Temporalities and periodization in deep history: Technology, gender, and benchmarks of "Human development"

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For historians, questions about what to call particular eras and how to conceptualize the temporal dynamics of change become particularly acute as we take on revisionistprojects, such as writing and teaching feminist history, examining chronologically"deep" history, or placing history in a material as well as a social environment and in a global perspective. Temporal frameworks influence historical research even when it is located within a very limited time frame; temporalities and periodizations operate more explicitly in the teaching of survey courses. The particular periodization problems we focus on here emerged from teaching premodern world history with a focus on family and household dynamics. In trying to connect research on the domestic group as a site of world history with a historical narrative that begins with the emergence of human society and draws on evidence from around the globe, we were struck again and again by the problematic perspectives embedded in conventional periodizations. New directions in archaeological scholarship offer global historians insights and approaches with which to inform their temporal frameworks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-83
Number of pages24
JournalSocial Science History
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012


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