Reply To: 3. 3 March – River History

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Peter # Posted on March 4, 2015 at 16:22

Comments on reflections by Ylva Lundkvist Fridh

Your reflections that the articles lack of comprehensible narrative are interesting and I agree with your view that the narrative was not directly prevalent. The articles did as you point out lack grand narratives and were factual in nature. My comment is that this likely was the researchers purpose. And, as I also argued in my reflections on the seminar, I believe many historians go to far in their use of narratives and that this instead risks rendering historical research less credible.

Unfortunately I was not able to attend the lecture with Professor Winiwarter. But from your accounts of Winiwarters answer – regarding the articles narratives – I seem to share her views regarding the risks of grand narratives. I also agree with you that the articles narrative emerges much more clearly when she stated that the articles narrative is one of human hubris throughout centuries of human interventions to the river, albeit still in a factual context. So I can certainly agree with Winiwarter regarding that these articles, much in line with her intentions, is a good foundation for future research. I also certainly agree with you that these articles, moving in the broad spectrum of Environmental history, are very much excellent history!