geertz’ wellknown essay “Deep Play,” which thickly describes the Balinese cock fight and its “deep play” of male rivalry, William Roseberry writes ‘We lear that the cockfight was outed by the Dutch and Inter by Indonesia, tht it x nove held in semiecret in hidden comers ofthe village, and thatthe Balinese regard the sland as taking te shape of “assmal, proud cock, poised, neck extended, back tut all aed, in ternal challenge to ltge, reckless, shapeless ava.” Surely these mat {ers require some interpretive attention. At the very last they suggest that the cockight is inimately related (though not reducible) to polit cal processes of state formation and colonalis, They also suggest {hat the coekight has gone through a significant change in the past eighty years, that if it a text tsa text thats being written a pat of 2 profound Soca, political, and cultural pce." Here Geertz is confronted with all the questions (about spit ning, about textuaizing) that his cultural analysis eschews. Pralleling the criticisms of Asad, Keesing, and Shankman, Roseberry’ own criticisms nevertheless raise te stakes cunsid- erably by challenging Geertz's chosen unit of analysis, An on- joing debate within anthropology——one that promises no easy solution—concerns how the units of anthropological analysis. ae tbe defined. Are cultures islands unto themselves, to be | known by placing them, as Geertz does, “in local frames of awareness’? Or are they situated globally and geopolitially, within structures of domination? Inspired by dependency the ory and more recently by Wallerstein’s world-system theory, the political economy framework views the locality from the per 30. Keesing, “Anthopelogy as Interpretive Ques." p. 16. 3 Wl artery “Balete Coughs an the duction of Ant: poly Sol Reel 9 19) ‘2 Gera as! Kae, pt (8314s and Sanne Inde Hey pe Lal Kae aa Hisry s spective ofa transnational, Wester dominated, aptalistic ays te This perspectve-a new an gloal hols hat coeanes Nstory asi natura aly—looks atthe word ava whole ate tly system, stead of sa sum bt selFeontained sete and cultures," and unrevel (in seltsonsciounly un Gecreian Gen antiGeerin, shone canoes a et ft workin thelives of patel populations by seeing these hain tothe totaly adits historia developaent Inthe exreme cate every leture ofthe las vewed asa reflex ofthe encompassing syste and is detemunants, Tie perspective ignore the obvious that though the wend sys tem is one, the outcomes ofits hstoral impingement on he Winterand have been vaced, suggesting Wal the hisory of ‘Western impedalism depends a much on cultural eition se on colonial and postcolonial domination for ils expataton = ‘As Jean Comarod has walter ofa South Atcan taba peopl “The relationship of sucha globel sytem to lca fora tus to be viewed as a hstorial problem; it fa Zlaonshp which while inherently contradictory and unequal eno es vecslydetermning’"= ‘None ofthe authors herein discussed advocate this extreme positon, which is as reductionist a Geers Thus, Rosebery ‘argues that the local text is “intimately related (though not 1 ae polit peso sat maton sd ena ism."™ What being arg is that lea and slobel aor tives should somehow be integrated. For example, Coops Marcas and Michal Heche, cites but alse admirers Geert, slide tothe ree ail ors meant beeen anes inthe study of calturdl meaning achieved by interpretive an thropology, and the concerns ofethnographiers to place tit subjects fly inthe ow’ of Nstoie events and thet 43, Eke, Wall, Eure gees 2985) p 8, Be flit L: Cons, “Decal Stems, Hiss, and Anthropooy Units of Stucy and Questions of Theory,” furmal of Southoe Arar Se the Pepe Witla Mio (Berkey a 34. Jem Comat Fo Po ih Apean Pepe (Cheapo $7 Rec The Cle ed isa 1985), P15. * 68 "ys Roser "Balinese Cokie’ pea % ‘At Be teal Kove, Lt ity I eration of word politcal and economic systems:"" Such 3 7% ergo would synesie cultural and Marxist (or at lest pol Cal informed) analyses, I would also have the elect of ocus- sng the concerns of anthropology, historical sociology, and his- toy ona common eject: the world system a9 ahistorical and etergencous entity consisting of lara, partially robe, pat thlly constrained components, within which “sland” and “ork” neither reducible fo te oher, condition each oer terms, Historical Metaphors reconstrudts the history of early con- fact in Hawaii, beginning with Captain Cook's arrival in the a. chipelago and his eventual demise in 2779. The book opens with a lamentation on the theoretical limitations of Ferdinand de Saussure’ structural linguistics and the “cultural structural- {sm it has inspired." Sahlins intends to recover event, action, change, and the world for structural analysis. Conversely, he intends to rocover structural analysis (or history. The word structure in Sahlins's monograph refers to cultural ‘categories conceived, Saussure-like, 48a conceptual grid: a sys tem of differences, a set of categories, This grid encompasses social statuses (chief, commoner, woman, man), the names of divinties—in fact, the entire indigenous order in allits polities, social, and religious dimensions. How does history transform this order, and how is history self ordered inthe process? His- torical Metaphors is a densely argued, densely illustrated micro investigation into Sahlins’s twin and related themes, reproduce tion and transformation. “The great challenge to an historical anthropology is not merely to know how events are ordered by. ‘alture, but how, inthe process, the culture is reordered, How does the reproduction of a structure become its transforma tion?” The relationship between reproduction and transforma tion and the dialectic on which itis predicated account for the puzzling motto ofthe essay—not the structralist’ “the more things change, the more they remain the sane,” but "plas est la méme chose, plus ca change,”™ ‘The first of two core chapters, “Reproduction,” argues that the events of early contact in Hawaii were “encompassed Within the system as constituted.” Arriving from distant parts Captain Cook was classified as the Hawaiian fertility god Lono, ‘who annually retums from Kahiki (associated with the sky and its divinity) to participate in the Makahiki rituals celebrating him. Feted as such, Cook was the “historical forny” of a cultural fategory, historical metaphor of a mythical reality. Though ‘space does not allow cetalled recapitulation of Sahlins’s nar In turning to Sahlins and his Historical Metaphors and Mythical eal, we sit fro interpretation and the surrounding con troversic toward syle of snalysia nore by structural Searching for arige betwen history and anthropology, Sak line seizes on Femand Braudel (an, Intel, the entie A rales ation) ava precedent He knows, for example, atin 2 gesture of solar with LévtStase, Braudel ebaptzed the "geohistory” of the stein of The Meera the "Srttaal sony” ofthe second eon." Sallinsisalse avare of Braudel tad temporal scheme and the way it epiates, “Tit in other terms, the structuelevent or srcture history ntnomy of stucturlsin, Between Braudel assertion that vents (te stuf and nonsense of conventional "palial Mis tory) sre “dlisive smoke, on the one hand, and Lev Strauss like dismissal of vel tine” and its events as Ine plea happenstance onthe other, there sit to choose In thease etween Baul gan sh time span, between staal Mistery” and politcal history,” {ithe ame th elton betwecn Leo Sena “onder o structure” and his “order of event” Sli takes up the sues where Lévi-Strauss and Braudel left. To develop the antwopology that he, after Sst, a0 Gatesa “stractra historiol andopology"*—Sehline must rethink structure andovent, strcture snd story, in daecticl 4p. Googe Mees Mil} Macht, Ans Clr Or slp ote yah 89,0 "fanart ps 3 brat, Sete pak 18: Sin on Hoy pve ‘Sains, Merial Mops. 2 Bip 87 “ te Bh oot Knee, Lc om » rative, sufice it to say that even the manner of Cook’s demise substantiates Sahlins’s point—that insofar as events are signs, histony can be “organized by structures of sigificance.”