Ankersmit, F. (1994). Six theses on narrative philosophy of history. In History and tropology: The rise and fall of metaphor (pp. 33-43). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Ariès, P. (1977). L’Homme devant la mort. Paris, France: Seuil.
Aron, R. (1971). Comment l’historien écrit l’épistémologie: A propos du livre de Paul Veyne. Annales ESC,26: 1319-54.
Bard, C. (2010). Une histoire politique du pantalon. Paris, France: Seuil.
Becker, A. (1998). Les Oubliés de la Grande Guerre: Humanitaire et culture de guerre. Paris, France: Hachette.
Bertrand, R. (2011). L’Histoire à parts égales: Récits d’une rencontre Orient-Occident (XVIe-XVIIe siècles). Paris, France: Seuil.
Branche, R. (2010). L’embuscade de Palestro: Algérie 1956. Paris, France; Armand Colin.
Braudel, F. (1966). La Méditerranée et le monde méditerranéen à l’époque de Philippe II. Paris, France: Armand Colin.
Brunet, J.-P. (1986). Jacques Doriot: Du communisme au fascisme. Paris, France: Balland.
Carr, D. (1986). Time, narrative, and history. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Carr, D. (2001). “Getting the Story Straight: Narrative and Historical Knowledge.” In G. Roberts, The history and narrative reader (pp. 197-208). New York, NY: Routledge.
Carr, D. (2008). Narrative explanation and its malcontents.” History and Theory47(1), 19-30.
Carrard, P. (2014). Le Passé mis en texte: Poétique de l’historiographie française contemporaine. Paris, France: Armand Colin.
Chaline, O. (2000). La Bataille de la montagne blanche: Un mystique chez les guerriers. Paris, France: Noesis.
Chartier, R. (1987). Lectures et lecteurs dans la France d’Ancien Régime. Paris, France: Seuil.
Chartier, R. (2006). Récit et histoire. In S. Mesure and P. Savidan (Eds.), Dictionnaire des sciences humaines (pp. 954-958). Paris, France: PUF.
Chaunu, P. (1956-1960). Séville et l’Atlantique entre 1504 et 1560 (7 vols.). Paris, France: SEVPEN.
Cohen, S. (2006). History out of joint: Essays on the use and abuse of history. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Cronon, W. (2013). Storytelling. American Historical Review118(1), 1-19.
Danto, A. (1985). Narration and knowledge. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
Delacroix, C., Dosse, F., Garcia, P., & Offenstadt, N. (Eds.). (2010). Historiographies: Concepts et débats. Paris, France: Gallimard.
Dosse, F. (2010a). Événement. In C. Delacroix, F. Dosse, P. Garcia, & N. Offenstadt (Eds.), Historiographies: Concepts et débats (pp. 744-756). Paris, France: Gallimard.
Dosse, F. (2010b). Récit. In C. Delacroix, F. Dosse, P. Garcia, & N. Offenstadt (Eds.), Historiographies: Concepts et débats (pp. 862-876). Paris, France: Gallimard.
Dray, W. (1964). Philosophy of history. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Duby, G. (1973). Le dimanche de bouvines. Paris, France: Gallimard.
Duby, G. (1976). Le temps des cathédrales: L’art et la société, 1980-1420. Paris, France: Gallimard.
Duroselle, J.-B. (1979). La décadence: 1932-1939. Paris, France: Imprimerie Nationale.
Duroselle, J.-B. (1983). L’Abîme: 1939-1945. Paris, France : Imprimerie Nationale.
Evans-Pritchard, E. (1940). The Nuer: A description of the modes of livelihood and political institutions of a Nilotic people. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Ferro, M. (1969). La grande guerre. Paris, France: Gallimard.
Furet, F. (1982). De l’histoire-récit à l’histoire-problème. In L’Atelier de l’histoire (pp. 73-90). Paris, France: Flammarion.
