Free Flow Lecture - “Historical Theory and Local Politics”April 24, 2006, 5:30 pm »
This talk concerns how notions of history—impersonal movements believed to be embedded in necessity—are as much political constructs as not. Historical representation is a global discourse used by all sorts of local players to give themselves the patina of necessity, hence progress and related and related ideas. This talk, drawing on Cohen’s recent History Out of Joint: Essays on the Use and Abuse of History, focuses on how the L.A. Times used senses of history in the past ten years or so in editorials and book reviews, thoroughly confounding historical representation and local power politics.
Sande Cohen specializes in historiography, philosophy and cultural criticism. He received a B.A. and M.A. from San Francisco State University, and a Ph.D. from UCLA. He has published many articles in historical theory and cultural theory, and is the author of Historical Culture: On the Recoding of an Academic Discipline (UC Press, 1986); Academia and the Luster of Capital (Minnesota, 1993); Passive Nihilism (St. Martins, 1998); co-editor of French Theory in America with Sylvere Lotringer (Routledge, 2001); co-editor of Consumption in an Age of Information with R.L. Rutsky (Berg, 2005, http://www.bergpublishers.com/uk/book); and author of History Out of Joint: Essays on the Use and Abuse of History (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005, http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/title_pages/8599.html). He has completed a book entitled Cultural Stupidity and Smart Institutions that will be published in 2006.
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