Reviews

Based notably on the rich manuscript archive of the journal, with correspondences of its successive editors, this essay by the journal’s Managing Editor from 1991 to 2000 traces the fifty-year history of the reference to the ‘Orient’ in the JESHO through the changing vicissitudes of historical writing. The author notably insists on the founder’s intention to challenge historians to define the binding factors between time and space, and between movements in Europe and the rest of the world ― in a time when scholars of most regions of Asia did not have easy contacts with those specialising in European history. Moreover, the few theorists who had busied themselves with ‘the Rest’ of the world (Marx, Weber, Polanyi. . .) had assumed the superiority of the Western world. In the aftermath of the ‘postcolonial depression’ of the 1960s, the imbalance in favour of the ancient Near East and Islam in the JESHO is attributed to the primacy of philological explanation over cultural and historical analysis in most European universities, and to the lack of interest for incorporating ‘the Rest’ into the ‘New Ways’ of historical research. A short chapter on Robert Irwin’s attack on Edward Said’s theory and his rehabilitation of Oriental studies is followed by a final part of the JESHO’s evolution since 1991, the journal’s primary mission being then revived through a double approach to global history through connection and comparison, facilitated by deep qualitative change in the historical study of ‘the Rest’ during the last two decades.

The Redaction
CER: II-1.2.C-56