Stephanie Leitsch is teaching the 44th International Wolfenbüttel Summer Course, entitled “Early Modern Visual Data: Organizing Knowledge in Printed Books.”
As prints taught viewers how to observe and thus arguably democratized knowledge derived from first-hand experience, this seminar considers printed images as critical visual technology that built knowledge acquisition. . . .
By combining approaches from intellectual history, conceptual history and the history of knowledge, the study investigates the ways in which Humboldt’s ideas have been appropriated for various purposes in different historical contexts and epochs. Ultimately, it shows that Humboldt’s ideals are not timeless—they are historical phenomena and have always been determined by the predicaments and issues of the day.
The folks at the New History of Knowledge project have published an informative book entitled Circulation of Knowledge: Explorations in the History of Knowledge, edited by Johan Östling et al. (Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 2018). The book is available to read without restrictions as an open access PDF file. The introduction includes useful information about the history of knowledge in relation to other subfields of history.
The history of knowledge is flourishing. Exciting conferences are being arranged, new institutional arrangements are emerging, and a whole range of fresh studies are being published. German-speaking scholars have led the way by proclaiming that Wissensgeschichte (the history of knowledge) is something different than Wissenschaftsgeschichte (the history of science and scholarship), and in the 2010s the field has started to attract considerable attention in other countries and contexts too.
How should we interpret the appeal of the history of knowledge? Why are historians and other scholars suddenly drawn to the field? And what are the roads that have led them there? An initiative from the Nordic countries could shed light on these questions.