° ‘Were Suhlins toend his analysis at this point, Historical Mete- phors would simply corroborate the structuralist understanding bf the relationship between structure and event, structure and history, aiming in effect that, however autonomously gener- ated, events nonetheless fall subject to the determinations of Structure after the fact, in the manner of LéviStrauss's bri- flag. Resisting this reduction, however, Sahlins demonstrates Structure’s productive role in a history tha, forall that, remains imedueible. “Tlistory is culturally ordered, differently so in dit ferent societies, according to meaningful schemes of things The converse sale true cultural schemes are historically ordered, since toa greater or lesser extent the meanings are revalued a5 they are practically enacted” (emphasis mine). 4 Tis second core chapter, “Transformation,” Sahlins argues that the actual practices of historical actors introduced novelty {nto the Hawaiian system. Europeans brought with them exotic» ‘commercial ideologies, and their arrival created opportunities. for unprecedented machinations and coalitions that were sub versive of indigenous arrangements, Traditionally, for example; Commoner men and women were segregated. But in these altered circumstances, the interests of commoner men and #5 ‘women suddenly coincided, and they began collaborating. 4 Meanwhile, as horizontal bonds strengthened, vertical tes 1 weakened. ‘Traditionally the relationship between chief and Commoner was phrased in the idiom of kinship to reflect the ‘moral constraints on the bond, Chiefs, asa mark oftheir status, land also to allow them to accumulate surpluses for redistribub tive purposes, exercised the privilege of levying a taboo (Kap). ‘on any item they wanted to withhold from circulation. The Eu ropean presence commercially advantaged the chiefs because, through their lap, they were able to control trade goods; in particular, they could exercise a monopoly over sandalwood. in breach of the kinship ethic, Hawaiian chiefs pursued their own interests. the expense of the interests oF commons, loving the lap for enerepreneurial pamper oThe hee fens ith Boropeane fabmated the aiming et ‘hits and people fo unparalled stsine” Sein Pee ae ‘pao! ofthe pragmatic mprovlone accredits sol of commer env tn Haan water fons tion of classes whereby the kinship ties between comm z and chiefs were in efect abrogated © men j_iither dtc tan alan apn Cok ‘ton oo: the comme on chy, Sa ssn hat alt nacre an nes Pa) beatae oft reltionsips to hae se es {Srusoure’s lng). Ae historia used, signs tay eer. Pruett tent ny Ceca oat he sign place Lana oa taupe et pol at Sipsin an, oerer=other sal eres Shea imine pce ey ta ig es Bec"WhenHawaian cit promote ter wr ee placing signs of prohibition on sandaeod the kamen took Sanpete crimson ae “acon ee world. Such referential uses bring into play pees Sons ofthe sgn, betes totes tual world and te people concede Te tanstormaion on whch the book centers as forma ton andthe ergot te sate dervs note pee the tational curl eeyorcs an ee emtoees e ofthe pragmatic context.”" The principal players of the sac, ture of the conjuncture are men or women, chiefs a ers—eultural types rather than individuals, Theis practnes eo thus structurally situated, relationally positioned. Though ar cular chiefs gained leverage inthe contact lation, ted other determina ‘sense, namely the ac 4. Bi, pp 0,248 2 BAI 28 ey re o Alte Ber aa Kise, Lai % iyi sense and symboireforence the historia proces nfo 224 continuous and repocl movement between the palo Stractare andthe situ ofthe practi’ pretccotine 0 a8 cigs, Instances of the type, wielders of Kapu. Similarly a commoners as commoners were disadvantaged. Inspired by the i Contingencies of the moment, historical action nevertheless hhad its structure, There was a “structure of practice” through. which action—precedented but also unprecedented, conser: f vative but also innovative—generated principled change. "All ructural transformation involves structural reproduction, if not the other way around.” Thesmor things renin he same, the mor hey change! In the fal chapter of ln of ory, Sains takes sc oF his thereat seompliahments Ang otter age ak Roflremhsancnbe fantom ht ave tk. the long versus the shor tine spun, refs aetaeten tren system and ation, strata and event ad the late | dehotomy of society and individual slot whith hrs nent | topulaze ramciria by usyings Ht bowen sen oe tcln-ovened appar” If Scture has he bay a History and ashton.” a Sains argues then thee of preaches become compleseniny perspectives ra sree {rinscally historical reality—convergent rather foil gent rather than divergent ‘The engagement of diferent categories of Hawallan socity—women men and chiefs—to the foreigner rom Kahiki was traditionally mot ‘ated: the interests they severally dgplayed in the European shipping Following from their customary telatenships to each other and t the ‘world as Hawaiians conceived it. In this sense, Havvatian culture would reproduce tel os history. Its tendency wa to encompass the Tivent of Europeans within the system as constituted, thus t inte pote cteumatane as sructue and make of the event a version oft ell But inthe event, te project of cltural reproduction fale. For gain, the pragmatics had 1S own dynamics... . The complex of txchanges that developed betwoen Hawalians and Europeans, the ‘ructure of the conjuncture, ought the former into uncheracteristie. Conditions of intesnal conict and contradiction. Their diferent fonnectons with Eoropeans thereby endowed thelr own relaton-:3§ Ships fo each other with novel functional content. This is structural, transformation, The values aquired in practice return to structure at 4 new relationships between ts categories. Sahn esolton ofthe structrefevent ant sip alto not unique to him, Contesting Dur oe Gety/ndividual distinction, the British sociologist. Anthony {Giles has argued in hs weltknown “Ineary of etaaron, onthe srtre bath te meu he ot 1, Prties"™ condoning tu ao condoned se tht PP ike seed of change s present." never at ohh a Fs tward he eration of any rd fo of ee of Hawaiian history, . . san ‘ Today the kapu sign marks private property in apolitical ect oy tha eae on clas interest rier than caste privilege ihe structures of the present ae the structures of the post as moe by structurally positioned bt circumstantial mor | Ghvated action {he events generated by the sructure ofthe con juncture), then structure and event enter into nti ela Tlonship. Safin closes his monograph with the folloving st of cis concerning srctare and history: ‘ fil pp 1B By Bcaoot tsa bt pein, an arf aca abs fl. EL Aivhony Geddens, America Evo 3 986) 31—¥7: 9nd Sheny B. Or The disletics of history, then ze struttural throughout. Powered 693 disconformities between conventional values and intentional value = between intersubjective mesnings and subjective interests, between. j gl Angle. 