Race, Gender, Respectability, and Knowledge

The stimulating blog Black Perspectives has published an online roundtable on Black Women and the Politics of Respectability that includes two posts clearly relevant to the history of knowledge. Instead of exploring the link between education and respectability that is familiar, for example, in European social history, these pieces scrutinize the special role played by … Continue reading Race, Gender, Respectability, and Knowledge

Journalistic Practices and Knowledge Production

In 1903, the Austrian journalist Emil Löbl observed that "many of today's readers" see their newspaper as a "universal encyclopedia," the study of which, they believed, satisfied their duty as "cultivated people" (Kulturmenschen) to stay informed. Whether or not this was a positive development, journalists needed to recognize that "modern readers expected of newspapers the … Continue reading Journalistic Practices and Knowledge Production

Fellowship in the History of Knowledge

The German Historical Institute, Washington, DC, is now accepting applications for a 6- to 12-month Fellowship in The History of Knowledge. Potential projects could focus on (but are not limited to) the following areas: the dynamics of knowledge transfer, communication and dissemination (or restriction) of knowledge, the preservation, collection, and curation of knowledge, and the … Continue reading Fellowship in the History of Knowledge

History of Knowledge and Contemporary Discourse on Science

The polarizing contemporary debate on science in the United States could be extraordinarily interesting for historians of knowledge, if it were occurring in the past. Still, if we could divert our attention from the news for a moment, we might find it still offers some food for thought. In the midst of the current conversation, … Continue reading History of Knowledge and Contemporary Discourse on Science

Translating Sex: Spartacus and the Gay Traveler in the 1970s

Writing in the age of Yelp from Dupont, the historic center of gay life in Washington, DC, I can have trouble fully imagining the difficulty that many gay men had in accessing gay spaces. Even in the second half of the twentieth century, when gay scenes were expanding in major metropolitan areas across North America … Continue reading Translating Sex: Spartacus and the Gay Traveler in the 1970s

The History of Knowledge: Limits and Potentials of a New Approach

In the German humanities, the term Wissensgeschichte, or history of knowledge, is enjoying frequent use. Some years ago, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ) and the University of Zurich created a Centre for the History of Knowledge or, as it is called in German, the Zentrum für Geschichte des Wissens (ZGW). Philosophers, historians of … Continue reading The History of Knowledge: Limits and Potentials of a New Approach

CfP: Chronologics: Periodisation in a Global Context

Via George Khalil (Transregionale Studien) and Harald Rosenbach (Max Weber Stiftung) comes a call for papers for a conference on periodization. Epochal divisions and terminologies such as "antiquity," "baroque," the "classical age," the "renaissance," or "postmodernity," the "long 19th," or "short 20th" centuries are more than mere tools used pragmatically to arrange school curricula or … Continue reading CfP: Chronologics: Periodisation in a Global Context

Some Useful Categories of Knowledge for Understanding Migration

A good decision is based on knowledge… –Plato   I never thought Plato and I shared a common scholarly interest. My research on the millions of eastern Europeans who emigrated to the United States (ancestors of the subjects of Bruce Springsteen songs) at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries seemed far removed from what … Continue reading Some Useful Categories of Knowledge for Understanding Migration