Knowledge Notes: Upcoming Deadlines

The following call, in German, is about memory and narrative, which means it’s also about public history and, implicitly, public knowledge of Germany’s Nazi past: Conference: Gedenkstättengeschichte(n). KZ-Gedenkstätten in postnationalsozialistischen Gesellschaften von 1945 bis heute – Bestandsaufnahme und Perspektiven, February 16–18, 2022, Hamburg. Deadline: September 30, 2021.

Another conference that looks at historical narratives in relation to the public: Symposium: Participation and Public Interpretations: How to Navigate Multiple Historical Narratives in Museums?, December 7, 2021, Luxembourg. Deadline: September 30, 2021.

A conference that will look at how the right to sexual self-determination developed in Germany will be held at the Free University of Berlin, February 24–25, 2022. Among other things, it will ask about transfer processes among three fields of activity: the law, knowledge, and political movements. The event will be held in German and English, and the call is in German. The deadline is listed as October 3, 2021. Contact: Martin Lücke.


Thanks to Chiara Fralick for identifying these and other happenings. And apologies from Mark Stoneman, who let some great calls and events slip through the cracks due to unforeseen family circumstances.


Featured image: “Work with schools, Hamilton Fish Branch: Story hour on roof reading room, ca. 1910s,” New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Six Calls That Caught Our Attention

Conference: What Makes a Philosopher Good or Bad? Intellectual Virtues and Vices in the History of Philosophy. Utrecht University, November 25–26, 2021. Proposal deadline: August 21, 2021.

Conference: Professorial Career Patterns Reloaded – Data, Methods and Analysis of Digital Humanities Research in the Field of Early Modern Academic History. Herzog August Library, Wolfenbüttel, and HTWK Leipzig, October 27–28, 2021 with Pre-Workshop/Hackathon on October 20–21. Proposal deadline: September 3, 2021.

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Online Seminar: Bureaucracy as Knowledge

History of Knowledge Seminar Series @ Utrecht University
“Bureaucracy as Knowledge” with Christine von Oertzen (MPIWG, Berlin) and Sebastian Felten (University of Vienna)

Thursday, June 10, 2021, 15:30-17:00 (CET)
Online via Microsoft Teams (registration not required)

Bureaucracy was a term of critique that in Europe around 1900 became an analytical concept for world-historical comparison, most prominently in the work of Max Weber. Against this background, the multi-authored publication Histories of Bureaucratic Knowledge develops a non-Weberian approach of analysing bureaucratic procedures as knowledge processes, a method we term “bureaucracy as knowledge.” This approach builds on historical epistemology and aims to recover actors’ ways of organising social and natural world rather than to judge them by modernist, Western standards. We found surprising similarities across our cases, such as the use of questionnaires in the medieval Latin West and in colonial German New Guinea, or of calendars in the Ottoman Empire and Central Europe.

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Debating New Approaches to Histories of the Sciences

All are invited to attend the online symposium “Debating New Approaches to Histories of the Sciences,” organized as part of the History of Knowledge Seminar Series @ Utrecht University.

Friday, May 21, 2021, 9:30–17:30 CET
Online via Microsoft Teams (registration not required)

Recent decades have seen the emergence of a number of promising new approaches to the historical study of the sciences. All share the goal of understanding scientific thinking and practice as historical phenomena, but each does so in its own distinctive way: created against different backgrounds and in response to different problem situations within and outside academia they orient themselves around different themes, topics and perspectives. This raises the issue of whether and if so, how, these approaches could best collaborate.

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‘The Political and the Epistemic’ in ‘KNOW’

The Fall 2020 issue of KNOW focuses on a specific theme: "The Political and the Epistemic in the Twentieth Century: Historical Perspectives." Emphasizing the first half of the twentieth century, in particular, guest editors Kijan Espahangizi and Monika Wulz point to an emerging "politicized understanding of scientific inquiry" in the interwar period, which "shaped a new social epistemology." (163) The starting point for the contributors to this issue is the interrelation between "heated disputes over the political and economic foundations of society" and the equally contested and pressing debates about "the role of knowledge in society and the economy." (163) The payoff:

By analyzing histories of antagonistic and competitive forms of knowledge, it becomes possible to paint a more detailed picture of not only the relations between the epistemic and the political but also of the inherently political strategies involved in the boundary work of knowledge regimes. (166)

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