In “Theses,” section iii, the collective reflects upon the interconnected practice of critical theory and history. “Critical historians . . . recognize that they are psychically, epistemologically, ethically, and politically implicated in their objects of study. . . . Psychically, historians should acknowledge and try to work through, rather than simply act out, their unconscious investments in their material. . . . Ethically, historians bear a responsibility toward—are in some way answerable to—the actors and ideas, as well as their legacies and afterlives, being analyzed” (iii.6).

What, then, is the role of ethics within the writing of history? And how might our ethics be connected to the psychic stakes we hold in our objects of study? As historians, what is our responsibility to the dead in our present historical moment of danger, what Sigmund Freud...

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