Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

By Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Foreword by way of Hazel V. Carby
 
A smooth vintage approximately strength and the making of heritage, with a brand new foreword through a well-known scholar
 
Michel-Rolph Trouillot areas the West’s failure to recognize the main profitable slave insurrection in heritage, the Haitian Revolution, along denials of the Holocaust and the talk over the Alamo and Christopher Columbus during this relocating and thought-provoking meditation on how energy operates within the making and recording of historical past. Silencing the Past analyzes the silences in our ancient narratives, what's skipped over and what's recorded, what's remembered and what's forgotten, and what those silences show approximately inequalities of strength. Weaving own memories from his lifetime as a scholar and instructor of historical past, Trouillot exposes forces much less visible—but no much less powerful—than gunfire, estate, and political crusades. This twentieth-anniversary variation of Trouillot’s pioneering paintings incorporates a new foreword from popular student Hazel V. Carby that speaks to the ongoing impact of Silencing the Past at the fields of anthropology, background, and African American, Caribbean, and postcolonial studies—as good as to the book’s certain pedagogical worth as an creation to historic research.

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Additional info for Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (20th anniversary edition)

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Some scholars claim that the fantasy has reached such significance for the West that it matters little whether it is based on facts. Does this mean that the line between history and fiction is useless? As long as the conversation involves Europeans talking about dead Indians, the debate is merely academic. Yet even dead Indians can return to haunt professional and amateur historians. The Inter-Tribal council of American Indians affirms that the remains of more than a thousand individuals, mostly Native American Catholics, are buried in grounds adjacent to the Alamo, in an old cemetery once linked to the Franciscan mission, but of which the most visible traces have disappeared.

The history of the world then started with Creation, for which the date was supposedly well known, and continued with Manifest Destiny, as befits a country privileged by Divine Providence. S. 24 Likewise, academic professionalism has not yet silenced creationist history, which is still alive in enclaves within the school system. That school system may not have the last word on any issue, but its limited efficiency cuts both ways. From the mid 1950s to the late 1960s, Americans learned more about the history of colonial America and the American West from movies and television than from scholarly books.

22 The strength of the historical guild varies from one society to the next. Even in highly complex societies where the weight of the guild is significant, never does the historians’ production constitute a closed corpus. Rather, that production interacts not only with the work of other academics, but importantly also with the history produced outside of the universities. Thus, the thematic awareness of history is not activated only by recognized academics. We are all amateur historians with various degrees of awareness about our production.

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