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UOA 62 - History

RA1, RA2 and RA5c: Staff and output details and Category C staff circumstances

 

Acton, EDJ - Category : A

RA2 - Research outputs:

Number of outputs: 4

Output number: 1 of 4

Title

The Soviet Union: A Documentary History Volume 1 1917-1940

Output type: Scholarly edition
Editors: Hard copy
Title of scholarly edition: The Soviet Union: A Documentary History Volume 1
Publisher: University of Exeter Press
Year of publication: 2005
Number of pages: xxviii + 468
ISBN: 0859895815
Co-authors: Tom Stableford
Other relevant details: Acton was the prime-mover in this 1000-page project, securing a British Academy grant of £16,965 to support the research behind the two volumes, as well as an AHRB/C Research Leave Award for its completion. He took editorial control of the project and fine-tuned all the translations, which introduce the English reader to a wide range of hitherto unavailable sources. He planned and oversaw the development of the elaborate apparatus, including the extended biographical index. The selection of texts, some drawn from a new Russian collection of documents and others chosen independently, was his responsibility. He conceived the structure of the volumes, with their emphasis on topics which have so far been relatively neglected in the historiography. And he wrote the entire narrative commentary, placing the documents in a historical context, analysing key elements and weaving them into a coherent account.

Output number: 2 of 4

Title

The Soviet Union: A Documentary History Volume 2 1939 -1991

Output type: Scholarly edition
Editors: Hard copy
Title of scholarly edition: The Soviet Union: A Documentary History Volume 2
Publisher: University of Exeter Press
Year of publication: 2007
Number of pages: xxxi + 543
ISBN: 9780859895828
Co-authors: Tom Stableford
Other relevant details: Acton was the prime-mover in this 1000-page project, securing a British Academy grant of £16,965 to support the research behind the two volumes, as well as an AHRB/C Research Leave Award for its completion. He took editorial control of the project and fine-tuned all the translations, which introduce the English reader to a wide range of hitherto unavailable sources. He planned and oversaw the development of the elaborate apparatus, including the extended biographical index. The selection of texts, some drawn from a new Russian collection of documents and others chosen independently, was his responsibility. He conceived the structure of the volumes, with their emphasis on topics which have so far been relatively neglected in the historiography. And he wrote the entire narrative commentary, placing the documents in a historical context, analysing key elements and weaving them into a coherent account.

Output number: 3 of 4

Title

La Transición a la Politica de Masas

Output type: Edited book
Publisher: University of Valencia Press
Year of publication: 2001
Number of pages: 199
ISBN: 8437051487
Co-authors: Ismael Saz
Other relevant details: This volume arises from one of a sequence of Anglo-Spanish colloquia staged alternately at UEA and the University of Valencia, which have now been held for over a decade, the key funding bodies being the Canada Blanch Foundation and the British Academy. Their principal goal has been to foster research collaboration between British and Spanish historians and to enhance the study of comparative history. Acton co-organised the late modern conference from which this collection of papers ultimately developed, and shaped the intellectual agenda which it addresses. Building on the initial vision of a comparison between the British and Spanish transition to mass politics in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century, he broadened the scope to embrace the Italian, German and Russian cases. To do so, he assembled an English-speaking team that included prominent specialists in Spanish, German, British and Italian history, drawn from the London School of Economics, York, Liverpool and Connecticut, to complement his own Russian perspective, and negotiated the field of research that each of the Anglo-American contributions was to cover. Acton and his co-editor, Ismael Saz, structured the shape of the volume, while Acton alone edited its English-language contributions and wrote a keynote chapter (pp. 161-70) on the critical impact across the continent of World War I and the emergence of International Communism.

Output number: 4 of 4

Title

La biografia y el Estudio de la Identiad

Output type: Chapter in book
Editors: J. C. Davis & Isabel Burdiel (eds.)
Book title: El Otro, El Mismo. Biografia y autobiografia en Europa (siglos XVII-XX)
Publisher: University of Valencia Press
Year of publication: 2005
Pagination: 177-198
ISBN: 8437061741
Other relevant details: As part of the programme of international, comparative seminars organised jointly by the School of History UEA and the Department of Modern History of the University of Valencia, Davis and his co-editor, Burdiel, jointly chaired a symposium on historical biography, which met over two years, once in Valencia and once in Norwich. The importance of the comparison lay partly in the fact that biography occupies a far more important place in the modern Anglophone historical tradition than in the Hispanic equivalent. The exercise also provided opportunities to compare the biographical format at both a popular and academic level, and to explore the relationship between elite and popular cultures, literature and history in the context of biography and autobiography. To ensure that the discussion retained a theoretical framework, while also addressing the practical objectives of scholars engaged in the writing of biography, the two editors assembled a group of distinguished historians who had worked on prize-winning or otherwise highly regarded biographies. These included Roy Foster (biographer of Yeats), Diarmaid MacCulloch (Cranmer), Edward Acton (Herzen), Davis (Cromwell), Burdiel (Isabel II), Ruiz Torres (Garcia Ormaechea), Charmley (Churchill and Princess Lieven). The brief was for each participant to follow up the first year’s discussion with further reflection and appropriate case studies. The project was funded by the British Academy and the two host universities.
English abstract: This article probes the relationship between biography and the study of social identity. From the 1990s, following in the wake of social theorists, growing numbers of historians joined the quest for social identity. The enterprise included feasible objects of historical analysis - the development of social and political consciousness, of allegiance, and of different ways in which social groups have been categorized and identified by others. But what made “identity” so beguiling was its pretension to go deeper, to unearth a stable psychic core. Paradoxically, by the 1990s, professional historians had largely abandoned the quest where individual figures are concerned. They had come to the realization that biography can do no more than rough justice to the oscillations in the human persona and fails to penetrate to an unchanging inner self. The article questions the coherence of trying to do for whole classes and nations what historical biography has proved unable to do even for the best documented individuals. The intellectual peril involved is demonstrated by considering the work of Liah Greenfeld whose influential history of five contrasting national “identities” rests on her account of the mindset of key intellectuals who crystallized and epitomised each. The test case scrutinised here is that of Alexander Herzen, who Greenfeld insists perfectly illustrates the “collectivist-authoritarian” identity she attributes to all modern Russians. Close examination reveals that Greenfeld’s Herzen, lacking the chronology, narrative and shifting context that biography provides, is a phantom; that there was no period in Herzen's life when his ideas and outlook conformed to her portrait; and that he embraced hopes, values and ideas which according to her theory were inaccessible to anyone of Russian identity. For all its limitations, historical biography has the potential to expose the fragility of claims made about social identity.