Detalle Publicación


The canon in history

Título de la revista: RETHINKING HISTORY
ISSN: 1364-2529
Volumen: 26
Número: 4
Páginas: 439 - 465
Fecha de publicación: 2022
From the 1970s onwards, postmodern, postcolonial and feminist criticism has reactivated the disapproval of the canon. Its academic and pedagogical usefulness remains challenged by historians who have generally been skeptical of its critical worth, its role as an instrument of hierarchization and standard of quality. Both the justification for the existence of the canon in history - which affects its content and function - and the criteria for the selection of an alleged canon of history - which affects its form and is concretized in a list - has been questioned. Nevertheless, in the early 2000s, there were major debates in some northern European countries about the development of historical canons as part of their historical education. These precedents show that the canon has its detractors and generates controversy, but in the end it matters. On the basis of a flexible definition and dynamic application, this article examines the place of the canon in (and of) history, arguing its relevance in historiography: its formation, key turning points, convenience, usefulness, and the desirability of its existence itself. This leads to questions such as: What are the epistemological conditions that make the durability of certain historical works and the discarding of others possible? What determines the systematic inclusion and exclusion of texts in bibliographical lists or in the indexes of the histories of historiographies? Why do the major canonical works usually imply a break with the past but, paradoxically, remain there when later works enter the list?