Amirouche Moktefi


It is common to meet with timelines in popular history books. Yet, historians seldom acknowledge the usage of such diagrams in their practice. Rather than a general prejudice against diagrams, we argue that timelines suffer from their embodiment of biases that do not match with widespread standards of historical writing. For instance, the linearity of timelines suggests continuity between events that might actually be disconnected. Timelines visualise a specific narrative and hide historian’s act of selection. To exhibit this hidden face, one needs to depict the events that have not been selected in the narrative. For the purpose, we introduce a scheme that can be used to visualise the narrative’s construction. An application to the historiography of modern logic is provided.

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