Skip to content

Methods Of Interpreting History

Articles Zine guest bloggin wriite for us


Now what is the meaning of History? History encompasses the social, political, cultural, economic experiences that have shaped human kind.

In this article, I would like to expound on the various methodologies for interpreting History.

And they are the per-formative, glasnost, perestroika, cultural noesis and political entelechy.

The first one that I would like to take is the per-formative. Per-formative is a term coined by the Philosopher Judith Butler and it denotes the experience of actions taking place. Now what would per-formative look like in the Historical context? Per-formative history encompasses the historical literature of human experiences of the history of mankind. It is an epistemology of the gnosis of history. It looks at history and its experiences with a shade on introspection. It looks at the ideology of the human race. Per-formative experiences of history can be classified as the philosophy of gender, philosophy of the race, and also the various historical nuances that have shaped modern history. Now let’s take some examples of per-formative history. Let’s use the political philosophy of non-violence of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi waged a peaceful war against the British by using the weapon of non- violence. Yes, Gandhi was performing a new kind of politics which enabled India to become politically free. Another example of Gandhi is the salt march to Dandi. Gandhi and his followers marched to Dandi and made salt from the sea and this was done to protest against the harsh salt taxes imposed by the British. A per-formative experience of history is the becoming of an experience. So too Nelson Mandela made the per-formative experience of history by protesting against the Damocles of apartheid.

Now what is glasnost? Glasnost is a Russian terms and it denotes openness. Glasnost as a historical tool refers to the task of re-writing history with new devices of interpretation. Let’s look at it with an example. How can gay history and gender history be inscribed? Let’s look at deconstruction. Deconstruction is a textual device that unfurls the textual notions of margins and privilege. Glasnost as a historical term that deconstructs the privilege shown by sexual histories which privilege gender and orientation. Gay literature tries to unmask these oppositions and write a historical inscription of that reveals a norm of liberty, democracy and wholesomeness.

Now what is Perestroika? Perestroika is a Russian term which means re-structuring. Perestroika in the historical context is revelation of how class, gender and race is constructed. Perestroika aims to support a society that is egalitarian and one which upholds democracy. The class struggles of the proletariat, the contrast of affluence, the war against gender, the prejudice of race relations all form a gamut of the history of Perestroika in interpretation.

Now what is cultural noesis? Culture is the sum of all experiences of humanity. Noesis refers to a concentration of thought. Cultural noesis looks at history from a linguistic cultural norm. Cultures have become globalized and westernized. Culture from a noetic point of view encompasses the art, music, poetry, dance and history can be looked up by making a reference to contextualizing cultural experiences.

Now what is political entelechy? Entelechy refers to a consummation of human experience. Political entelechy looks upon history from the view point of politics. What are the norms of a political rule? Does a society promote democratic and humanitarian values? How does gender become a linguistic and historical construct? What is the role of dissemination of information in a global village? Is democracy an ideal form of government? What is the role of the press in promoting democratic and humanitarian values? Does a society aim to work the benefit of all? What is the global consensus on the issue of poverty?

To sum up, I would like to say that new tools for interpreting history has been developed and they are the per-formative, glasnost, perestroika, cultural noesis and political entelechy.


Source by Bose Anand

Leave a Reply