The Militant Historian: The concept of history in the work of Alain Badiou

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This is the first wide-ranging analysis of Alain Badiou’s use, development and transformation of the concept of history. Despite the wealth of perspectives now available on how social and cultural practices take shape, historicism still appears to be the most dominant. The Militant Historian delves into the Badiou’s work to challenge this primacy and offer a radical riposte.

Exploring key texts in Badiou’s oeuvre and examining how his philosophical ideas disrupt dominant conceptions of history and the role of the historian, Kerry William Purcell addresses how these ideas could transform the practices of teaching history and what it means to ‘do history’ as a meaningful endeavour. Adopting a chronological approach to Badiou’s work, each chapter explores specific conceptual developments in his writing and how they lend themselves to a reconsideration of the historical. From these new and disruptive modes of doing emerges the figure of the militant historian – a role with potentially deep impact not just in academia but outside the narrow strictures of academic life.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages280
Publication statusSubmitted - 1 Sept 2024


  • Alain Badiou, Continental Philosophy, philosophy, historiography, philosophy of history, History


Dive into the research topics of 'The Militant Historian: The concept of history in the work of Alain Badiou'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this