1983) ps. p 48 Salina Hit! Matapors,p 8,5. et Sc Nee Yr ah res tee A otic TSS ” Aloe Beck oc Koele a Le Kale, La iy fits and Dourdieu. The dual det oun’ let te ana nthe fame pee pr gph of Tompson cls Th king of te Eh Waring ie pon, Making, beets tad aan ac heh es sh agency ast ong [ach on as fo src). The working class did notte ke Though the language of these ters appears be wide apart from the language of Geertz—instead of inter, pretation, thc decipon ada anasy meer of Smtr, event, and dialectics—in resolving the structure/action an. omy he Salted roel ncvry recone st with cultural analyses as well, This reconciliation egal on the suc of Sse argument Mis sgn in acon ve 4 meaning-bearing vehicles, “objectifeations,” “texts” But they also exit, ke Lévi-Strauss’ aythemes and Saussures lang, bl teconstuents ofa ied of diferences acseporeal sehen Historical Metaphors, Sahlins accomplishes the same intelle: cual feat thatthe philosopher Paul Ricoeur accomplishes in his essay onlinguages“Stractre, Word: Event” whihopenty kes th calenge of reconing srctralism with herent er foe ngs a8 Shin cs, tha in being taken pn | cote hed cea te pny P Se dopiett ony sted min este ld Sigs but ae within th context end prodetve eld of i Bp course, Its (40 use Sahlins’s language) at once a sig in action Fans tt sste neste ote ey an ‘P muage “is neither structure nor event but the incessant conv ests an the tal aay lie Geertz (i aspect of a single angument soneeing ‘The same is true of Plerre Bourdieu's “theory of practice! For Bourdieu, a6 for Sahin, structure and event are snextrct by linked Bourdieus now famous neologism, habit, i psy: eR opal: “systems of durable. dispositions” designating “i of being aa tate.» and in particular, 0 prelisp- Shin lehdeny, propensity or iclnaton.” But habitus i ls 5% Sibtogial Like Saflins’s actors, Bourdieu’ actors are instances ore Sipe, snembers of societal segments, and as such, struc ally positioned. Much as speech-performance is anchored in a ore generalized speech competence for Chomsky, action for Hound fs rooted ina psychological cumesociologial (ubjee tccunobjective) ground of being, Action is ths more Zam themechanical enactment of "pre-established assemblies, ‘mod Tie or solen” more thn pace reflex, Itisan act behavior shaped. Teadegree by the contingencies ofthe moment and their tr teal eguirements, by pricticl consderaions. Grounded in FRbtes action is context fr the constrained and principled Invention that habitus’ “conditioned and conditional freon Mowe telation, then, between convention and innovation Rein Sahlinss reformulation of the sructuefevent antinom yg ‘Bourdieu argues that Practice (as a conjunctive end generale She) can tigger structural transformation. “Objective strc fue are themselves products of historical practices.” Bu his tet practices ae in turn “embodiments” of structure, Str ture and event thas enter into dalectcal relation Within, Western Manism, there is a longstanding trad tion that seeks fo supplant mechanistic base/superstuctt ‘Revels with models in which the human subject becomes th raat atled and ever resurgent” subject of is or her own hi toy.” Railing against the stctaral Marxism of Louis Alths Aout using a es idosynctatie language than Bourdie or Sa ins, E-Pr Thompson insists on the historical subject's abit ty mnake” hanelt or herself (see Desar‘s essay, chapter 2} ‘Faompeon does so fully cgizant of the historia impact actual constants, Hip agenda thus aligns with that of Sabi BY. thompson, The Malig of he Eaglh W Barter The Making ofthe Engh Working Clos (New York, 7 at Ricoeur, “Stuer, Wor, Bren jn The C SE lomo anno, Peta ae ui inf Thay Pe ts BLE wide, 197 pp. 72.2048. 72,98 8) Pera Te Roy of Thy ad Or Esme Nev 1939-88 i f o Aleta Bins Leal Kr Le Wty 5 Although Salins’s express intention is to provide a corre tive for the shortcomings of structaralism, in reconciling Levi: Strauss and Geertz Sehlins also overcomes some of the dis: abilities of cultural analysis discussed in this volume. Sahlins’. theme is not really Hawaiian history, but history itself, or rather “historicity,” the way systems tend to move. “Different cul tures, diferent historicities”; “other times, other customs.” As 4 hhe waite, “The heretofore obscure histories of remote islands. = deserve a place alongside the self-contemplation of the Eurc- pean past--of the history of ‘ciulzations’—for their own re~ ‘markable contributions to our historical understanding. We thus multiply our conceptions of history by the diversity of structures,” Here, in this “‘stractural, historical anthropol ogy.” LéviStrauss's distinction betvieen hot and cold socies ties —the West and the rest—is dismissed, but so too isthe dis tinction between explanation and understanding on which cultural analysis rests, In Historia! Metaphors, questions of gens: esis and meaning become intertwined. ‘At the same time, issues of causation become far more com plex. One of the most important features of Sahlins’s model is the way it combines an attention to situational pragmatics with ‘focus on semantics, As historically used, the Hawaiian chefs kenpu was both signifier and instrument. Ils significance had structural rots, but its instrumentality derived from the self interested improvisations of the moment. Braudel’ long and: short time span are thus linked as the politcal and the cu tural, the material and the idea, base and superstructure, Sa lins structure of the conjuncture centers on this relation as the source of history’s dynamism, Sablins’ dialectic is thus mul- tidimensional—which accounts for the tremendous range of) resonance of his study, from E, P. Thompson's historical mates falism to Ricoeur's revisionist hermeneutics. Speaking speci: 4 fically of historical materialism, but with some relevance f ‘other perspectives as well, Thompson succinctly captures t necessary eclecticism of Sahlins's approach, Historical mateo alism, he writes, “offers to study social process in its totality ‘thats, it offers todo this when it appears, not as another ‘sees teat hstory—as economic, politica, intellectual history, or as ‘socal history” defined as yet hnothe seclor but as 6 hist of cen whch al oto seta sre ae The tile of Sahin’ callestion of eksays, sands of Hitory, s carefully chosen I evokes the anthspoloists nov notoicus "ethnographic present” but i also aude to the history demonstrable points that exist beyond that presentto Cap fain Cook, for example. Ia his introduction, Soins Kenton the uniting thread of the essays ay their shared involvement with “distant encounters, South Se neents ofthe world sys tem” encounters though which “cultiral chang, exer indice,” nevertheless bocomes "indigenously erehesteted "= Insum, th essays suggest thatthe relationship elven te gion and the globe is best conceived ike everything else) tn thalectal terms, wth respect fo how each mediates the repre Aucon and transformation ofthe other. As Salis clleapuce at Chicago the Comaroffs have expressed the point, local his. tory always “the outcome of reciprocally determining intra. ton offal and pba forces whose logic must st compe. ended int cn terms" is best conceptualize! a the real a “alec of arteuation between a lal sytem an its ens omassing context"—tha iin light of hew “interna fare ind "exteral ores” condom eth ther" Since te cote Mon een hoe wa caim he ea i oa ard those who focus on the determining power of exogencus And global forces separtes those who emphasize elle fem those who emphasize political economy, the shift to anita ethistory model oft futher opportunity for salen we teriaom through cullraist perspectives and, vie vers, for toughening the symbole approach through a attention othe EL store ‘This synthesis does not detract from Sahlins’s other point, ‘9. Yhompon, Ihe Boer Thr, p. 70 ©: Sahin onde istry. 