Alun Munslow

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Alun Munslow (born 1947) is a British historian known for his deconstructionist and postmodernist approach to historiography. He is Professor Emeritus of History and Historical Theory at Staffordshire University. He is also Visiting Professor at the University of Chichester. His argument is that prior to engaging with the past historians need to acknowledge that the past and history do not share the same ontic space. He suggests that the past is the time before our perpetual present and history is that range of authored narratives we substitute for it. Munslow suggests that the consequences of this argument are substantial and not the least among them being the situation that we can only engage with the aesthetics of historying because we cannot access the ontic nature of the past. The way to avoid that situation is to fuse – or as he argues - the historian should not (con)fuse the past with history. He accepts that this may seem ironic – and happily it is – the reason being that history is a singularly unprivileged authorial act undertaken in the perpetual present about the ineffable past. He is the author of a number of texts on the philosophy of history such as 'Discourse and Culture: The Creation of America, 1870-1920' (1992), 'Deconstructing History' (1997), 'The New History' (2003), 'Narrative and History' (2007), 'The Future of History' (2010), 'A History of History' (2012) and 'Authoring the Past' (2013). He was a Founding Co-Editor of the journal 'Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice'.[1][2][3]