Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Annalistes

A Brief introduction to the Annales School of History

In 1929, French historians Marc Bloch and Lucien Fevre founded the the Journal Annales d'Histoire Economique and Sociale. Prompted by the wholly dissatisfying "official" history by scholars emanating from the Sorbonne School3 and others (which effectively were state-sponsored) the Annalistes sought to widen the panorama of the orthodox historical analysis present up to then by taking multi-disciplinary approaches to their craft.

No longer were they simply content with looking at individuals but sought out structures within society that animated the characters within it. Under later interpretations, the Annaliste scholars turned their attention, with the help of Braudel and others, towards more permanent structures - the "long duree" - introducing new temporal dimensions to the study of history.

This resulted in the relocalizing of agency from the individual to other more permanent meta structures for which one presumably has less control over.

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