Daily Archives: January 26, 2011

Toohey Notes (HUM303, 415)

Here are my notes on Toohey. Hope they help. If you have questions don’t hesitate to address them to the comments section of this post.

Notes on Peter Toohey, “The Cultural Logic of Historical Periodization” from Handbook of Historical Sociology (2003)

Note the opening paragraph: the lures of periodization. As an aid to study. Yet the act of periodization may be “romantic”– i.e., may give a exotic gloss to the past by converting it into another country (209). One way to consider this point is to imagine a journey into antiquity via time machine. Assuming you could, say, master Attic Greek and leap across millennia to the Age of Sophocles, what would you find? It’s this kind of mystery that attracts the historian in some sense: the desire to enter an historical space totally “other” to the present.

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Culture Redux (HUM 415)

The point of these three readings– Williams, Brooker, Toohey– is to place two fairly basic concepts into brackets, to convert them into heuristics in order to sharpen our critical perspective on the study of culture and history.

Theoretical writing is intended to defamiliarize the world we live in, to challenge common sensical assumptions. Unquestioned, unexamined, common sense simply excuses us from thinking. Thus Catherine Belsey writes:

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