1 Jean Camaro of Pad ag Bo Jn Comat. "Dleteal Sms ye 1: CU Mann and Tischer, Arey os Ca hogy in Arto ogy A Shins, Me of iy, p>. 38.72. tg and Oster, * Alte Beat that his islands are islands of story because systems, in theif ‘openness, move in characteristic ways, “The dynamic elements» at work. . are present everywhere in human experience. His- {ory is made the same general way within a given society asitis between societies,”** Whether recounting the innovations of [practice or Captain Cook’ arrival, Sahlns s concerned to iden- tify an Archimedean point beyond the “world” constituted by jslands-of-cultre, a8 the locus from which an unprecedented future might have its source. In Sablins's monograph, Captain ‘Cook becomes ahistorical metaphor ofa theoretical reality: the ‘world-beyond-"world,” horizon-beyond“horizon,” the breach = ‘of closure that makes a future possible. ‘The title of Roy Wagner's book The Invention of Culture is =i intentionally ambiguous, referring to a people's invention of it self but also to the anthropologists invention of the “other. “Although “cultural analysis” or interpretation insists on the ‘uniqueness ofthe natural sciences, it continues to support alk belt in weakened form, the distinction between fiction and ‘nonfiction. In history, of course, Hayden White (see Kramers essay, chapter 4) and R. G. Collingwood before him have chal- Tenged this distinction, But only recently, and then by a scholar. trained as a historian, has the radical lam been advanced that anthropological texts are best approached as literature. Picking ~ up where Geertz lft off in The Interpretation of Cultures, James Cord writes in his introduction to Writing Culture: “Ethno: ‘graphic writings can properly be called fictions in the sense of ‘something made ot fashioned,’ the principal burden of the 4 ‘word's Latin root, fingere. But it i important to preserve the meaning not merely of making, but also of making up, of ine 4 ‘venting things not actualy real.” The anthropologist is tied fiest and foremost "to the worldly work of writing,” to ethnoe graphy as textual production.” The aew textualism fore grounds anthropology-as-writing rather than anthropology a5+ reading (as in the interpretive framework), highlighting the ‘way in which ethnographies are “author-satueated” rather than: 6S te ei ‘i a ee nat git at Ket iy % is recent Works on Lvs. Ethnographictexs bear wal Geeta calls. “signature,” evidence of "an sithoral presence” within the text and we should seck to uherstand them as such, 2 asking “how ethnographic texts dre authorized >= Some scholars asaciated with the new textalsm consider Geerteat least historically important tothe trend" but isalso inept byte wing of Wt, Lope, HM, Bak, Dee ar Geertes “asthorizng” has a double meaning. If anthropo- logical texts are tray, their authority eats ar gly on the “tropes of [thie discourse.” What chetorical strategies does an ethnography employ to persuade ils renders of fe truthfulness? The claim thal 8 text creates ils own aulhony through various literary devices, by atthorieng sel cats al Anthropological text der susption and suggests “the par fait of altura! and historical tats.” Ths iosstonce on the patty ofthe truths of anthropological texte-on thet "es Fenvally contestabe” character as Ceerte wrote In tgy}is coupled with a suspicion of any totalizing vision in antiop ogy any assumption that cultures cniron! the athropolopist 2 undivided and homogeneous wholes, Cultares are foe it ‘ch many vole re sedan sess a hn con sensus prevail (In his critique of interpretation, Keesing, ton, Sls dn he ppc hacer eur ty) tend of concentrating on. paraigrn building (possibly misgoided from the outset, antoroploists are entourage eaten toproblemsof epistemology, integration and discursive forss of representation themselves," to experinent nas Natale Ze> ‘mon Davis did in her multimedia project The Retwnt of Marin Guerre—with genre. The paradign interude cccasoned by to days “css of representation” seized on as an eppetacity toheighten the reflexive mode in anthropology whieh wes ink Ahly inepzed bythe interpretive framework = The nev textualism presents itself sa critique ofthe plies as wllas the poetics ofthe production eatin opuogial exe ale Chere, Wotan Ln nits Ahr Sto 1. Marcu and Peches,Antooplogy Cu (© lito, “itrodoction pe. $9. Nave and Fer ncepingy 8 Calta Cine, p9 at tie, 9.8 | 6 Aleta Bert Edward Said Orientalism rings a death knell fr all authority claimed by the West in representing the est. The end of empire land the development of a postcolonial situation have inatigu- rated a new e7a in which polyphony is located across rather than within cultural Borders, As Clifford insists atthe outset of his important essay “On Ethnographic Authority,” “The West can ne longer present itself as the unique purveyor of anthro- Four Literature, Criticism, and Historical Imagination: Toga! Kowwedge about ethers: "it has become necessary “ Peiseene world generalized ethnography." Cliferd pur ‘The Literary Challenge of tus ti set of themes in hip most ecent book, The Preicaient Hayden White Of Culltwe, which envisions a “changing field of counterdis- Courses, synctetisns, and reappropristions originating both outside and inside ‘the West” with respect to which Western forms and discourse are no longer privileged.” Debates and contestations surrounding anthropological texts become the oc- tasion for challenging the West's historical monopoly on “ori entalizing” the other, In the new textuaism, the political and the cultural are once again brought into relation, albeit through examination of the shetorical properties of texts that arise from. 4 land function with respect to determinate historical and politi. cal circumstances. ‘Although the new textualism has a very different agenda from Sahlins’s “structural, historical anthropology,” a certain recognition of the multidimensionality of realty, and a certain boldness in exploring the theoretical paradoxes that an analysis of that multidimensionality necessarily spawns, unite them, So, too, does theit shared acknowledgment ofthe relevance of extralocal, transcultural, pluralistic, historically constituted, ‘worldly and material entities. Historical Metaphors and Writing Culture propose alternate routes to the historiczation ofa field that, antil recently, had jgnored Maitland’ dictum and charted historical, even antihistorical, courses. and Dominick LaCapra Lov s. kraaane * Vistorial writing inthe twentieth century h ; 1 twentieth century has evolved throu renal historingraphical tension, The dominadt ination patern hasbeen the fendeney of strane 10 deine then Selves along the increasingly precise lines of academic depart aes limited specializations and distplinary Boundases At the same tne, however, much ofthe ntellecual innovation among modern historians has resulted from thet willingness to dea on other academic dseplines for heoretial and the doll insights which ha led to an expansion ane lefriton ofthe poltical orientation of tradlional histoiog: fai. The such fr new apc the past ha a lntran to anthropology, cammms,paychology, and solo 5 nov tis leading them to trary crtcsm Tr fat the one uly distinguishing featre of the new cultural approach too {| rs the pervasive influence of recent literary chic whieh as taught historians to recognize the active role of language, zo ames Cliferd, “On Rhnographe, Authority” Reresention 1% (oii. 4 en Jamnes Clif, The Predicament of Culture (Cambridge, Mass., 1088) pps oS o Lert a Hist * Loyd 8 Heanor iain 5 only after veriting intellectual histories of influential authors texts, and narrative