Friedlander, S. (Ed.). (1992). Probing the limits of representation: Nazism and the "Final Solution." Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Frye, N. (1957). Anatomy of criticism: Four essays. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Goldstein, L. (1976). Historical knowing. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
Goubert, P. (1960). Beauvais et le Beauvaisis de 1600 à 1730: Contribution à l’histoire sociale de la France au XVIIe siècle. Paris, France: SEVPN.
Greimas, A. J., & Landowski, E. (1979). Les parcours du savoir. In A. J. Greimas and E. Landowski (Eds.), Introduction à l’analyse du discours en sciences sociales (pp.5-27). Paris, France: Hachette.
Grenier, J.-Y., Grignon, C., & Menger, P.-M. (Eds.). (2001). Le modèle et le récit. Paris, France: Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme.
Hartog, F. (1991). Le miroir d’Hérodote: Essai sur la représentation de l’autre. Paris, France: Gallimard.
Hartog, F. (1995). L’art du récit historique. In J. Boutier & D. Julia (Eds.), Passés recomposés: Champs et chantiers de l’histoire (pp. 184-193). Paris, France: Autrement.
Hempel, K. (1959). The function of general laws in history.” In P. Gardiner (Ed.), Theories of history (pp. 344-356). New York, NY: The Free Press. (Original work published 1942)
Hempel, K. (1962). Explanations in science and history. In A. G. Colodny (Ed.), Frontiers of science and philosophy (pp. 9-33). Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh University Press.
Hillgruber, A. (1986). Zweierlei Untergang: Die Zerschlagung des deutschen Reiches und das Ende des europäischen Judentums. Berlin, Germany: Corso bei Siedler.
Jäckel, E. (1993). The impoverished practice of insinuation: The singular aspect of National-Socialist crimes cannot be denied. In J. Knowlton & T. Cates, (Trans.), Forever in the shadow of Hitler: Original documents of the Historikerstreit, the controversy concerning the singularity of the Holocaust (pp.74-78). Atlantic Islands, NJ: Humanities Press. (Original work published 1986)
Jenkins, K. (2009). On the limits of history. New York, NY: Routledge.
Kreiswirth, M. (2005). Narrative turn in the humanities. In D. Herman, M. Jahn, & M.-L. Ryan (Eds), Routledge encyclopedia of narrative theory (pp. 377-382). New York, NY: Routledge.
Knibielher, Y., & Fouquet, C. (1982). Histoire des mères du Moyen-Age à nos jours. Paris, France: Montalba.
Knowlton, J., & Cates, T. (Trans.). (1993). Forever in the shadow of Hitler: Original documents of the Historikerstreit, the controversy concerning the singularity of the Holocaust. Atlantic Islands, NJ: Humanities Press.
Lavisse, E. (1922). Histoire de France contemporaine depuis la Révolution jusqu’à la paix de 1919 (Vol. 10). Paris, France: Hachette.
Le Goff, J. (1981). La naissance du Purgatoire. Paris, France: Gallimard.
Le Goff, J., Chartier, R., and Revel, J. (Eds.). (1978). La nouvelle histoire. Paris, France: Retz.
Le Roy Ladurie, E. (1975). Montaillou, village occitan de 1294 à 1324. Paris, France: Gallimard.
Megill, A. (2007). Historical knowledge, historical error: A contemporary guide to practice. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Mink, L. (1966). The autonomy of historical understanding. History and Theory 5(1), 24-47.
Mink, L. (1987). Historical understanding. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Mousnier, R. (1964). L’assassinat d’Henri IV. Paris, France; Gallimard.
Munslow, A. (2000). The Routledge companion to historical studies. London, England: Routledge.
