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Regimes of HistoricityPresentism and Experiences of Time$
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François Hartog

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231163767

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231163767.001.0001

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Making History

Making History

Sahlins’s Islands

(p.23) 1 Making History
Regimes of Historicity

François Hartog

Columbia University Press

This chapter presents an exercise in “viewing from afar” through the work of anthropologist Marshall Sahlins. Sahlins developed his historical anthropology based on the ethnographic, historical, and archival work that he carried out on the distant islands of the Pacific Ocean. Sahlins' work is used both as a reference point (on the question of forms of history) and as an interpreter. What emerges is that the notion of “regime of historicity” is relevant outside of European historiography and that exploring the forms of history characterizing the societies of the Pacific Islands can actually help delineate the notion more closely. The chapter also discusses Sahlins's comparison of the heroic regime of history not with the European form most closely resembling it, but with the modern regime.

Keywords:   Marshall Sahlins, anthropologists, historical anthropology, heroic history, structuralism, Pacific Islands, European historiography, viewing from afar

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