structures in the creation and description and cultural developments in the European tradition.” of historical reality. ‘This emphasis on the literary dimension of socal experience and the literary structure of historical writing provides a new ‘opening for those who seek to expand historical scholarship be- {yond its limiting traditions, and a new threat for those who eek to defend the discipline within its traditional boundaries as they understand them. The metaphors here suggest a kind ff historiographical battle with flank attacks from literary forces fand a defensive circling of the disciplinary wagons by “reat”, historians. Although this battle is waged most often among the anonymous troops of academia (editors and referees of journal articles, departmental search committees, graduate seminars, and so forth), the literary forces have clearly rallied in recent Years around the prominent leadership of Hayden White and Dominick LaCapra, These two campaigners have developed the literary assault with impressive intellectual force, though : the complexity of their maneuvers has sometimes confused their followers and frequently baifled their opponents, This cessay therefore traces the literary maneuvers of te White LaCapra campaign by simplifying its subtle strategies and by sessing only the main directions of its movements. "The distinetiveness of White and LaCapra within contempo- ary historiography derives in part from the distinetive qual ties of intellectual history, the subdiscipine that has always de fied departmental lines by its emphasis on the philosophy, Titerature, and theoretical writings of past cultures. Intellectual historians often seem excessively abstract and marginal to his: torians who study elections or battles or diplomacy, and yet the recurring theme of intellectual history is that structures of 4 ‘thought and symbolic meaning are an integral part of every=: ‘hing we know as history. Those who analyze such structures in the texts of past societies find simular structures in the his: torical writings of the present—which may help to account for: the fact that intellectual historians tend to become the theoret= dans and critical analysts of the historical discipline as a whole. ‘Both White and LaCapra exemplify this tenclency, because they turned to theoretical investigations of modern historiography. Expanding the Boundaries of History Despite some pite some important differences in many of their leading themes and interests, my efoto fk White and Laapra in shared literary critical approach to history will sitess their simi larties over their differences. These similarities appear most sani avin es Sunday eed i Hea) Ch ne an Europes inlleeals nade Ene tuo Sade op Peper trad dias, N'Y. nf). He has abo put hi sethodningil tea Hernan mortem iy els nee Ithaca, N-Y., 168+). Despite the importance of their works on specific figures neopets isha ini ny dein et eany eke ‘more explicitly theoretical texts that White and LaCapra have writen Teflon heey des lea’ we oe Scher oaese ora neon cel nn ie eos Beret Son ra hey uo he oval ran tS ae [ResGiy of Mg a ey a pte rt Empires New Cos andthe Pigit of Modern Eutopen Intell Fl tory.” Journal of M itary 37 ig): sta; and Wil J, Bowes Pew ey oh the Gosh ely tap a Svs Rat Europeu Intellectual History: Reappraisal and New Perspectives (Itha % ‘ahi rs nd thos GO cay Se ale obs Ptoentere, “becca ecenete Sgt ee Hepat tf tsps Sg Freche vrs hte Laps mong ey dee ere ota, “Daligaty = Dae nena ae fesse Cv fs’ a iin Te Belge of ss ed teralure,” Diacritcs 17, m0 } (1987): 56-65. * 10 og 8 oer ‘obviously in their shared desire to examine and widen the in- herted definitions of history and historical methedology. This ‘project leads both White and LaCapra to question the bounda- Fies that separate history from literature and philosophy, to Challenge what they see as the dominant trends in historiogra- phy, and to focus on the decisive role of language in our de- Ecriptions or conceptions of historical reality. Both believe that ‘greater attention to literary critical perspectives can make histo- Hans more innovative and more aware of their own assump- tions and repressions. As White and LaCapra point out epeat- edly to their sometimes hostile (or uninterested) colleagues, history has tended to remain situated within literary and scien- tific paradigms that date from the nineteenth century, while both literature and science have moved far beyond those earlier phases of development, The challenge that this White-LaCapra perspective brings to contemporary historians thus concerns {he complex problem of opening the essentially nineteenth: century historiographical paradigm of reality and representa tion to the eitcal insights that have transformed nineteenth- century attudes in literature, art critical theory, and science. ies the ine ‘The call fora more varied approach to history ca fluenee of 2 European tradition that evolves from Friedrich Nietasche into the recent work of Michel Foucault or Jacques Derrida and that examines critically the founding assumptions. fof knowledge. This tradition, which many historians distrust tr dislike, stresses that critical theorists should recover those Test or repressed strands of Western culture that might chal Tenge the relgning epistemological and ontological orthodoxies fof ou time, Most historians who look fur philosophical or po, Iitical continuities in the Western tradition are not inclined to. § explore the common assumptions by which they link their own Values to the historical worlds they describe in their books: "Since the second half of the nineteenth century.” White ar gues in one of his essays, “history las become increasingly the Fefuge ofa of those ‘sane’ men who excel at finding the simple. in the complex and the fara in the strange.” 4. Hayden Whe Topi of Diora: Eas Ctrl Coto more, 58) Sry or aes rs Me Gey anda td Liertre Bsr ination ws Whites account of modem hist modem historiography therefore sug ge tat hitorins ek more len tose wm share ‘rays of understanling the world than to pen up ous oat very discipline is, a Nietzsche saw mnt carly, const ts ts practitioners todo. Fvery lip iste up of sf reseons on though an Thagintens ‘none oye eed aout as tan pater istoriography.” Sch bene preli the se of ahs fom ae and ttle becuse they compel histori t emphasis ihe tno ween eon a at Uno, tee stintions ignore the perspectives of modern iterary theery and bind hbtonian othe stl proves they ork oy Point of fact, history... ismade sense of inthe same may the the poet or novelist testo make sense oft e, by endow hat originally appears to be problematical and riysterns with the aspect ofa recogrizable, because tiea famion Iona Unlike creative weters, however, istorians uselly hose not to se the fictive element in ther books, on the contrary the prefer to believe that they have transcended fetion by eetting Strict guidelines forthe discipline of history. “They effect a dae ipining of Ue imagination in his case the histo ton, and they set its on what constitutes 9 epoca hs torical event.” And yet, in spite of ci an step 0 dese historical events necessary re tatives that “display the coherence, integrity, fullness, and ele: ‘sure of an image of life that is and can on "be aha 2 explic limits, every The fictive imaginary dimension in all acount of events doesnot mean fet thee nt he events dd ot etnly happen, bt des mean tat any aitempt to dere events eve gee a xii) mast yen eos tong er philosophy of history. In other wor ces try hou bth philosophy wa oa : 5 an coal mrt a oe canna sing ati the dsnary Sena eK ane is, one cannot write his J places moe pei te Frm: Neate Dons ad Hier 8,24 ™ 2 ag 8 Koomer thors. “The principal difference between history and philoso- phy of history is that the latter brings the conceptual apparatus by which the fats are ordezed inthe discourse to the surface of the text, while history proper (as itis called) buries it in the in- terior of the narrative, where it serves as @ hidden or implicit shaping device.”