Partial readings: addressing a Renaissance archive

History of the Human Sciences 12 (2):89-105 (1999)
  Copy   BIBTEX


By considering a variety of readings of Renaissance Florence from Burckhardt to the present, this article discusses the nature of the interrelation between the archive and the historian, with a view to illustrating the partiality of both. The records contained within the archives are by nature fragmentary; vestiges of the past, they are also partial in the sense of being subjective, testimonies to past relationships either between individuals or between individuals and institutions - social or political. Likewise, the readings of historians are partial both in the sense that the historian’s research is focused upon particular parts of the archive and in his or her subjectivity as an historian. Interestingly, in this context post-Burckhardtian Florentine historiography shares common ground, however unwittingly, with certain aspects of post-modern writing in decentring the subject, for observations concerning the partial subjectivity of Burckhardt’s Renaissance individual apply equally to observations concerning the partial subjectivity of historians as writers. The fiction of an objective historical method producing hard history becomes apparent once the static relation of historian as subject researching the archive as object is reconfigured as a dynamic and dialectical process. Through the acknowledging of the contingency of such archival readings it becomes apparent that the archive itself is a symbolic construct constituted through the process of writing



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,323

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The seductions of the archive: voices lost and found.Harriet Bradley - 1999 - History of the Human Sciences 12 (2):107-122.
Successive cardinals with no partial square.John Krueger - 2014 - Archive for Mathematical Logic 53 (1-2):11-21.
Partial algebras for Łukasiewicz logics and its extensions.Thomas Vetterlein - 2005 - Archive for Mathematical Logic 44 (7):913-933.
Myth as archive.Vanda Zajko - 1998 - History of the Human Sciences 11 (4):103-119.
Hayden White.David M. Hammond - 1994 - Philosophy and Theology 8 (4):291-307.
Subrecursive functions on partial sequences.Karl-Heinz Niggl - 1999 - Archive for Mathematical Logic 38 (3):163-193.
Strong reducibility of partial numberings.Dieter Spreen - 2005 - Archive for Mathematical Logic 44 (2):209-217.
Renaissance philosophy.Arturo B. Fallico - 1967 - New York: [Random House. Edited by Herman Shapiro.
The nature of historical inquiry.Leonard Mendes Marsak (ed.) - 1977 - Huntington, N.Y.,: R. E. Krieger Publishing Company.


Added to PP

29 (#554,418)

6 months
17 (#152,346)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?