Imaginary history: a mathematical parable

In a recent autobiographical sketch, Carlo Ginzburg declared: “Labels do not interest me, but the impulse that generated microhistory does.”

Although this anthology already turns the spotlight on two such labels, the Italian historian’s own microhistory and the “potential history” developed by the Israeli curator, filmmaker and theorist of photography Ariella Azoulay, I trust that you will forgive me for introducing another label – in fact, even two or three of them – which, in what follows, I will proceed to introduce in their due order. Along the way, I will also offer some comments on what I regard as the common impulse behind both Ginzburg’s and Azoulay’s work.

“Imaginary history: a mathematical parable”, in Birgitta Svensson, Andrej Slávik & Peter Aronsson (eds.), Images in history/history in images: towards an (audio)visual historiography (Stockholm: Royal Society of Letters, 2020), pp. 125–134 (10 s.), ISBN 978–91–88763–07–5. Read the entire text here.