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Making Cultural History: New Perspectives on Western Heritage
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Making Cultural History: New Perspectives on Western Heritage (Paperback)

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Cultural history tends to elude positive definition. It deals in some sense with culture, and with history, combined in a creative and often critical analysis. But its strength and analytical potential is to be found in its slipperiness, in its critical attitude to authoritative categorisation, and its relentless movement towards new angles, new spaces beyond the evident and the canonical. This volume has sprung out of the Research School for Studies in Cultural History at the Faculty of Humanities of Stockholm University, a five-year interdisciplinary research programme focusing on interplays between past and present. The Research School has provided a productive space for border-crossing academic enterprises. And as a result, the seventeen essays of this volume display just as many innovative approaches to traditional academic subjects such as celebrity, literary genre, prehistoric remains, television, and historic monuments. All stem from unexpected combinations and sliding perspectives, focusing on obscure corners and gaps between the illuminated centres of traditional academic knowledge.

From such sliding perspectives follows the realisation that all narratives, representations, and claims of culture and history are in some sense political. The seventeen essays in this volume demonstrate how a shifting kaleidoscope of the academic subjects makes new knowledge possible, and enables the formulation of new critical questions. Challenging, disturbing, inspirational, these essays all make cultural history.

Anna Kallen (b. 1973) has a Ph.D. in Archaeology (Uppsala University 2004). Her doctoral research was based on her own archaeological excavations and investigations in Laos (19952003), and in a postdoctoral research project (2006-2008) she has studied the discursive relationships between French colonial archaeology in Indochina, and the present ecotourism industry in Laos. She is currently holding a position as Research Officer for a Faculty Research School of Studies in Cultural History at Stockholm University.

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