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Red SeaIn Search of Lost Space$
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Alexis Wick

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520285910

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520285910.001.0001

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Rigging the Historian’s Craft

Rigging the Historian’s Craft

For an Epistemology of Composition

(p.186) Conclusion Rigging the Historian’s Craft
Red Sea

Alexis Wick

University of California Press

This book has explored how history makes its subject by focusing on the case of the Red Sea. It has highlighted the rigging involved in the safe sailing of the historian's craft—that is, the network of discursive lines and conceptual chains that both support and manipulate history writing, conceived as a skilled trade combining dexterity and deceit. In conclusion, the book suggests that the sea will never be able to make history. It considers Fernand Braudel's idea of the Mediterranean as a coherent space as well as his attempt to transform the Mediterranean into an anthropomorphic subject. It also examines thalassology as a place to think about discipline and constraints and argues that thalassological history is just as political, just as traditional, and just as problematic as any old other type of history. Finally, it contends that the appearance of the sea as a coherent unit coincides with the institution of the disciplines of history, geography, and Orientalism, along with a new colonial encounter.

Keywords:   Red Sea, history writing, Fernand Braudel, Mediterranean, space, thalassology, geography, Orientalism

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