What is Cultural History?
What is Cultural History?, 3rd Edition

<i>What is Cultural History?</i> has established itself as an essential guide to what cultural historians do and how they do it. Now fully updated in its third edition, leading historian Peter Burke offers afresh his accessible account of the past, present and future of cultural history, as it has been practised not only in the English-speaking world, but also in Continental Europe, Asia, South America and elsewhere.

Burke begins by discussing the ‘classic’ phase of cultural history, associated with Jacob Burckhardt and Johan Huizinga, and the Marxist reaction to it, from Frederick Antal to Edward Thompson. He then charts the rise of cultural history in more recent times, concentrating on the work of the last generation, often described as the ‘New Cultural History’. He places cultural history in its own cultural context, noting links between new approaches to historical thought and writing and the rise of feminism, postcolonial studies and an everyday discourse in which the idea of culture plays an increasingly important part. The new edition also surveys the latest developments in the field and considers the directions that cultural history has been taking in the twenty-first century and may take in the future.

This landmark book will continue to be essential reading for students of history, anthropology, cultural studies and literary studies.

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  • December 2018 (hb)
    January 2019 (pb)
  • 216 pages
  • 138 x 216 mm / 5 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509522200
  • Paperback $19.95
  • 9781509522217
  • Open eBook $15.99
  • 9781509522248
Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • 1. The Great Tradition
  • Classic Cultural History
  • Culture and Society
  • The Discovery of the People
  • 2. Problems of Cultural History
  • The Classics Revisited
  • Marxist Debates
  • The Paradoxes of Tradition
  • Popular Culture in Question
  • What is Culture?
  • 3. The Moment of Historical Anthropology
  • The Expansion of Culture
  • The Moment of Historical Anthropology
  • Under the Microscope
  • Postcolonialism and Feminism
  • 4. A New Paradigm?
  • Four Theorists
  • Practices
  • Representations
  • Material Culture
  • The History of the Body
  • 5. From Representation to Construction
  • The Rise of Constructivism
  • New Constructions
  • Performances and Occasions
  • Deconstruction
  • 6. Beyond the Cultural Turn?
  • Burckhardt’s Return
  • Politics, Violence and Emotions
  • The Revenge of Social History
  • Frontiers and Encounters
  • Narrative in Cultural History
  • 7. Cultural History in the Twenty-First Century
  • A changing scene
  • Cultural History and its Neighbours
  • Culture in Question
  • The Natural Turn
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Select Publications: A Chronological List
  • Further Reading
  • Index
About the Author
Peter Burke is Professor Emeritus of Cultural History at the University of Cambridge
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‘Here is a classic, fluently updated to include recent developments in the field. This is a must for all students of cultural history, a feast prepared by a master.’
Jay Winter, Yale University

‘Peter Burke has done it again! This lucid book will delight any reader who wants to understand cultural history.'
Natalie Zemon Davis, University of Toronto

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