In thinking about the pressures that the cultural politics of recognition in democracies have brought to bear on the academic discipline of history over the last twenty or thirty years, thus determining, to some degree, the debates that will shape the discipline and its futures, I have found it helpful to think of a particular mix of history and memory that I have come to call the ‘historical wound’. My use of this expression grows out of Charles Taylor’s discussion of ‘the politics of recognition’ in multicultural societies. Within the perspective of this politics, wrote Taylor, ‘misrecognition shows not just a lack of due respect. It can inflict a grievous wound, saddling its victims with a crippling self-hatred’.1 I work with the same idea of ‘wound’ but I assume that, for a person or group so ‘wounded’, to speak of the wound or to speak in its name is already to be on the path to recovery.