(Indonesian) history and its uses: theory, lessons, activism and policy

Elson, Robert (2012). (Indonesian) history and its uses: theory, lessons, activism and policy. In Jemma Purdey (Ed.), Knowing Indonesia: intersections of self, discipline and nation (pp. 37-51) Victoria, Australia: Monash University Publishing.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Elson, Robert
Title of chapter (Indonesian) history and its uses: theory, lessons, activism and policy
Title of book Knowing Indonesia: intersections of self, discipline and nation
Place of Publication Victoria, Australia
Publisher Monash University Publishing
Publication Year 2012
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
Series Monash Asia
ISBN 9781921867484
1921867485
Editor Jemma Purdey
Chapter number 4
Start page 37
End page 51
Total pages 15
Total chapters 8
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Can historians really 'be a powerful positive force in society'? Whar might it mean to make such an assertion? ll1e implication seems to be that historians know the field of their acknowledged historical expertise better and deeper than other people, and t lu1t they are therefore better positioned to devise socio-political policies and advice which relate to that field that will more likely prove correct and socially useful than that provided by people without such expert knowledge. J want to argue here that this activist, policy-oriented notion loads more upon the historian than he or she can possibly bear; in an important sense, indeed, it can sometimes entice the historian to reli nquish best practice in the pursuit of political preferment and popular renown. For it is my argument that the discipline or doing history is an inherently conservative one, with conservative rather than activist implications, and that the proper public or social role of historians is as watchful critics or over-generalised, misleading, misunderstood or mistaken policy ambitions or activist claims allegedly based upon historical precedent, rather than themselves, qua historians, pretending to roles as activists or policy-makers.[extract]
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 12:33:32 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry