Alun Munslow
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Alun Munslow

Alun Munslow (born 1947) is a British historian known for his deconstructionist and postmodernist approach to historiography. He is Professor Emeritus of History and Historical Theory at Staffordshire University. He is also Visiting Professor at the University of Chichester. His argument is that prior to engaging with the past historians need to acknowledge that the past and history do not share the same ontic and epistemic space. He suggests that the past is the time before our perpetual present and 'history' is that range of authored narratives we substitute for it. Munslow suggests that the consequences of this argument are substantial and not the least among them being the situation that we can only engage with the aesthetics of 'historying' because we cannot access the ontic and epistemic nature of the past. The way to avoid that situation is to fuse - or as he argues - the historian should not (con)fuse the past with history. The past is the 'before now' and the past cannot anticipate the future. He accepts that this may seem ironic - and happily it is - the reason being that history is a singularly unprivileged authorial act undertaken in the perpetual present about the ineffable past. He is the author of a number of texts on the philosophy of history including 'Discourse and Culture: The Creation of America, 1870-1920' (1992), 'Deconstructing History' (1997), 'The New History' (2003), 'Narrative and History' (2007, Second Edition 2018), 'The Future of History' (2010), 'A History of History' (2012) and 'Authoring the Past' (2013). He was the UK Founding Co-Editor of the journal 'Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice' relinquishing its UK Editorship in 2017. [1][2][3]


  1. ^ "Where Does History Come from? Munslow argues that the centrality of narrative to 'history/historying' confronts the constructionist and reconstructionist understandings of how the past is evaluated and constituted. He suggests that the past cannot be (con)fused with the past, arguing that the past has no direct ontic or epistemic connection to the past. (Today's History)". Questia Online Library. Retrieved 2014.
  2. ^ "Staffordshire". Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  3. ^ "The Future of History". Retrieved 2014.

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