To understand America as it is emerging in the 21st Century, recent work regarding Texas provides an appropriate historiographical microcosm. Discrediting notions of "Texceptionalism," while repositioning the intellectual center of gravity from the state’s 1836 separatist movement and 19th-century frontier to the development of modern Texas, pits a new progressive model against American exceptionalism. This new metanarrative is capable of transcending the disillusionment that has characterized postmodernism’s suspicion of such grand narratives. If, as postmodernists contend, expressions of perceived realities are indeed plural and relative, we should be able to examine those expansive sweeps, not so much for the facts they convey, but for the inherent elements that support the ideas and values of their creators. Likewise, a new metanarrative that is conscious of its own socio-political purposes will be self-critical, malleable, and projected only to a point that its proponents can confidently defend.
|Keywords:||Historiography, American History, Texas, American Exceptionalism, Postmodernism, Metanarrative|
Professor, Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, USA