® White suggests that recognition ofthe philo sophical component in “history proper” and of the fictive ele- ‘ment in historical narratives thveatens historians only if they insist on rigidly defining history according to the nineteenth: century scientific theory that posits a radical distinction be tween fact and philosophy or between fact and fiction. By chale lenging that distinction, however, historians can expand the definition of what they do and thus help to transform the disc- pline into a more creative, self-conscious, critical entemprise. The same desite to expand our definitions of history ap- pats in the work of Dominick LaCapra, who, like White, wants todefamiiarize the texts and contexts ofthe past. But LaCapra tends to go beyond White in his emphasis on the contestations that challenge both the apparent unity ofthe past and the ap- parent order of historical nas Whites analysis of the fictive and philosophical structures in historical narratives often suggests their coherent (if unexam-- ined) structural characteristics, LaCapra mote often point to the conflicting tendencies in texts or contexts that defy all histo- rlographical atlempts to account for these realities in terms of full coherence. Thus, from LaCapra’s perspective, historical narratives and the objects of thei investigation express internal tensions that always challenge the deep structures of philo- sophical and literary order that White discovers in his examina’ tion of historical writing 764 [LaCapra therefore call fora critical historiography that ques: ives that describe it, Where. ture str nia ws Inerction een he desir for nity deni opty a the forces that contest, The nweaighlon of hese et retinply ample recon of onccatonser nah ies {od onmamin cts ant dane tent What cals foro tengo he once Gipen thus engizes ta notions Of onder aa he tated in historopphy, but he wands Nace ee is a an nue fr inventgton ie ems 1 Se hee tne presupposition History whe thine i cree Nistor! ucerstandng arin ct ily tori cae ‘ubmergd voles hn Conte! cr Meta nde cal) desire for unified, unambiguous meaning, 7 Thehistonatask, then te develops Selogue”in which the afoncmous pa owe to oneton ae et tempts to reduce ove “ema ns thatthe past ass eum wc latent he eee Cian wits, “specily when hey eae oe te proations we worl Ie to pce os em A Se eat Sreshances anfadlopi os orooey a ane ia an atte nd peen luence’? ange accra loge” emphasis consis tacapes model hence Seeeee anes eee eee eee Che the "els" ta trina seak teeny Be cred ihe explanatory structures tu deine enter ens Env tay" nies out more an eee Bae oe ery important ext, and every historical figure encompasses tendencies that defy and contradict the inbels on whlch iste. ography depends, LaCapra stresses (like White) that historians inevitably use saratve structures to define historical knowledge and to sepa ‘ate history from other forms of writing, but he also argues (ike tions the search for order and coherence that one finds in most history books. The demand here (as in White) points toward a wider conception of historical scholarship and historical pro cesses. “One such process,” LaCapra explains, “is precisely the Wt) that hese categorie mas not be taken forte hig oe sell. "Analytic dations sch ay these drown bebe ie {6 Dowsnick LaCape, Reng nett Hier: Tes, Cnet, La ue lhoca, NX 183). p ao, White (Coen of i Tors ph ae ‘bes tho commen ender o seek ure sures htc aa, ‘hh he es te defor marae 7 kacape, Retitng hla isn pe ite, Tope of Disarsp. 27. This emphasis on the connection cen "per hotory and phibaophin ef soy ore a ar hee Whee Sete study of intent sensing Rstrane nM 104 Loy 8 Rromer Lietieand Hr! inition v5 ‘The famous nineteenth-century historian Jacob Burckhardt ‘exemplifies or White the development of Ironic tendencies that continue to flourish among historians of our own time. “The voice with which Burckhardt addressed his aucience was that of the Ionis, the possessor of a higher, sadder wisdom then the fudience itself possessed. He viewed his object of study, the his- torial field, Ironically, a8 afield whose meaning i elusive, un speciiabe, perceivable only to the refined intelligence.” Ironic historians like Burckhardt assume that their skeptical view is more realistic than either the limited perspective of persons in the past or the naive perspective of contemporary cultural move ments that retain unrealistic, romanticillusions. White himself, however, wants to challenge the view that Irony offers the only fealistc view of history. T maintain thatthe recognition of this Ironic perspective provides the grounds fora transcendence of i” he argues in the conclusion of Melahistory. “It it can be shown that Irony is only one of a runder of possible perspec: tives on history, each of which has its own good reasons for existence on a pootic and moral level of awareness, the Ironic attitude will have begun to be deprived of ts status as the nace sry perspective from which to view the historical process." The challenge to Irony should foster alternative forms of his- torical understanding and narrative, all of which must evolve of ‘course through different modes of language, White’ critique of the dominant historiography, as well as his proposal for nev kinds of historical writing, therefore gives extensive and almost ‘exclusive attention to the various ways in which historians use i language. Although LaCapra shares White's interest in challenging. a dominant historiographical trend, he is more concerned with the prominence of social history than with the trope of Irony. [LaCapra readily acknowledges the importance of social history asa method for understanding the past, but he complains that social historians have devalued other historical methods and have often oversimplified the complex reality of historical expe rience, This tendency toward reductionism has moved from 60 cial history into intellectual history in studies of mentalits and tory and iteratre at and tion, concept and metaphor, th Serfous andthe irons, and so forth, donot define reams of i Course thal unproblematialy characterize or govern extended Snes of language Instead, what should be taken as problem for inginy isthe nature ofthe ratonships among varios Aalst defined distinctions inthe acl funetioning of Innguage’" History can never be entirely separated fom er tere or phileophy or other dsepinay languages though Can never be ientcl to those ther discourses ether. LaCap- fb exploration of the similarities an diffrence inthe various languages that define disciplines and realty thus becomes st aitemp to expand the meaning of historia scholarship re thinking the Boundaries of language provides a ineans for te thinking and expanding the boundaries of history. “Te efor to think the discipline brings White and LaCapra cap aginst what they take tobe the dominant forms of conten porary histor ndertanding—which White describes 2s Frony, LaCapra as socal history, White anges that modern hie tri re Tock wihin an rons perspec” that ee cy tho literary trope of Irony to shape te naraiv strate of tod all the works of profesional Ntoriopraphy. This pred Spective develop a skeptical attitude toward the way in which Historia actors use langage to describe reality by stressing the gap Between words nd things: When apple to the pas Irony enables historians to take a realistic or siperior view of the people and events tha they discuss, because people alwys lack te perspective in ther osm time to see the dijon be tween thir Words and experience as dearly as historians see imretospect. "Irony presupposes the occupation of reali Detspective on rely [ve the historians) fom which a no Furatve representation of the world of experience might be provided ”” No historeal generation ca represents reality sl in ths fly accarate ('nonfiguraive”) manner, an 30 Inpnic historians become analyst ofthe ap tal separated par desripions of the world Irom what wo aeualy happening in the world as historians now understand it ‘ 5. Whe! ios, p38 i, pp. a0. 