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Historiography Seminar 10: Walkowitz - Turning Points

SEMINAR TEN: Walkowitz: Turning Points (after lectures on `From Sex to Gender (from Society to Culture)’, and `History and the Post-modern Turn’)

Some of the introductory readings for the first seminar in this Handbook will be useful here as we consider Judy Walkowitz as an example of a historian taking many of the `turns’ available at the end of the twentieth-century. Following the trajectory of her research and writing between 1980 and 1992 alerts us to many other historians who moved from women’s history to gender history, from social history to cultural history … in the same period.


Walkowitz, J. R., Prostitution and Victorian Society: Women, Class and the State (Cambridge, 1980) [HF2811.W2]

Walkowitz, J. R., City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late Victorian England (London, 1992), esp. Intro. & chs.1-3 [HC8711.W2]

Background Seminar Reading:

Downs, L. L., `From Women’s History to Gender History’, in S. Berger, H. Feldner and K. Passmore (eds), Writing History: Theory and Practice (London, 2003), 261-82

Editorial Collective, `Why Gender and History?’, Gender and History, 1:1 (1989), 1-12

Green, A., & Troup, K. (eds), The Houses of History: A Critical Reader in Twentieth-century History and Theory (Manchester, 1999), 253-62 (‘Gender and History’)

Iggers, G. G. & Wang, E. Q., A Global History of Modern Historiography (London, 2008), 371-375

Maza, S., ‘Stories in History: Cultural Narratives in Recent Works in European History’, American Historical Review, 101:5 (1996), 1493-1515

Munslow, A., The Routledge Companion to Historical Studies (London, 2000), 227-234

Wiesner-Hanks, M. E., ‘Gender’, in G. Walker (ed.), Writing Early Modern History (London, 2005), 95-113

Questions for Essays and/or Seminar Preparation:

  1. What was the impact of post-1960s feminism on the practice of social history?
  2. What was `the linguistic turn’? Did Walkowitz take this turn?
  3. Discuss the perspective on gender of any historian whose work you are currently studying in Advanced Options or Special Subjects.
  4. What did postmodernism challenge, as far as historians were concerned?

1. On Gender History:

Berg, M., A Woman in History: Eileen Power, 1889-1940 (Cambridge, 1996)

Downs, L. L., ‘If “Woman” is Just an Empty Category, Then Why am I Afraid to Walk Alone at Night? Identity Politics Meets the Postmodern Subject’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 35 (1993), 414-37(& cf. J. Scott, ‘The Tip of the Volcano’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 35 (1993), 438-443; & L. L. Downs, ‘Reply to Joan Scot’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 35 (1993), 444-51

Scott, J. W., ‘Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis’, American Historical Review 91 (1986), 1053-75, & reprinted in Scott, Gender and the Politics of History (rev. edn, New York, 1999), 28-52

Scott, J. W., ‘The Evidence of Experience’, Critical Inquiry 17 (1991), 773-97, & revised as ‘Experience’, in J. Butler & J.W. Scott (eds), Feminists Theorize the Political (New York, 1992), 22-40

Smith, B., The Gender of History: Men, Women and Historical Practice (Cambridge MASS, 1998)

`Special Feature on Masculinities’, Journal of British Studies, 44:2 (2005), incl. Harvey, K. & Shepard, A., `What have Historians Done with Masculinity’, 274-280; Harvey, K., `The History of Masculinity, circa 1650-1800’, 296-311; Tosh, J., `Masculinities in an Industrializing Society: Britain, 1800-1914’, 330-342

Vickery, A., ‘Golden Age to Separate Spheres? A Review of the Categories and Chronology of English Women’s History’, Historical Journal, 32 (1993), 383-414

2. Sexuality, Class and Power:

Caine, B., Destined to Be Wives: The Sisters of Beatrice Webb (Oxford, 1986)

Davidoff, L., ‘Class and Gender in Victorian England’, in J. L. Newton et al (eds), Sex and Class in Women's History: Essays from Feminist Studies (London, 1983), 17-71

MacCormack, C., & Strathern, M. (eds), Nature, Culture & Gender (Cambridge, 1980)

Mason, M., The Making of Victorian Sexuality (Oxford, 1994)

Ross, E., Love and Toil: Motherhood in Outcast London, 1870-1918 (New York, 1993)

3. Gender, Place, and Modernity:

Anderson, A., `The Temptations of Aggrandized Agency: Feminist Histories and the Horizon of Modernity’, Victorian Studies 43 (2000), 43-65

Bailey, P., ‘Parasexuality and Glamour: The Victorian Barmaid as Cultural Prototype’, Gender and History 2 (1990), 148-72

Berman, M., All That is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity (London, 1983)

de Grazia, V. (ed.), The Sex of Things: Gender and Consumption in Historical Perspective (Berkeley, 1996)

