Feminist historiography and the reconceptualisation of historical time

Browne, Victoria
Feminist historiography and the reconceptualisation of historical time. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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This thesis conducts a reconceptualisation of historical time as a means of reorienting feminist historiography and changing the ways that we construct and approach histories of feminism. Various feminist theorists have argued that feminist theory requires a multilinear, multidirectional model of historical time, to enable productive encounters and exchanges between past and present feminisms, and account for the coexistence of parallel, intersecting feminist trajectories. This is particularly crucial in light of the continuing dominance of the phasic ‘wave’ model of feminist history, which is bound to notions of linear succession and teleological progress, and severely curtails the ways in which diverse feminist histories can be mapped, understood and related to one another. However, whilst alternative, multilinear, multidirectional notions of historical time have been mooted, there is rarely any clarity or elaboration on what exactly what this might mean or how it might work. This, I suggest, is because ‘historical time’ is itself an under-investigated and under-articulated concept. My contribution in this thesis, therefore, is to offer a detailed study of historical time, which makes sense of the idea that historical time is multilinear and multidirectional. In the course of this investigation, I develop a ‘polytemporal’ model of historical time, arguing that historical time is generated through a mix of different temporalities and fields of time, including the ‘time of the trace’, ‘narrative time’, ‘calendar time’ and ‘generational time’. Analysing each of these ‘times’ in turn, the thesis offers a thorough and internally complex account of historical time, demonstrating how thinking history ‘polytemporally’ can work, and how historical time can be understood as multilinear and multidirectional. Further, it offers concrete suggestions as to how this reconceptualised model can translate into a more nuanced and effective feminist historiographical practice, which opens up conversations between past and present feminisms in order to positively transform our presents and futures.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Date: 2013-01 (completed)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Historiography, philosophy of history, feminist history, feminist historiography, temporality, historical time, polytemporality, repetition
Subjects: ?? D1 ??
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Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of the Arts
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2013 10:08
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2024 13:01
DOI: 10.17638/00009297
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/9297