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versión On-line ISSN 2448-5144versión impresa ISSN 1607-050X


FOGELSON, Raymond D.. The Ethnohistory of Events and Nonevents. Desacatos [online]. 2001, n.7, pp.36-48. ISSN 2448-5144.

This paper -which was presented as the presidential address at the 1988 annual meeting of the American Society for Ethnohistory- analyzes several historiographical definitions of what constitutes an event, and argues for a more reflexive and cautious characterization ofmeaningful events in ethnohistorical research. After introducing positivist and aprioristic definitions of historical events, the author presents a critique of these definitions that is deeply rooted in the contributions ofthe Annales school and structural anthropology. This paper argues that meaningful historical events -and even meaningful narrative silences- are not self-evident, universal phenomena, but the product of the particular historical consciousness ofindigenous or European societies. The author also proposes a brieftaxonomy of "nonevents" -pseudo-events, imagined events, epitomizing events, latent events, and denied events- that exemplify the response range of the historical consciousness of various North American indigenous groups as they confronted the European colonial powers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

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