Foreign Rights


Enzo Traverso was born in Italy in 1957. After having lived and taught in France, he now teaches humanities at Cornell University (Ithaca, New York). He is the author of several books, translated into a dozen languages, including, in English, The Origins of Nazi Violence (New Press, 2003), Fire and Blood. The European Civil War, 1914–1945 (Verso, 2015), The New Faces of Fascism. Populism and the Far Right (Verso, 2019).

Full profile (french)


Le «je» dans l’écriture de l’histoire
232 pages
Released: 03 September 2020
More and more, history is being written in the first person. Historians no longer simply reconstruct and interpret the past; they now feel the need to tell their own stories. The number of historians’ autobiographies has increased in the last century, and researchers have adopted a self-reflexive stance to better understand their own intellectual trajectory. A new hybrid genre has taken form, exemplified in particular by the works of authors such as Ivan Jablonka in France or Mark Mazower in the English-speaking world: historians recount their investigations and describe the emotions they stirred up in them, thus joining the novelists who borrow from the methods of historical investigation (Carrère, Cercas, W.G. Sebald, etc.). This surge of the self upsets historiography and raises questions about the world in which we live. The era of the selfie transforms human sciences and the neoliberal way of thinking provokes a subjectification of social relations and of the apprehension of the past. A new regime of « presentist » historicity emerges, characterized by a withdrawal of the historian into the sphere of the intimate, an absence of future and a melancholic gaze turned towards a discontinuous past where the political is secondary. Enzo Traverso questions this subjectivist shift and highlights its creative potential and political ambiguities while identifying its intrinsic limits.
Rights Sold: English world (Columbia University Press), Spanish world (Alianza), Italy (Editori Laterza), Greece (Ekdoseis tou Eikostou Protou), Catalan (Editorial Afers), Japanese (Mirai-Sha)

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