Chapter

Introduction: History, Culture, and Text

Lynn Hunt

in The New Cultural History

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 1989 | ISBN: 9780520064287
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520908925 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520064287.003.0001
Introduction: History, Culture, and Text

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This book presents the agenda for the “new cultural history”. It specifically explores the models that have already been proposed for the history of culture. Concrete examples of the new kinds of work that are currently under way are also provided. Additionally, it tries to illustrate how a new generation of historians of culture uses literary techniques and approaches to develop new materials and methods of analysis. The linguistic analogy establishes representation as a problem which historians can no longer avoid. It is shown that the accent in cultural history is on close examination—of texts, of pictures, and of actions—and on open-mindedness to what those examinations will reveal, rather than on elaboration of new master narratives or social theories to replace the materialist reductionism of Marxism and the Annales school. Finally, an overview of the chapters included in this book is given.

Keywords: new cultural history; literary techniques; linguistic analogy; Marxism; Annales school; social theories

Chapter.  8146 words. 

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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