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Issue Details: First known date: 2009... 2009 The Personal Is Historical : Writing about the Freedom Ride of 1965
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'Decades ago, when I was a History student, we were told never to use the pronoun ‘I’ when writing history. The aim was to write a third-person narrative in such a way that the narrator remained hidden, unknown, unimportant. This stricture is still passed on by some historians, as students are told to focus on the narrative, the story they have to tell, and to keep themselves well out of sight or hearing in the text. Yet the idea and practice of foregrounding the narrator, the story-teller, the historian, is rapidly gaining ground. We are learning to use the once-forbidden personal pronoun as a means of writing history, foregrounding the existence of interpretation in general, and our own interpretation in particular. By saying ‘I’, many argue, we are not aggrandising but rather relativising ourselves, drawing attention to the possibility of other views, interpretations, and ways of representing the past, to the limited and contingent nature of historical knowledge. By saying ‘I’, we leave the reader freer to judge and weigh up the historical narrative we have offered, and ourselves the space to admit to what we don’t know, or cannot figure out.' (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Writing Histories: Imagination and Narration Ann Curthoys (editor), Ann McGrath (editor), Clayton : School of Historical Studies, School of Historical Studies, Monash University , 2000 Z1664714 2000 anthology criticism

    'For anyone wanting to write histories that capture the imagination and challenge the intellect. A useful text for teachers and students in history-writing classes.' (Publication summary)

    Clayton : Monash University ePress , 2009
Last amended 24 Feb 2017 14:33:15
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