34 106 Loyd 8 Romar secil histories of ideas that epicateforLaCaprathe wort feat {Ries of socal history-the tendency to read both Texts and Contexts one-dimensionaly. Te prestige of socal history en- Sournges historians to adopt a populist perspective that values, Sie tem of history aves others history from the bottom up") ‘Ia thus ignores other interpretations or levels of Kistorical ex perience. "The resull,” argues LACapra, “is prepossessing and Framidaing when socal history dais to be a total history’ or. AU least the eynosure to which all other historical approsches trust be referred." aoc terthoreanadl “Aa LaCaprenotein partial explanation fr his own attention to methodological issues, the ascendancy of socaFhistorical concerns (or eampl, popular culture over elt culture) “func fen t nrc fegemon lato In profesional nto ography" The prioity of socia-hitorial assumptions, in “Short iits our conception of historical reality and of hist ography "Ifa certain level of caltre represents primordia Teal then itis avery short sep fo the assumption that those tno study it are the Tea historians, those who focus on the: Inost important things." But LaCapra isn more willing {a Hiandon historiography tothe socal historians than Whites og ‘lng to leave itt the Ironists. A new, citi appreciation for the cle reading of texts and contexte ake would contest he 4 prominence uf weil fstory and” “even suggest areas in whi {he formulations of social history stand in need of further ree finement.” Most important, perhaps, greater attention to the ‘way that literary cries and philosophers read great texts would Challenge the social historians desire to “reduce certain text epreseniative, illustrative, or symptomatic functions.” in contrast to the reductive reading style of social history ‘LaCapra urges historians to read historical texts and contexts it 4 ‘ways that secognize their complexity and that might lead to new kinds of writing too, since the siyle one adopts in writing 4 is connected always with te style one adopts in reading, Read {ng and writing form two overlapping sspecis ofthe historians inescapable relationship with language. LaCapra thus shares 2 Bip 6. 15, Laci Rethining nett Hit, p24 36 etre a rt ition 1 some sense the study of language, though this does not mean tay thus rears above alan sent ong ind the search for a better understanding of language takes: that the question confronting contemporary historians Is not ern in traditional historiography, tose historians who pus ‘and a new interpretative perspective on the texts and contexts emulate fiction, because historians must deal with what actu. ie Be Bi, vp. 85-46 Whe! Cont th orm pp 88-85 “ sigs omer eaten istration 109 form of historical works, Deesuse the formal suuctte of hee achieves its plausibity droughts use of amar “explonstony Literary Criticism The use of literary critical methods in analyzing historical prob Jems and texts raises immediate questions about which forms. Of literary criticism may be most useful for historians. White Sd LaCapea see paticulae relevance in recent French theory, # though each takes from this theory a somewhat different en Dhass. The themes in WhiteS work relate more often to the Perspectives of Michel Foucault, whereas LaCapra prefers the Iwork of Jacques Derrida. But this distinction never becomes an hsolute dichotomy because they both draw also on other theo: Fists such as (in White's case) Northrop Frye, Kenneth Burke {nd Roman Jakobson, or (in LaCapra'scase) Martin Heidegger: land Mikhail Bakhtin, Despite thelr reliance on different theo- tists, White andl LaCapra share the belief that unexamined nar zative structures and ontological assumptions prefigure all his torial works as well as our understanding of reality outside of books." The great value of kterary theory thus derives from i analysis of the codes and rhetorical conventions on which hit forians unconsciously depend, Tollowing this terry cil talon, White n Ns sth of nineteenth-centary historians, Metaistory, has attempted 10 explain the literary codes of classical historiography. He draw expecially on Frye and Burke to trace various historiographica forms of emplotnent, argument, ideology, and tropes, each of § ‘which consist of four distinct categories or posible structures ‘All works of history, White argues, “contain a deep structural J more explicitly provided by the literary art of the cultures to Content which is generally poetic, and specifically linguistic § hich they Belong" It is White desire to explain how these nature, and which serve a the precitically accepted paradigm alters of meaning” operate which takes hin Tar int the te, of whata distinctively ‘historia’ explanation should be.” Thi ‘minology of rhetorical theory that most historians neither care level of deep structute becomes the inescapable starting pot about nor understand from which the historian performs an essentially poetic act 44 As White explains the field of prfigurativenaretive state ‘which he prefigutes the fistorical field and constitutes ites 3 ges, he identifies Jour modes of possible emplotment (soma: domain upon which to bring to bear the specific theories he wll A, tage, comic, saiical), four moves of possible sumer acto exain what was relly happening ini.” White's cola (Frmist mecharisti, organist, contextual, and faut eles 8 Hayden White, Hisoval Phrain “W7 White, Metlistory, pp. a» a 1. White M po Dose, pe toi 0 yd 5 omer era rid agin us ‘of ideological implication (anarchist, radical, conservative, ib cal all of which depend on the four literary tropes that make the unfamiliar world familiar (Metaphor, Metonymy, Synec- oche, Irony). Empirically oriented historians tend to dismiss 1 White’ emphasis on the Findamenta, even deterministic, role) of literary tropes as a technical jargon that is irrelevant to their research, and theoretically oriented historians (such as La- Capra) often question the rigidity of his tropological categories Ie should be noted, however, that White's own View of “tropo logical figuration” does not establish these patterns as an abso: lute “law of discourse,” because there are “plenty of discourses in which the pattern does not fully appear in the form sug: gested.” He nevertheless continues to argue at all times that narrative discourse cannot escape from the “shadow” of tropes fr from the structures of thought that constitute any field of Iistorical research.” f In this respect, White's work may be compared to that of Foucault, whose “archaeology of Knowledge” provides one ‘odel for what White is trying todo for history. Indeed, Whites accounts of Foucault tend to carry the commitment of someone’ who perceives himself in what he is describing, language