Gaps in the record: hidden internationalisms - British Library Research Repository
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Gaps in the record: hidden internationalisms



The true subtitle of this lecture is a question: why was George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion first produced in German, in Vienna? And the lecture as a whole is about a number of such questions that I can't answer. It is less about gaps in the material record - that is to say, the physical existence of documentation (though it touches on this issue) - than it is about an absence in historical writing: an absence of history, of narrative, that crosses barriers of nationality and language. It is a simple fact that historical subjects cross these barriers, but historical research, publication and teaching very often do not. I am particularly concerned with the second of these barriers, because in our day it seems to be much the most formidable; and I would even go so far as to suggest that in much research which is undertaken within language frontiers, it is possible to sustain an illusion of internationalism which cloaks a reality of largely domestic incident and inward-looking discussion.


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  • Resource type

    Journal article

  • Institution
    • British Library

  • Journal title
    • History Workshop Journal

  • Volume
    • 52

  • Pagination
    • 217-227

  • Publisher
    • Oxford University Press

  • Place of publication
    • Oxford, UK

  • ISSN
    • 1363-3554

  • eISSN
    • 1477-4569

  • Official URL
  • DOI

  • Additional information
    • This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in History Workshop Journal following peer review. The version of record is available online at: