n Journal for Contemporary History - 100 jaar dialoog tussen verlede en hede

Volume 30, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



The dialogue between the present and the past as represented in the various forms of experience of historical writing, indicates that the present and its requirements form a part of the historian's activities. This is the case even where studies ostensibly deliberately try to avoid any appearance of involvement in actuality. This is being illustrated by the Department of History of the University of Stellenbosch. There was a perception that this department, that celebrated its centenary in 2004, regarded the idea of contemporary history to be incompatable with scientific historiography. Contrary to this perception contemporary or actual history formed an integral part of the activities of the is department since early days, although not always acknowledged. The result was a kind of ambivalence in the study of history at the University of Stellenbosch, which is treated in this article.

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