The aim of this article is substantially devoted to explore which factors have, and have had. an impact on the way history is actually explained. The main topics are: 1. The fundamental passage from a monological interpretation of history to a “plurality of voices”, linked to post-modern culture. The complex debate about Post-modern culture is significantly marked by the disappearance of the monology (a great cultural uniting discourse) and by the emergence of different interpretations and visions. This process has a clear influence on the way history is now explained and the way the “official history” has been substituted by different narratives. 2. The meaning of collective memory. The role of collective memory has acquired a renewed significance today, scholars belonging to different disciplines have underlined its importance in the nation-building processes or in the re-affirmation of identity. For example, ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the passing of time is producing peculiar interpretations and alterations about the recent history of the former socialist countries. The history of these new democratic societies has been re-written, not in the oriented and “orwellian” way. followed by the previous regimes, but through the subtle, complex and spontaneous work of the collective memory. 3. The political and ideological action oriented to “create” or to “erase” historical events, which can be functional to the elites legitimisation. Elites need a symbolic background to support their political action and to maintain the consensus of society. They are able both to create new myths or partisan visions that can undermine the legitimacy of a political system and to support real democratic societies.
This study follows a postcolonial approach towards Polish and Ruthenian national master narratives in Habsburg Galicia by assuming that Galician historians placed past Polish-Ruthenian relations in a colonial setting and emphasized Ruthenian subalternity. The investigation focuses on one of the most controversial issues in Polish-Ruthenian historiography: the era of Casimir the Great and the incorporation of Red Ruthenia into the Polish Kingdom in the 14th century. The central question is how Galician historians depicted this period in their works and to what extent they interpreted it as the beginning of a hegemonic relationship between Poles and Ruthenians. Which discursive strategies were utilized either to justify a Polish civilizing mission in Red Ruthenia or to refute the necessity of Polish colonial rule in this region?
The article attempts to evaluate Polish historiography dealing with the early modern period, published since 1989, the date marking the political transition in Poland. The transition has affected the way in which history has been practised in recent years, with a clear alteration in the subjectmatters and topics dealt with. Political history and the history of towns/cities and the bourgeoisie are beyond the scope of this discussion and assessment.
In the article the Author presents the typology of alternative history and in its light he characterises the historical writings of Jerzy Łojek, in particular his approach towards history of November Uprising, 1830–1831.
The article deals with the appropriation of postcolonial studies to look at Central Europe and Galicia. Beginning with the concept of“internal colonialism“, we follow the evolution of postcolonial theory from a basically economy-based concept into a poststructuralist cultural theory, presenting the development and uses of its central concepts, such as Orientalism or othering. Based on some examples, we also highlight its previous appropriation to Central Europe and the political implications it carries in this region.