However, as I am a woman writing, I don’t choose feminism as a framework. What I choose, is to write within a postmodern framework as this allows me the space to place my female experience of the world against the dominant male experience of the world. Without a postmodernist approach to history, showing how knowledge is power and how history is shaped by those with power against ‘other’ voices, be they female, indigenous, homosexual, or working class, it would be impossible for these voices to find an outlet within the dominant narrative of history. “If, as Foucault declares, a claim to knowledge really is nothing but an attempt to overpower others, then retelling history serves the purpose of gaining power for some repressed group.” (All About World View, n.d)
Of course, revisionist history can only go so far. History, no matter which theoretical approach is applied to it, must be evidence based. The facetious arguments at the end of the All About article are ridiculous, even though arguments of this kind are often thrown at Postmodernist histories. For some people the idea that there are “histories” rather than “history” is confronting. The idea that not everyone agrees with your own account of the past can be difficult for individuals and especially institutions to accept. One only need look at social media message boards for articles which challenge dominant narratives, to see how contentious this issue can become. As Marilyn Lake discovered when she challenged the mythology of Anzac. (Lake & Reynolds, 2010, p. 1)
This is also an area I am working on in my fiction writing, that of stripping the mythic from Anzac and reminding readers that for every ‘hero’ there was a shattered family and a shattered life left behind in Australia. This makes my writing contentious, true, but a postmodern approach gives me licence to examine history from a different angle, something which I have always enjoyed doing. It is not so much that I expect to replace one history with another, as to augment our understanding of events which are important to us as a people.
Lake, M., & Reynolds, H, 2010, What's Wrong with ANZAC? The Militarisation of Australian History,Unversity of New South Wales, Sydney.
Postmodern History, All about world view, viewed 3rd February 2014, http://www.allaboutworldview.org/postmodern-history.htm#sthash.7jccKFPi.dpuf