Munslow, A. (2007). Narrative and history. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Nolte, E. (1993). Between historical legend and revisionism? The Third Reich in the perspective of 1980. In J. Knowlton & T. Cates (Trans.), Forever in the shadow of Hitler: Original documents of the Historikerstreit, the controversy concerning the singularity of the Holocaust (pp. 18-23). Atlantic Islands, NJ: Humanities Press. (Original work published 1980)
Patron, S., & Schiff, B. (2015). Introduction. Special Section: Narrative Matters 2014: Narrative knowing/Récit et savoir. Narrative Works 5(1), 110-122.
Pavel, T. (1986). Fictional worlds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Phelan, J. (2007). Rhetoric/ethics. In D. Herman (Ed.), The Cambridge companion to narrative (pp. 203-216). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Polkinghorne, D. (1988). Narrative knowing in the human sciences. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Prince, G. (2012). Récit minimal et narrativité. In S. Bedrane, F. Revaz, & M. Viegnes (Eds.), Le Récit minimal (pp. 23-32). Paris, France: Presses de la Sorbonne Nouvelle.
Renouvin, P. (Ed.). (1953-1972). Histoire des relations internationales. (8 Vols.). Paris, France: Hachette.
Ricœur, P. (1983). Temps et récit. (Vol 1). Paris, France: Seuil.
Roberts, G. (Ed.). (2001). The history and narrative reader. New York, NY: Routledge.
Rorty, R. (1989). Contingency, irony, and solidarity. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Rousso, H. (1990). Le syndrome de Vichy de 1944 à nos jours. Paris, France: Gallimard.
Scriven, M. (1959). Truisms as grounds for historical explanations.” In P. Gardiner (Ed.), Theories of history (pp. 443-475). New York, NY: The Free Press.
Spiegelman, A. (1991). Maus: A survivor’s tale. New York, NY: Pantheon Books.
Tucker, A. (2004). Our knowledge of the past: A philosophy of historiography. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Veyne, P. (1971). Comment on écrit l’histoire: Essai d’épistémologie. Paris, France: Seuil.
Veyne, P. (1976). Le Pain et le cirque: Sociologie historique d’un pluralisme politique. Paris: Seuil.
Veyne, P. (1984). Writing history: Essay on epistemology. M. Moore-Rinvolucri (Trans). Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press. (Original work published 1971)
Vilar, P. (1962). La Catalogne dans l’Espagne moderne: Recherches sur les fondements économiques des structures nationales. Paris, France: SEVPN.
White, H. (1973). Metahistory: The historical imagination in nineteenth-century Europe. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
White, H. (1978). The historical text as literary artifact. In Tropics of discourse: Essays in cultural criticism (pp. 81-100). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
White, H. (2001). Historical emplotment and the problem of truth. In G. Roberts (Ed.), The history and narrative reader (pp.75-389) New York, NY: Routledge. (Original work published 1992)
White, H. (2010). The structure of historical narrative. In The fiction of narrative: Essays on history, literature, and theory, 1957–2007 (pp. 112-125). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. (Original work published 1972)
Philippe Carrard is Professor of French Emeritus at the University of Vermont and currently Visiting Scholar in the Program of Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College. His first book was on the novelist Malraux (Malraux ou le récit hybride, 1976), but for the past twenty years his research has been mainly on the poetics of factual discourse: that is, on the rules, codes, and conventions shaping discourse that deals with real events, not fictional ones. In this area, he has published Poetics of the New History: French Historical Discourse from Braudel to Chartier (1992), The French Who Fought for Hitler: Memories from the Outcasts (2010), and Le Passé mis en texte: Poétique de l’historiographie française contemporaine (2013). Along the same lines, he has written several articles on such subjects as the representation of consciousness in biographies, personifications in the business pages of the New York Times, strategies of titling in scholarly studies, and beginnings in histories of World War II.
Narrative history allows you to master the art of good storytelling that lies at the heart of most compelling history.
In a nutshell, narrative history asks you to tell a story: when, where, and (hopefully) why a certain event occurred, its larger significance or context, and who the important participants were. This is one of the more basic types of assignments you are likely to encounter, well-suited for (although not limited to) a short paper assignment.
