to 'render' history as a mode of inquiry irrelevant?

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  • EStjarn

    Senior Member
    Can anyone tell me what is ' to render history as a mode of inquiry irrelevant?'
    It is from an article in History and Theory (May 2005) titled Postmodernism and History: Missing the Missed Connections by David Roberts. The article is a peer review of a historiography monograph. The sentence to which the topic text belongs is part of a description of a theoretical clash. The full sentence:
    On one side, we have the postmodern challenge, which might seem to threaten the self-understanding of practicing historians, even to render history as a mode of inquiry irrelevant; on the other, the somewhat disparate response of those same historians to that challenge.
    I second MuttQuad's opinion: 'render' means 'make' here, or as AHD also puts it, "to cause to become: The news rendered her speechless."

    ~ The topic text may be a little difficult to parse. A simplified version would be: The postmodern challenge (subject) seems to render irrelevant (predicate verb) history as a mode of inquiry. (direct object)
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