On March 27, Professor Ethan Kleinberg, director of the Center for the Humanities, presented a lecture to the École Doctorale on “The Specters of the Past,” as a distinguished visiting professor at University of Bordeaux Montaigne in Pessac, France.
Kleinberg also is professor of history, professor of letters, and editor-in-chief of History and Theory. He is an expert on the intellectual history of Europe in the 20th century, the history of philosophy, as well as the philosophy and theory of history.
Kleinberg’s lecture focused on the theme of his latest book, Haunting History: for a deconstructive approach to the past (Stanford U Press) which advocates for a deconstructive approach to the practice of history at a moment when available forms for writing and publishing about the past are undergoing a radical transformation.
He criticizes the persistence of what he calls “ontological realism” as the dominant mode of thought among historians, and studies the ways in which this realistic way of thinking is reinforced by some current publishing practices.
Kleinberg was recently nominated and elected to the Advisory Board of the International Commission for the History and Theory of Historiography, the leading international organization for the philosophy and theory of history.