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
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
The handwriting on this fascinating image taken inside the British Museum Library, ca. 1906, reads, "More than forty miles of shelves, two millions of books, and 'of the making ... is no end.'" The accompanying summary at the Library of Congress appears to get something wrong, however: "Photograph shows the book stacks in the reading … Continue reading “More than forty miles of shelves”
Caryn McTighe Musil at the Association of American Colleges and Universities has written a short programatic article on what the humanities can offer in current disputes over immigration in the United States. Her recommendation that curricula "include a focus on citizenship" suggests one way in which education and knowledge can figure into social, cultural, and … Continue reading Knowledge and Citizenship
This vocational film is interesting in a few different ways, including for its normative gender roles. Source and further details: Prelinger Archives, Internet Archive, https://archive.org/details/Libraria1947
Here are the ten photographs from which the current selection of randomized header images on this blog were drawn. All of these images are housed at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. What do these photographs have to do with the history of knowledge? What stories do they tell? What questions do they raise?
In my initial academic encounters with Germany in the late 1980s and early 1990s, one of the things that impressed me was the availability of handbooks as well as specialized encyclopedias such as Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe. The textbook series Oldenbourg Grundriss der Geschichte was a new experience for me.1 Each volume offered concise, chronologically organized surveys … Continue reading Organizing and Communicating Historical Knowledge: Some Personal Observations