Philosophies of History 2013-4 Program at Leeds

We warmly welcome all of those interested in 'the past'/past(s), how it is constructed, remembered, memorialized, theorized and otherwise invented, objectified, subjected and/or turned into 'History' - in short Philosophy of History and theories of History - to come along to the meetings.  Please do not feel that you don't 'know enough'.  Philosophy of History is only now re-emerging as a serious, critical topic, and our group was the first new collection of scholars in the UK and other English-speaking contexts to form together to discuss the issues in over a decade.  In this we were quickly followed and since then have been lucky to partner with these developing networks and programs, as well as the previous generation of groups and scholars.  The point is that the material, ideas and discourses are fresh to most of the people who come to the meetings, so please feel open to attend.  The discussions, although lively and serious, are also very relaxed - helped along by healthy wine and cheese breaks. 
For more information please email us at:

The meetings will be held in the Douglas Jefferson Room, School of English, University of Leeds and begin shortly after 5pm.  Of course, they will still also include a fine selection of refreshments, notably wine and various cheeses.

Leeds Program, 2013-4

31 October – Why care about the Philosophy of History, and how is it related to ‘Theory’?

Introduced by: Catalin Taranu, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Leeds
          •  Reading: Eric J. Hobsbawm, On History (London: Weidenfeld, 1997): pp: 56-70 & 94-123 .
        • Suggested further reading: Mieke Bal, “Deliver Us from A-Historicism: Metahistory forNon-Historians” in R. Doran (ed.) Philosophy of History After Hayden White (London: Bloomsbury, 2013): pp. 67-88;  Karl Popper, The Poverty of Historicism (NY: Routledge, 2002 [1954]).

28 November – ‘Historicizing History, Historicizing the Past’

Introduced by: Dr. Alaric Hall, School of English, University of Leeds
          • Reading: Zachary S. Schiffman, “Historicizing History/Contextualizing Context”, New Literary History, Vol. 42, No. 3 (Summer, 2011): 477-98; Slavoj Žižek, ‘Cogito against Historicism’, in Living in the End Times (London: Verso, 2011): 279-91.

20 February – History, Media & the Meaning of the Past

Introduced by: TBD
            • Reading: Ernesto Laclau, On Populist Reason (Verso reprint, 2007 [2005]); Alain Badiou, Rebirth of History (Verso, 2013): 1-6 & 96-105.

20 March – History as a Thought-Process

Introduced by:  Professor Catherine Karkov, Head of the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds

            • Reading: Herman Paul, “Performing History: How Historical Scholarship is Shaped by Epistemic Virtues”, History and Theory, vol. 50, no. 1 (February, 2011): 1-19; Mary Carruthers, The Book of Memory: A Study in Medieval Culture  (Cambridge, 2008): 1-18.


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