is carried to excess in Derrida (according to White's description in “The Absurdist Moment in Contemporary Liter- ary Theory"), because he “not only thinks the unthinkable bt tumsit into an idol” Derrida renders being iself absurd by ar suing that “there is only figuration, [and} hence no privileged position from within language by which language can be called Into question.” White thus argues that Derridas exploration of, Janguage goes too far in asserting that “there is no ‘meaning, only the ghostly ballet of alternative ‘meanings’ which various :medles of figuration provide.” Having followed the literary eit- fos this far in the search for figurative meaning, White seems to warn that historians should avoid the “absurdist” influence of Derrida. “We are indentured to an endless series of meta physical translations from one universe of figuratively pro vided meaning to another,” White complains in reference 10 } Dervida, “And they are all equally figurative.” But why does White tarm against the literary criticism of Derrida? This is precisely the question that LaCapra raises ina critical reading of White that shows LaCapra’s own inclination to fol- low the Derridean critics further along the linguistic search for historical meaning. LaCapra suggests that White attack on Derrida expresses the common tendency in books or in society to scapegoat persons who represent the threatening, parts of ‘one own identity. “Por the things Derrida discusses are inside White.” Although Derrida’s emphasis on the figurative role of language and his critical evaluation ofthe foundations of know ledge also appear in Whites analysis of historiography, LaCapra argues that the hostile response to Derrida may be seen “as a tum tovsard secure ‘say’ and conventional irony in the face of the ‘other,’ who actualy articulates things that are ‘inside’ White himselt—but an ‘other’ whose articulation is perhaps too disconcerting or at last too alien in formulation to be recog nizable.”® LaCapra thus discusses White from the literary crt cal pernpetvw that Ie brings also to his analysis of most other historians and critical theorists; that is, he challenges Whites viow of Derrida with a poststricturalis critique that resembles Derrda’s own critique of Lévi-Strauss or Foul. In spite of his Foucault suggests [that] the human sciences have remained captive & the figurtie modes of discourse in which they constituted (athe than simply signified) the objects with which they pretend to deal Inamsan siences isto dislose the figurative (and ullnately ath) sleatgies that sanction the conceptualizing lua in which these so fences characteristcally indulge themselves inevitably becomes a radical, subversive project, but White seems willing to follow Foucault tothe very "threshold of his: torial consciousness itself." Even an archaeological expedition, though, must have fi limits, and White chooses to draw his own line atthe entrance to the work of Jacques Derrida. The structuralist concern with 25, These varios etgores of marae stractare and of topes roca their expetion in White nreduction ta Meaty, p38 Sa Wie rp of Dacre pp 3312-35 4, Bat pats 3 ad pp ee 9 x 5 LaGipia, Rethinking inkl Hit. pp. 9.78 es Lg 5. er Let td tor Ingato a efforts to challenge the positivist assumptions of histori Frizes he worl, though he also argues thatthe concept “does ‘White's theory retaine for LaCapre “within the same genet not obliterate distinctions and it cannot be dened ih con frame of reference as the ‘scentité views it turned opeless@MMl® fusion,” The necessary distinctions between categories, how town. Indeed the informing principle of Whites theory of egMMHG° eer. should not be transformed into “transcendental con- tropes asthe foundation of shetori and naraive was a gener Giions” of knowledge that distor the intricate contestatory tive structuraism that presented one level of discourse (hel process through which the distinctions actually operate, One ‘tropical ao determinative nthe last nstance.”= LaCaprs fete fr Derttean critical theory that our ates to mit therefore argues that White shares with oer historians the co? the play of supplements inevitably requires the use of fiction sire for a secure foundation that wil explain what we under "Analy and distinct ideas hich Sand as historical esi. Where most historians would locat aries an conine ambigalty or overlap to marginal, borden {hat reality inthe social or poll word, White focates tin thé Cates. Insofar as analysis defines polar opposites, It constructs tropes that shape historical writing, but in each cae the meat ideal types or heuristic flctions,”™ pheial desire for fall presence ful meaning, and ful explant But these fictions are never entirely successful because the fin operates as an unexamined founding assumption.” Whites supplements escape consanilyactoes the boundaries estab ‘ropologcal eaagories in shor, displace ono the foxt the Kind lished to define analytic ateories, Although this process does ‘of eategorcal thinking that most historians apply tothe context hot mean that historians can er should abandon al eategories Gall desire for systematic distinctions, i docs suggest that they should give far mre attention tothe ways in which tht Categories overlap and contest one another, The problem, of ourse sto ind'a method fr writing history that would con ‘ey the complexity of orelapping categories without abandon ing analytic distinctions and therefore passing into complete tlscurty or confusion. Lacapra imal is aware of the danger ina “lemminglikefescination for discursive impasse and at thsesive intrest in the aberrant and aleaiory ~tendencles that threaten wo identify all controling ints with totalizing mastery tind thus to undermine any conception oferta rationality > iiterary ition ee et eal neta lots impasse, how= ever LaCapre indies through his extended commentary om te Russian criti Mikhail Bakhtin The great value of Bakhtin for LaCapra derives from his emphasis on the interplay between oppesing tendencies nit traure andl in fife, an interplay that Bakhtin described most thoroughly in reference othe “dialogic imagination” of Dos tvaly. LaCapra draws on Bakhtin to argu that great novels Bien porta internal contstations more profoundly than ater tens Gecnuse the iteray form sets language free and therefore ii. ma FP SE Sepa yon Cito, to offers more persuasive account of what actully happens i Historia! texts and social experience. The eategones through ‘which we describe the world are always opposed by other tent 5 Glencis that are “always aleady” within the category that the) theoretically oppose. In simple terms this means, for example) that itis impossible to conceive of ight without darkness ort thicicot presence without absence; each concept caries or overs 2 laps or sipplements the other and therefore preclides the poss = sibility of complete or pure identity. LaCapra believes that i this Decrdean insight, which may be called the concept of supe) plementary, has great importance for historians who seek Constantly to break the world into categorical oppositions and thereby distort the complexity of historical experience and <4 texts. "Supplementanty reveals why analytic distinctions neo: cssarily overlap in ‘realty; LaCapra verites, “and winy it tmisleading to take them as dichotomous eategores. Analytic polar opposites always leave a problematic diflerence or re ‘mainder for which they do not fly acount.” 4 LaCapra admits (and his critics would insist) that the notin of supplementarity questions the way in which reason orghé 26 TL pf a7 BML, pop AB, pags