Hannah Arendt and Susan Griffin: Toward a Feminist Metahistory

In Cecile Tougas & Sara Ebenreck (eds.), Presenting Women Philosophers. Temple University Press (2000)

Shari Stone-Mediatore
Ohio Wesleyan University
Efforts to introduce particular-focused and emotionally engaged storytelling into historiography have sparked intense debate. Stone-Mediatore argues that women and other under-represented groups have a particular interest in defending the epistemic value of storytelling, but that we can do so meaningfully -- not by endorsing all storytelling -- but only by articulating a metahistory that challenges the division between history and story as well as makes explicit the interrelated epistemic and ethical goals of historical inquiry. The author draws on Hannah Arendt and Susan Griffin to begin to articulate such a feminist metahistory. She argues that such a metahistory throws light on the potential value of creative and engaged storytelling, not only for understanding historical events but also for building less violent worlds.
Keywords feminist epistemology  metahistory  philosphy of historiography  epistemology of testimony  narrative theory  Hannah Arendt  Susan Griffin  Roland Barthes  Hayden White  Kant, reflective judgment
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