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Regimes of Historicity


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Table of Contents

Presentism: Stopgap or New State? Introduction: Orders of Time and Regimes of Historicity Orders of Time 1 1. Making History: Sahlins's Islands 2. From Odysseus's Tears to Augustine's Meditations 3. Chateaubriand, Between Old and New Regimes of Historicity Orders of Time 2 4. Memory, History, and the Present 5. Heritage and the Present Our Doubly Indebted Present: The Reign of Presentism Notes Index

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Francois Hartog explores crucial moments of change in society's "regimes of historicity," or its ways of relating to the past, present, and future. Our presentist present is by no means uniform or clear-cut, and it is experienced very differently depending on the position we occupy in society. Hartog shows us how the motor of history(-writing) has stalled and help us understand the contradictory qualities of our contemporary presentist relation to time.

About the Author

Francois Hartog is a professor at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales and holds the Chair of Ancient and Modern Historiography. He is the author of many works, including The Mirror of Herodotus: The Representation of the Other in the Writing of History and Croire en l'histoire. Saskia Brown is an experienced translator of French works in intellectual history, philosophy, legal theory, and art.


Since his classic Mirror of Herodotus, Francois Hartog has emerged as the most significant theorist of history and chronicler of our changing relationship to our own past that France has produced. In this series of meditative chapters, he takes us from the Greeks to the present once more, emphasizing how the theory of history must move from diagnosing the modern gap between expectation and experience to confronting the exigency of historical crisis today. Hartog's reflections are valuable for all humanists. -- Samuel Moyn, Columbia University In a book that should be required reading for anyone interested in history's role in contemporary society, Francois Hartog shows how unexamined assumptions about the past shape our understandings of ourselves and our place in history. -- Lynn Hunt, University of California, Los Angeles Francois Hartog's pioneering work on the concept of 'regimes of historicity' makes this book a must for scholars in both the social sciences and the humanities. A distinguished classical historian, Hartog uses specific, well-chosen examples to explain how understanding regimes of historicity will allow us to better understand the conditions of possibility for producing histories and, more generally, our own relationship to time. -- Robert Morrissey, University of Chicago Francois Hartog is perhaps the most important historian of historiography today... Regimes of Historicity should be required reading for anyone interested in the past, present, and future writing of history. American Historical Review Regimes of Historicity should be required reading for anyone interested in the past, present, and future writing of history. Time's Books

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