• Paperback: $16.00 - In Stock
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • 1. Editors’ Letter: The Public Life of History–Bain Attwood, Dipesh Chakrabarty, and Claudio Lomnitz

    2. Passages to Freedom: The Politics of Racial Reconciliation in South Africa–

    Achille Mbembe

    3. Red Mosque–Faisal Devji

    4. How History Mattered: Sodomy Law and Marriage Reform in the United States–George Chauncey

    5. Narrating the Neoliberal Moment: History, Journalism, Historicity–Claudio Lomnitz

    6. Predicaments of Secular Histories–Neeladri Bhattacharya

    7. In the Age of Testimony: The Stolen Generations Narrative, “Distance,” and Public History–Bain Attwood

    8. Making History Public: Indigenous Claims to Settler States–Miranda Johnson

    9. History as Confession: The Case of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission–Deborah Posel

    10. The Public Life of History: An Argument out of India–Dipesh Chakrabarty

    11. Books Received

    12. Contributors

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).


    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    This special issue of Public Culture explores the tension and the challenges raised by the interaction of history with the domains of public life, including politics, the law, and the media. It focuses specifically on situations where a social compact has been reshaped based on the revaluation of historical wounds such as those inflicted in South African apartheid and in the Holocaust. The politics of recognition has challenged historical research to serve public ends, invoking the past as the site of the original slight and calling for redress in the present.

    Gathering scholars involved in prominent debates regarding the shifting expectations of the rule of history, this special issue is a sustained engagement with historical experience, public discussion, and historical truth in a variety of global sites. One article considers what happens to the ideal of truth telling when truth commissions attempt to authenticate a complex mix of history and memory that is not always historically verifiable. Another article asks if history can continue to play an adjudicatory role in contemporary democracies when matters relating to the past are disputed in public life, as they are in India where the claims of scientific history are pitted against the culture-based history of Hindus. Still another contributor delves into the concept of “stolen generations” to explore the way indigenous people in Australia have laid claims in the present based on a historical wound.

    Bain Attwood
    Neeladri Bhattacharya
    Dipesh Chakrabarty
    George Chauncey
    Miranda Johnson
    Claudio Lomnitz
    Deborah Posel

Explore More

Sign up for Subject Matters email updates to receive discounts, new book announcements, and more.


Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.

Contact Us

  • Duke University Press
  • 905 W. Main St. Ste 18-B
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • U.S. phone (toll-free): 888-651-0122
  • International: 1-919-688-5134
  • orders@dukeupress.edu