1. The Last Catastrophe. The Writing of Contemporary History


  • Henry Rousso




This work focuses on the way that contemporary history, the history of the ―recent past‖, has been written and conceived in a long--‐term perspective. While historiography is the main topic, the epistemological dimension opens here onto a larger purpose, which is to understand part of what has been called a ―regime of historicity‖: how does a given society, at a give moment, see its own place within the global evolution of history, and how does it deal with past, present, and future, and more specifically with the question of what I call ―contemporariness‖. My analysis starts in Ancient Greece and ends in the present. It traces the development of contemporary history as a sub--‐discipline and a recognized scientific field in the XXth century, with examples taken from French, German, British and American historiography. This is a theoretical work rooted in a long and concrete practice of history in a European context: the history and legacy of a century of mass political violence.What do I mean by ―contemporariness‖? When did it begin as a scholarly practice? Is it true that historians have always written contemporary history or that ―All history is contemporary history‖, to Quote Benedotte Croce’s famous statement? Is it different from other segments of historiography – from medieval history or modern history [Histoire modern]? Why are there so many different notions to describe what appears to be the same historiographic field: Histoire contemporaine, histoire du temps present histoire immediate in French; Contemporary history and Modern history in English; Historia vivida in Spanish; Zeitgeschichte or Neueste Geschichte, in German? The definition, the borders, the possible singularity of contemporary history form the core of this work.


Não há dados estatísticos.




Como Citar

Rousso, H. (2014). 1. The Last Catastrophe. The Writing of Contemporary History. Cadernos Do Tempo Presente, (11). https://doi.org/10.33662/ctp.v0i11.2755