Usually (in the context of a "W" class, for example) your professor has already covered the event. You have read about it and discussed it in class, and the assignment's objective is simply 1) to get you writing and, 2) to allow you to display, in writing, your mastery over the material.
Often - especially in a "W" course - the professor will ask you to limit your sources to those used in class, to use a system of annotation of his or her choosing, and to display basic quoting skills. Most likely, the professor will also require you to provide a "Works Cited"-page, or bibliography. (In the event that your professor asks you to access sources aside from those used in class, go to types of sources).
Such an assignment will invariably require you to develop a thesis (a basic claim, or question, your paper seeks to prove or answer) and to formulate a conclusion. In between, in the main body of your paper, you will tell your story: what happened, when, and why.
Here is a typical question that falls into the category of a narrative history assignment, and one that is integral to our larger thematic focus on events leading up to World War II:
Chart the foreign policy of Adolf Hitler from his appointment as German Chancellor in 1933 until the eve of World War II in 1939.
The events that marked the pre-WWII foreign policy of Nazi Germany, although complicated, are well-documented (they are listed below). You will find them briefly explained in any standard textbook of European, World, or American history. Most likely, your professor expects you to introduce your topic, to establish a broader context, to place the relevant events into chronological order, to explain each one briefly, and to draw a conclusion.
The benefits of such assignments are several: Most importantly, they get you to write on a straightforward topic. Secondly, they heighten your awareness of cause and effect and the importance of chronology. (Follow the above link to explore the relevance of cause and effect in the context of this assignment.) Finally, they also ask you to develop a thesis and formulate a conclusion.
A thesis, in the case of narrative history, can be modest: "The foreign policy pursued by the Nazi government under Adolf Hitler from 1933 to 1939 paved the way for World War II." A more ambitious thesis might add a statement along the following lines: "The unwillingness of the League of Nations or the United States to challenge Hitler's foreign policy may have emboldened him in his increasingly aggressive tactics. Ultimately these mutually reinforcing strategies culminated in the major confrontation that became World War II."
For a lengthier version of this paper, you may choose to establish a broader context in your thesis, also: "Still-recent as well as current events in Europe and in the world further contributed to the short-sightedness with which the League of Nations and the United States responded to Hitler's policies." (Follow the link above to see how to establish such a broader context for this sample assignment.)
Following your thesis, and having told your story (what happened, when, and why: consult the timeline below) you will formulate a conclusion. A conclusion does more than just summarize your findings: while briefly recapping the major points in the story you have told, your conclusion should also, as importantly, present the insights and larger lessons your story has yielded: that which makes your topic worthy of historical investigation.
For more on this sample assignment, see Establishing a Broader Context.
Timeline of Adolf Hitler's foreign policy, 1933-39:
- 1933 Hitler becomes Führer ("leader") of Germany; leaves the League of Nations.
- 1935 begins re-building the German navy and increasing troop strength of German army in violation of the Treaty of Versailles.
- 1936 Hitler remilitarizes the Rhineland, placed under French control for 20 years in 1919's Treaty of Versailles.
- 1936 Hitler signs the Rome-Berlin Axis Pact, creating an alliance with Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini.
- 1936-39 Along with Mussolini, Hitler aids Franco's Nationalists (the "falange") against the Republicans (or "Loyalists") in the Spanish Civil War.
- 1938 Hitler annexes Austria in the so-called Anschluss ("annexation").
- 1938 September, Britain and France appease Hitler by granting him the right to occupy the Sudetenland, an ethnic German-populated western province of Czechoslovakia; Hitler asserts that his territorial claims in Europe are satisfied.
- 1939 March, Hitler takes the rest of Czechoslovakia.
- 1939 September 1, Hitler attacks Poland.
- 1939 September 3, Britain and France declare war on Germany: World War II officially begins.