Gilfoyle, T., ‘Prostitutes in History: From Parables of Pornography to Metaphors of Modernity’, American Historical Review, 104 (1999), 117-41

Vicinus, M., Independent Women: Work and Community for Single Women, 1850-1920 (London, 1985)

von Ankum, K. (ed.), Women in the Metropolis: Gender and Modernity in Weimar Culture (Berkeley, 1997)

Woollacott, A., ‘The Colonial Flaneuse: Australian Women Negotiating Turn-of-the- Century London’, Signs, 25 (2000), 761-87

4. Manifestoes for a Postmodern History?:

Jenkins, K., On ‘What is History?’: From Carr and Elton to Rorty and White (London, 1995)

Jenkins, K. (ed.), The Postmodern History Reader (London, 1997)

Jenkins, K., Why History? Ethics and Postmodernity (London, 1999)

Joyce, P., & Kelly, K., ‘History and Postmodernism’, Past & Present 133 (1991), 204-13

Joyce, P., ‘The End of Social History?’, Social History, 20 (1995), 73-91

Joyce, P., ‘The Imaginary Discontents of Social History: A Note of Response to Mayfield and Thorne and Lawrence and Taylor’, Social History, 18 (1993), 81-85

Joyce, P., ‘The End of Social History?: A Brief Reply to Eley and Nield’, Social History, 21 (1996), 96-98

Joyce, P., ‘The Return of History: Postmodernism and the Politics of Academic History in Great Britain', Past & Present 158 (1998), 207-35

Lawrence, J., & Taylor, M., ‘The Poverty of Protest: Gareth Stedman Jones and the Politics of Language’, Social History 18 (1993), 1-15

Munslow, A., Deconstructing History (London, 1997)

Southgate, B., History: What and Why? Ancient, Modern and Postmodern Perspectives (London, 1996)

Vernon, J., ‘Who’s Afraid of the “Linguistic Turn”? The Politics of Social History and its Discontents’, Social History 19 (1994), 81-97

White, H. Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe (1973)

White, H. Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism (Baltimore, 1978)

5. Historians and `the Postmodern Challenge’:

Appleby, J., et al., Knowledge and Postmodernism in Historical Perspective (New York, 1996)

Appleby, J., et al., Telling the Truth about History (New York, 1994), esp. chs. 5 & 6

Attridge, D., et al., Post-structuralism and the Question of History (Cambridge, 1987)

Boettcher, S. R., ‘The Linguistic Turn’, in G. Walker (ed.), Writing Early Modern History (London, 2005), 71-94

Eley, G. & Neild, K., The Future of Class in History. What’s Left of the Social? (Ann Arbor MI, 2007), 57-80

Evans, R. J., In Defence of History (London, 1997)

Evans, R. J., ‘In Defence of History: Reply to Critics (Version 4)’ (IHR ONLINE: Making History

Evans, R. J., et al ‘Continuous Discourse: History and its Post-Modern Critics’ (IHR ONLINE: Making History

Fukuyama, F., `The End of History?’, The National Interest, 16 (1989), 3-18

Fukuyama, F., `Reflections on the End of History, Five Years Later’, History and Theory, 34:2 (1995), 27-43

Green, A., & Troup, K. (eds), The Houses of History: A Critical Reader in Twentieth-Century History and Theory (Manchester, 1999), 297-307 (‘The Challenge of Poststructuralism and Postmodernism’)

Iggers, G. G., Historiography in the Twentieth Century: from Scientific Objectivity to the Postmodern Challenge (Middletown CT, 1997), ch. 10

Jenkins, K., Re-Thinking History (London, 1991)

Jenkins, K. (ed.), The Postmodern History Reader (London, 1997), `Introduction’, 1-30

Jordanova, L., History in Practice (London, 2000)

Novick, P., That Noble Dream: The ‘Objectivity’ Question and the American Historical Profession (Cambridge, 1988)

Passmore, K., ‘Poststructuralism and History’, in S. Berger, H. Feldner and K. Passmore (eds), Writing History: Theory and Practice (London, 2003), 118-40

Poster, M., Cultural History and Postmodernity: Disciplinary Readings and Challenges (New York, 1997)

Searle, J. R., ‘The World Turned Upside Down [Review of Culler, On Deconstruction]’, New York Review of Books 30:16 (27 Oct 1983).

