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History as Wonder


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Introduction: Beginning with History as Wonder 1. Sense and Non-sense in Ancient Greek Histories 2.Wonderful and Curious Histories in Pre-Modern Europe 3. The Wonders of History in the Pre-Modern Islamic World 4. Wonder Against Ritual: Strange Chinese Histories 5. Historical Cabinets of Curiosity in Early Modern Europe 6. Spirited Histories in Modern Europe 7. Seeing the Wonder Trick in Histories of the Moving Image 8. History's Others, History's Ethics: Gendering Wonder 9. Renewing Wonder in Postcolonial Histories 10. The Banality of History Conclusion: I Wonder as I Wander Bibliography Index

About the Author

Marnie Hughes-Warrington is a professor of history at the Australian National University. She is the author of several historiography books, including Fifty Key Thinkers on History (three editions), History Goes to the Movies (2007) and Revisionist Histories (2013).


'This is a timely and fascinating interdisciplinary analysis of the global development of historiography and its intersections with the role that wonder plays in processes of knowledge production.'

Claire Norton, St Mary's University, UK

'What is it that draws all peoples and cultures no matter time or place to history? And what is it that makes history such a powerful and indispensable category? In her capacious, original, and beautifully written book Marnie Hughes-Warrington argues that it is wonder. Using wonder as her analytic lens, Hughes-Warrington crafts a history of history unlike any before it weaving analysis of traditional historical texts, philosophical treaties, and other works such as film and literature that fall beyond the range typically covered in surveys of the historical discipline. In this way, Hughes-Warrington offers a history of history that ranges far beyond the quotidian limits of what might be considered conventional history and into the way history is utilized by different cultures in different places and different times. For Hughes-Warrington, wonder is the beginning of history, it is a disposition exercised by people in different times and places and as such it is a constant shared by all historical traditions no matter how diverse or disparate they may appear. What's more Hughes-Warrington tells us that attunement to the wonder that underpins our historical impulse also makes us open to new and different forms of history that have yet to appear. One thing is certain, once you've read Marnie Hughes-Warrington's book you will see the history of history in a whole new way: as a history filled with wonder.'

Ethan Kleinberg, Wesleyan University, USA

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