History and Responsibility

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract / Description of output

This paper sketches out trends in the Western historiography of modern architecture. In particular, it highlights recent thinking – often inspired by encounters with other areas of the humanities – on the inevitable contingency and situatedness of historiographical practice. In relation to this, it makes the argument that one aspect of our responsibility to history is the registration of this contingency; that is, of the fact that historical meaning is not immanent within the materials themselves, but is endowed through interpretation. In making this point, Hayden White’s reflections on emplotment in historical narrative are discussed. Noting that White’s ideas have still to be seriously taken up in architecture, the paper suggests that an important new line of research might be developed in relation to them, particularly in relation to differing cultural narrative genres and possibilities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Symposium on Teaching and Researching of Architectural History 2011
Place of PublicationTianjin, China
PublisherUrban Environment Design (UED)
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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