Tosh, J., The Pursuit of History: Aims Methods and New Directions in the Study of Modern History (London, 2002)

6. General on Postmodernism and Post-modernity:

Anderson, P., The Origins of Postmodernity (London, 1998)

Ankersmit, F. ‘Historiography And Postmodernism’, History & Theory, 28 (1989), 139-53

Appiganesi, R., & Garratt, C., Introducing Postmodernism (Cambridge,1995)

Bauman, Z., Intimations of Postmodernity (London, 1992)

Bunzl, M., Real History: Reflections on Historical Practice (London, 1997)

Fulbrook, M., Historical Theory (London, 2002)

Harvey, D., The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry Into the Origins of Cultural Change (Oxford, 1990)

Iggers, G. G. & Wang, E. Q., A Global History of Modern Historiography (London, 2008), 301-306

Kumar, K., From Post-Industrial to Post-Modern Society: New Theories of the Contemporary World (Oxford, 1995)

Lyotard, J. F., The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (Manchester, 1984)

McCullagh, C. B., The Truth of History (London, 1998)

7. Critics of a Postmodern History:

Eagleton, T., Literary Theory: An Introduction (Oxford, 1983), chs.2-4

Eley, G., & Nield, K., ‘Starting Over: The Present, The Post-Modern and the Pursuit of Social History’, Social History 20 (1995), 355-64

Elton, G.R., Return to Essentials: Some Reflections on the Present State of Historical Study (Cambridge, 1991), esp. ch.2

Himmelfarb, G., ‘Some Reflections on the New History’, American Historical Review, 94 (1989), 661-70

Kirk, N., ‘History, Language, Ideas and Post-Modernism: A Materialist View’, Social History 19 (1994), 221-40

Mandler, P. ‘The Problem with Cultural History’, Cultural and Social History 1 (2004), 94-117 [& see the replies in Cultural and Social History 1 (2004) by C. Hesse, ‘The New Empiricism’, 201-07; C. Jones, ‘Peter Mandler’s “The Problem with Cultural History, or: Is Playtime Over?”, 209-15; & C. Watts, ‘Thinking About the X Factor, or: What’s the Cultural History of Cultural History?’, 217-24; and the rejoinder in P. Mandler ‘Problems in Cultural History: A Reply’, Cultural and Social History (2004), 326-32

Marwick, A., ‘Two Approaches to Historical Study: The Metaphysical (Including “Postmodernism”) and the Historical’, Journal of Contemporary History, 30 (1995), 5-35  (& cf. H. White, ‘Response to Arthur Marwick in idem., 30 (1995), 233-46; & Symposium on the Marwick-White debate in idem., 31 (1996), 191-28 (incl. C. Lloyd, ‘For Realism and Against the Inadequacies of Common Sense: A Response to Arthur Marwick’, 191-207; B. Southgate, ‘History and Metahistory: Marwick versus White’, 209-14; W. Kansteiner, ‘Searching for an Audience: The Historical Profession in the Media Age: A Comment on Arthur Marwick and Hayden White’, 215-219; G. Roberts, ‘Narrative History as a Way of Life’, 221-228

Mayfield, D., & Thorne, S., ‘Social History and its Discontents: Gareth Stedman Jones and the Politics of Language’, Social History 17 (1992), 165-82

Mayfield, D., & Thorne, S., ‘Reply to “The Poverty of Protest” and “The Imaginary Discontents”’, Social History 18 (1993), 219-33

Stone, L., ‘History and Postmodernism’, Past & Present 131 (1991), 17-18

Stone, L., & Spiegel, G.,1 ‘History and Postmodernism’, Past & Present 135 (1992), 89-208

Windschuttle, K., The Killing of History: How Literary Critics and Social Theorists are Murdering our Past (New York, 1996)

6. Other (Older) Linguistic Turns:

Clark, E. A., History, Theory, Text. Historians and the Linguistic Turn (Cambridge MASS, 2004)

Munslow, A., The Cambridge Companion to Historical Studies (London, 2000), 151-153

Putnam, H., History, Reason, and Theory (Cambridge, 1981)

Searle, J. R., Mind, Language and Society (London, 1999)

White, H., Metahistory. The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe (Baltimore MA, 1973)

Williams, B., Truth and Truthfulness. An Essay in Genealogy (Princeton NJ, 2002)

What Now? (What Next?):

Anold, J. H., `Responses to the Postmodern Challenge; or What Might History Become?’, European History Quarterly, 37:1 (2007), 109-132

Bauman, Zygmunt, Liquid Modernity (Cambridge, 2000), 1-16

Buse, Peter et al, Benjamin’s Arcades. An unGuided Tour (Manchester, 2005)

Eley, Geoff, `Historicizing the Global, Politicizing Capital: Giving the Present a Name’, History Workshop Journal, 63:1 (2007), 154-188

Fowler, B., Reading Bourdieu on Society and Culture (Oxford, 2000)

Joyce, Patrick, `Putting the Social Back in Social History’ (forthcoming, Past and Present, 2009)

Latour, Bruno, Re-assembling the Social. An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory (Oxford, 2005),

Spiegel, G., Practicing History. New Directions in Historical Writing after the Linguistic Turn (London, 2005)

Vincent, J., `The Sociologist and the Republic: Pierre Bourdieu and the Virtues of Social History’, History Workshop Journal, 58 (2004) 128-148