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What place do images hold among other kinds of historical evidence? In Eyewitnessing, Peter Burke reviews graphics, photographs, films, and other media from many countries and periods and examines their pragmatic uses. This profusely illustrated book surveys the opportunities and the challenges of using images to understand other times. In a thorough and compelling defense of the importance of the visual to history, Burke argues that images should not be considered mere reflections of their time and place, but rather extensions of the social contexts in which they were produced. The author describes and evaluates the methods by which art historians have traditionally analyzed images, and finds them insufficient to deal with the complexities of visual imagery. In developing a richer mode of visual interpretation, Burke devotes much attention to religious icons and narratives and political propaganda posters, caricatures, and maps. Eyewitnessing also addresses the economics of images—some, such as films, are commodities in themselves, and others are created to advertise other products. Concentrating on the representation of social groups, the author explores stereotypes as well as notions of foreignness and gender. In this wide-ranging, highly accessible volume, Burke helps us to understand the promise and the pitfalls of using visual evidence in the writing of history.
What is the use of social theory to historians, and of history to social theorists? In clear and energetic prose, a pre–eminent cultural historian here offers a far–reaching response to these deceptively simple questions. In this classic text, now revised and updated in its second edition, Peter Burke reviews afresh the relationship between the fields of history and the social sciences and their tentative convergence in recent decades. Burke first examines what uses historians have made – or might make – of the models, methods, and concepts of the social sciences, and then analyzes some of the intellectual conflicts, such as the opposition between structure and human agency, which are at the heart of the tension between history and social theory. Throughout, he draws from a broad range of cultures and periods to illustrate how history, in turn, has been used to create and validate social theories. This new edition brings the book up to date with the addition of examples and discussions of new topics such as social capital, globalization and post–colonialism. The second edition of History and Social Theory will continue to stimulate both students and scholars across a range of disciplines with its challenging assessment of the roles of history and social science today.
How can we use visual and material culture to shed light on the past? Ludmilla Jordanova offers a fascinating and thoughtful introduction to the role of images, objects and buildings in the study of past times. Through a combination of thematic chapters and essays on specific artefacts – a building, a piece of sculpture, a photographic exhibition and a painted portrait – she shows how to analyse the agency and visual intelligence of artists, makers and craftsmen and make sense of changes in visual experience over time. Generously illustrated and drawing on numerous examples of images and objects from 1600 to the present, this is an essential guide to the skills that students need in order to describe, analyse and contextualise visual evidence. The Look of the Past will encourage readers to think afresh about how they, like people in the past, see and interpret the world around them.
In this gem of a book, Natalie Zemon Davis explores the role of gifts in Renaissance France. From the King's bounty to the beggar's alms, from the lavish feasting and display of civic dignitaries to the humble tokens exchanged by peasant bride and groom, the giving and receiving of gifts - then, as now - held tremendous significance. Full of vignettes which illuminate life and belief in the sixteenth century, The Gift examines how the giving of presents functioned at all levels of society. As they do today, people evaluated gifts all the time - their own gifts and those of others - deciding what was at stake, and judging whether it was a good gift, a bad gift, or even a gift at all. Sometimes gifts brought peace and amity; sometimes they led to bitter quarrels and accusations of corruption. The Reformation and its liturgy were in part a quarrel between Protestants and Catholics about whether humans can give gifts to god, and what gifts we owe each other. Natalie Zemon Davis here deploys her own gift for the retelling of sometimes poignant personal stories to offer both telling cultural detail and a true historical perspective on the turbulent era of the Renaissance and Reformation.
The richness and historical complexity of this exhibit have been overlooked, especially in the post-Vietnam decades, as critics have been quick to dismiss it as sentimental. In the context of Steichen's text, the exhibit was an appeal to the emotions, designed to move viewers to cross the ideological barriers of the Cold War. The Family of Man was prominently displayed at the American Exhibition in Moscow in 1959. Sandeen shows the exhibit to be a great deal more than a compendium of beautiful but unchallenging photographs. He also unfolds its multilayered relationship with and reflection of the values of postwar America.
A team of international authors build a case for a positive appraisal of biblical Israel. Approaching the authenticity of Scripture from several angles--philosophical, archaeological, and literary--the contributors attack the issues involved in this controversial area.
Written by an L. A. County homicide detective and former atheist, Cold-Case Christianity examines the claims of the New Testament using the skills and strategies of a hard-to-convince criminal investigator. Christianity could be defined as a “cold case”: it makes a claim about an event from the distant past for which there is little forensic evidence. In Cold-Case Christianity, J. Warner Wallace uses his nationally recognized skills as a homicide detective to look at the evidence and eyewitnesses behind Christian beliefs. Including gripping stories from his career and the visual techniques he developed in the courtroom, Wallace uses illustration to examine the powerful evidence that validates the claims of Christianity. A unique apologetic that speaks to readers’ intense interest in detective stories, Cold-Case Christianity inspires readers to have confidence in Christ as it prepares them to articulate the case for Christianity.

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