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Which History for the 21st Century

Universitat de Lleida


WHICH HISTORY FOR THE 2 lST CENTURY Date of reception: 18'" of December, 2006 Final date of acceptance: 271h of November, 2007 How should we approach the knowledge of the past at tlie beginning of the 2lS' century? In recent decades, this was done by trying to reach places and perspec- tives until then unexplored. Now we must concern ourselves with the form of the content of our research at a time when ideological changes have carried away many supposed certainties. Calmness and meditation should be the foundation for the Iiistoriari's work, far frorn the productive urge and the Manichaeism that history partly took on in the seventies and eighties of the 20"' century. In Spain, and to an extent in the other country in the European Mediterranean area, efforts must be made to reject prejudices against the narrative, to search for a balance between lo- cal and general history and to place an precise value on the forms recently arrived from the United States, such as formalism, deconstructiou or post-structuralism. An especially we have to overcome the aversion of determined academic circles to the permanent opening of new ways to reform and combat the bureaucratisation of the university system. Historiography, Thought, Teaching, Ideologies, Ideas. Historia, Opinio, Doctrina, Ideologia, Nociones. 1 know that fascism meant the end of clear thought and the triumph of irrationa- Iism. 1 know that, without realising it, 1 have spent al1 my life embroiled in a poli- tical struggle, in which 1 was fighting against these things amnngst shadows. From now on, 1 will fight in the lighi. (R. G. Collingwood, Autobioflraphy) For some time now, we have been asking ourselves what the history the 2lSf century will be. However much conservatives may deny it, each new cpoch has always had a different way of viewing the past from the previous one, neither bet- ter nor worse, only different. This, as 1 have stated in a book on the subject, is where the challenge ior

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