History in the media. Ambiguities, drifts, legitimacies

Abstract

Historical references take a prominent place in the media. Their role consists at the same time in explaining current events by means of comparisons with the past, in satisfying the public’s most various expectations, but also in permanently reinterpreting the past in accordance with the current conceptions of dominant forces. History’s exposure actually favors the production of rather schematic and reductive analyses. It is mostly used as a pretext for the circulation of a discourse based on memories, which values the relation of personal data with their emotional echoes above the cold rigor of an intellectual reconstruction of the past. But it also gives the historian ever wider discussion opportunities in the public debate.

AFRI 2008 Summary