The Future of the Past: Meanings, Functions, and Conceptions of History

Total Hours
Semester A
Course Day
Time 12:00 - 13:30

What is history? What are its uses? What is collective memory? What is the meaning of historicism and why it has been so central and conflictive in modern philosophy? How were kept historical records in the past and how are archives conceived today? These are some of the questions that will be discussed in the course concerning the importance of the profession of the historian and its links with other fields such as sociology, anthropology, economics and politics in the 19th and 20th century until the alleged “end of history” in the post-modern era with the decline of the national State. In the course we will deal with historiographical methodologies, including the possibility of writing the history of the present and of the future, examining the relationship between oral and written history. Special attention will be devoted to the role of history, memory and tradition in Jewish thought and the influence of secularism in contemporary perceptions of the Jewish past.