Knowledge Notes

Occasional notes on calls, events, publications, and more that caught our attention. Please tweet or email us your own items.

Relevant Publications and Newsletters

For German readers, the Themenportal “Europäische Geschichte” (18.-21. Jh.) has devoted its January newsletter to the topic of history of knowledge, with an editorial on the state of the field and its history since 1970 by Iris Schröder of the University of Erfurt, “Europäische Geschichte, Wissensgeschichte – eine Skizze.” As the H-Soz-Kult team described it (translated into English here):

This editorial has the character of a short research report and introduces the genesis and genealogy of the history of knowledge since the 1970s. Along with the introduction, seven essays, including materials and excerpts from sources, have been added to the Themenportal Europäische Geschichte.

An overview of the 7 essays appears at the end of the essay. These include essays on topics from the early modern period to the First World War. Authors include Marian Hefter, Marie Nosper, Elisa Kewitsch, Erik Liebscher, Anna-Maria Hünnes, Annika Dörner, and Verena Bunkus.

A recent issue of Past & Present (Vol. 257, Issue Supplement 16, November 2022) has a section on “Specialist Knowledge: Diplomacy, Travel and Medicine” with articles on “Rhetorical Strategies and the Manipulation of Discourse in Machiavelli’s Writings” by Chiara De Caprio and Andrea Salvo Rossi, “Hyperbole in Early Modern Missionary Travel Accounts in China” by Emily Teo, and “Conflicting Narratives: Health (Dis-)information in Eighteenth-Century Italy” by Giulia Deluge.

Another wonderful resource for the history of knowledge is the series published by De Gruyter, Cultures and Practices of Knowledge in History: Wissenkulturen und ihre Praktiken. As the title suggests, some of the 14 volumes that the have been published since the series began in 2019 are in English, and some are in German. Some (but not all) are also available via Open Access. The three titles published in 2022 are not (Gelehrtenkultur und Sammlungspraxis: Architektur, Akteure und Wissensorganisation in der Universitätsbibliothek Helmstedt (1576–1810) by Britta-Juliane Kruse; Between Encyclopedia and Chorography: Defining the Agency of “Cultural Encyclopedias” from a Transcultural Perspective by Anna Boroffka, and Heirs of Flesh and Paper: A European History of Dynastic Knowledge around 1700 by Tom Tölle. But the 2021 book by Simone Zweifel, Aus Büchern Bücher machen: Zur Produktion und Multiplikation von Wissen in frühneuzeitlichen Kompilationen is available in Open Access. H-Soz-Kult recently published a German-language review of this volume by Meike Knittel.

The most recent (Fall 2022) Bulletin of the German Historical Institute has two pieces highly relevant to the history of knowledge. One is a report on the workshop “Knowledge on the Move: Information Networks During and After the Holocaust” held in April last year at USC Los Angeles and cosponsored by the Pacific Office of the German Historical Institute Washington and USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research. There is also a report on the workshop “The Pursuit of Science in Conservative Religious Settings since 1945” co-organzied by the German Historical Institute Washington, the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne, Justus-Liebig University Gießen, and the Gerda Henkel Foundation, as part of the research project “Religion and Modernity in the U.S.”

Upcoming CfP Deadline:

“Women’s Bodies, Women’s Rights. Health Feminism, Reproductive Knowledge and Women's Activism Across Europe in the long 20th Century” at the University of Konstanz, Oct. 19-21, 2023. Abstracts due by February 28, 2023. As Andrea Westermann noted in the CfP, “The conference aims at exploring health feminism and women's activism from the perspective of the history of knowledge.” Convened by the Chair of the History of Knowledge at the University of Konstanz, Heidi Hein-Kircher, as well as Anne Kwaschik, Isabel Heinemann, and Emilene Fourment.

Featured image: Cover of the Fall 2022 issue of the Bulletin of the German Historical Institute
This list compiled by Casey Sutcliffe.