Towards an ethical historiography of atrocity: moral discourse in histories of the holocaust and Stalinism

Rebekah Moore

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated abstract] This study is an exploration of the interaction between past atrocity, morality, and historical practice, arguing that there is an irreducible connection between these three factors. Traditionally, however, moral concerns have been regarded with suspicion, contempt or indifference by most historians. In line with the ideal of ‘objectivity’, the prevailing disciplinary orthodoxy of impartiality has discouraged historians’ explicit engagement with moral reflection and judgement. In practice, however, historians have long demonstrated a genuine concern for and awareness of such issues, particularly when addressing the historical experience of atrocity. Nonetheless, this interest has not translated into a developed or systematic ethical discourse within historiography. A clear discrepancy has existed between historians’ moralistic practices and their objectivist rhetoric.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2011

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