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Écrire l’histoire

Écrire l’histoireWriting History: telling it, painting it, filming it, playing it, singing it, or even representing it, distorting it, shaping it, re-shaping it –is thus to always think it and re-think it, in the way in which it is written. Every time history is written, it re-engages the reader with the question of its meaning, but also that of the domains upon which it touches. History is a question of what is known, what has ‘effectively happened’, as Ranke says, along with the positivist historians, but also a question of what, of the past, has been integrated into representations, what they have recognised as potential and legitimate objects, and thus, with each moment that is re-examined, it is a question of carving out boundaries in the infinite field of reality that is called ‘history’.

This journal, Écrire l’histoire, thus intends to be a meeting space for the confluences of the (hi)stories within history, and of the historiographies, but also of all the symbolic practices which, in recognising themselves as having the right to do so, view history as material. The ambition of this journal is to be a space for the ways in which history, of here or of elsewhere, of today or of the past, is represented; it aims also to be a space for encountering the ways in which history is used, its functions and uses, at a time when, in a society obsessed with its own heritage and collective memory, these functions and uses demand, perhaps more now than ever, to be well thought out. And also, it aims to be the meeting place, a place for reciprocal exchange and interrogation, between these other domains –History, Literature, Aesthetics– which comprise the disciplines that are still too often closed in upon themselves, and which, nevertheless, have everything to gain by working together. In short, a space for dialogue, for passing through, for translations, a space within which one can seize history in all its ‘incurable diversity’ (K. Pomian) and in what it is becoming.

The journal, founded in 2008 and published by Gaussen, edited two issues a year to begin with, on questions constituting a main theme and a secondary theme. From 2014 onwards, the year it moved to CNRS Éditions, it became an annual publication. In this single volume, there is a theme devoted to the title of the issue, as well as a bibliography of current historiography. The ‘Brèves d’histoire’ (History in Brief) section henceforth replaces the secondary theme, and contains a collection of articles on recent cultural, political or artistic events which interpret history or which are interpreted by history.

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