Against the tide : resistances to Annales in England, France, Germany, Italy and the United States, 1900-1970
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Against the Tide investigates systematically for the first time how resistances to methodologies advanced by historians associated with the Annales School, one of the most influential twentieth-century schools of historical thought, came to exist in England, France, Germany, Italy and the United States between 1900 and 1970. It defines ‘methodology’ in broad terms as the practice of history and poses a series of questions about resistances: who or what created them? What constituted them? Did they centre on a particular methodology, Annales historian or the Annales School as a whole? And what did opposition to methodologies incorporate: technical debates in isolation or wider issues associated with politics, religion and philosophy? The dissertation uses an interdisciplinary conceptual framework,drawing together ideas advanced in the history of science, sociology of education and knowledge, and comparative history, in order to answer these questions. The responses offered refer to and draw on a selection of sources: one hundred and nine scholars’ private archives, the articles, books, critical reviews and published letters of a variety of historians and segments of the growing literature both about the Annales School and about the institutions within which the historical discipline operated during the twentieth century. They suggest that resistances played an important part in the international dissemination of Annales historians’ methodologies, that resistors held different ideas about the Annales School from those of its creators and divergent methodological commitments, but that they like Annales historians often sought to enhance historical research and sometimes worked on the same subjects but in different and occasionally equally inventive ways. Overall, the findings illustrate a limited but important part of Annales’ own history and thereby help to cast the School in new light on terms other than its own by placing it in the transnational context of twentieth-century transatlantic historiography.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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