5.2.1 Pdf20 Post-Medievalism/ Modernity/ Postmodernity? (2010)
Penelope Corfield here expands her critique of the traditional stages of western history, including the late addition of ‘Postmodernity’ (fashionable especially in the run up to 2000). She finds all these concepts so fuzzy and overladen with contradictory meanings that they should be abandoned. A more effective vocabulary is needed to evoke the overlapping of historical continuities and change. And the post-‘Post’ moment in the early twenty-first century is a good time to start debating alternatives. Can be read in association with further detailed arguments in Pdf51.
5.2.2 Historical Periodisation Reconsidered (BLOG/ 21, July 2012)
Reporting on a Conference devoted to dissecting and rejecting the concept of the ‘Medieval’.
5.2.3 What’s Wrong with ‘Prehistory’? (BLOG/ 96, Dec. 2018)
The answer is: nothing but the name. It’s absurd to define the long millennia before the advent of human literacy as constituting a sort of antechamber to ‘real’ history, when in fact those early years are foundational. It can only be the force of deep continuity which makes it so hard to change a term which is widely criticised by the numerous inventive historians, archaeologists and anthropologists who study ‘primeval times’.
5.2.4 Primevalism: Saluting a Renamed Prehistory (2019), Pdf 53
This essay argues, firstly, that the renaming of ‘prehistory’ is overdue. The foundational development of human societies, throughout the long millennia before the advent of literacy, is no mere prelude but integral to all human history. Various alternative terms are considered, before opting for ‘Primevalism’. A second section explores the return of diachronic (longitudinal) analysis, within an integral space-time. Primeval times thus fall within the new Big History of the cosmos. Thereupon the third section assesses key through-time themes of revolution (turbulence), gradual change (evolution) and deep continuity (persistence), in salute to the fascinatingly cross-time relevance of Primevalism.
Penelope J. Corfield
Penelope J. Corfield is a historian, lecturer and education consultant. She currently serves as the President of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ISECS).
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