The first decades of the new century shake old certainties. In a whirlwind of profound changes, do we have more history or less? Does history overwhelm us in all domains of life or is historical understanding in yet another crisis? The answers do not come easily. The recent demise of humanities education, the technological alterations of our social lifeworlds and the human condition, the anthropogenic changes in the Earth system, the growing sense of memory, trauma and historical injustice as alternative approaches to the past, seem to entail contradictions and complexities that do not fit very well with our existing notions of historical understanding. Historical thought as we know it is facing manifold challenges, and we struggle to grasp a larger picture that could encompass them.
Boasting a range of contributions from leading scholars, this volume attempts just that. In an innovative collection of short essays, Historical Understanding explores the current shape of historical understanding today, by surveying a variety of historical relations to the past, present, and future in the face of socio-political, ecological and technological upheavals.
This book is an invaluable research tool for students and researchers alike, presenting a kaleidoscope-like overview of manifold new ways which we navigate "historically" in coping with present-day challenges, both in wider society and in historiography