To connect Bo Stråth’s research interests with those of the PhD researchers working with him at the EUI, they organized several seminar series initiated by the researchers as a joint venture. The focus was on theory and methodology questions connected to the practices of historians. There were often guests to broaden their intellectual input. The seminars supported and drew on the work of the research project The Cultural Construction of Communities in the Process of Modernisation in Comparison.
Seminar Autumn/Spring 1999-2000
Mondays 11.00-13.00 in Sala Triaria, Villa Schifanoia
This seminar aims to generate a critical discussion on the preconditions of history writing in light of what have been called postmodern challenges. These challenges are no longer novel. Concepts such as “reality”, “objectivity”, “truth” etc. have been problematised and are today seen, to a large extent, as carriers of ideologies. The opinion that no reality exists beyond the limits set by language is well established. The role of professional historians as producers/constructors of history is at the heart of a widening discussion.
Beginning in the autumn and continuing through the spring of 2000 this general problem will be addressed in a series of seminars. Three special aspects of the general problem field will be confronted:
1. What does increasing attention to cultural history mean for social history as a subdiscipline? In the contemporary social marginalisation and exclusion climate, interest in social history appears to be on the decline. Does this indicate reduced interest in the situation of the poor and social injustices? Can such interests be embedded in cultural history? Are they already? Is a merger between social and cultural history conceivable? Is history a social or a cultural science?
2. Under which conditions is the past translated to the present? What is the meaning of concepts like “construction” and “representation”? How is it possible to differentiate between “presentation” and “representation”?
3. What does the methodological approach called “new historicism” mean in terms of possibilities and risks? In what respect is new historicism different from the tried and tested version? Can new historicism be reconciled with a social dimension in history writing? (These issues will be confronted in the Spring semester.)
Above all, this seminar is designed to offer researchers working with Bo Stråth the opportunity to participate actively in a reflective process on how to rewrite history in their own work. Following a series of introductory seminars, researchers will present papers. On each occasion, two colleagues will act as discussants. Texts will be distributed about one week before each session. The purpose of this active involvement of the researchers is to increase communication and to develop a historiographical tradition of collective teamwork. This seminar will be augmented by a series of integrated workshops, many with the participation of external guests. We invite both participants in the seminar and all others to contribute to the web debate. For further information, see Conferences and Workshops.
Bo Stråth, General Introduction
Bo Stråth, Can Social and Cultural History be Reconciled?
Bo Stråth, Rewriting History from a Historical Perspective
Almut Höfert, The European Invention of the Turk
Discussants: Rolf-Hagen Schulz-Forberg and Agneta Edman and as a special guest Miroslav Hroch
17 November: N.B. Wednesday 11.00-13.00 in Triaria, Programme-Change due to injury!
James Kaye, Comparison, A Contingent Juxtaposition of Austria and Sweden
Discussants: Renate Huber and Erik Tängerstad
Comments, criticism and response: Peter Apor
Thomas Hippler, Citizenship and Subjectivisation: Military Service in 19th Century France and Prussia
N.B. Two additional texts are available from Sergio Amadei.
Discussants: Brigitta Frello and Katiana Orluc
Erik Tängerstad, History and the Possibility of Representing the Past: A Reflection on the TV-Film Death in the Seine
N.B. Secreening of “Death in the Seine” in Sala Triaria at 10.00!
Discussant: James Kaye
Comments, criticism and response: Thomas Hippler
F. R. Ankersmit, History as Construction and as Representation
Prof. Ankersmit’s text “Danto on Representation, Identity, and Indiscernibles” in History and Theory, Vol. 37 No. 4, December 1998 is available from Sergio Amadei.
Rolf-Hagen Schulz-Forberg, Agents of Authenticity, Travellers and Travel Writing and How to Find a Historiographic Approach
Discussants: Thomas Hippler and Peter Apor
6 March: N.B. 9.00-11.00!
Peter Apor, The Construction of History in Communist Hungary
Discussant: Carsten Humlebaek and James Kaye
Comments, criticism and response: James Kaye, Carsten Humlebaek
13 March: 11.00-13.00
Renate Huber, Occupation and Identity Construction. Vorarlberg after World War II
Discussants: Sandra Mass and Agneta Edman
20 March: N.B. Double Seminar in CONVENTO seminar room 1
Carsten Humlebaek, The Construction of Continuity in Post-Franco Spain
Discussants: Peter Apor and Pablo Járegui
Comments, criticism and response: Pablo Járegui, Peter Apor
Katarina Andersson, National Political Symbols in Sweden in the 1860s
Discussants: Amaia Lamikiz and Rolf-Hagen Schulz-Forberg
27 March: Interviews, No Seminar
Workshop Beyond the Printed Word: New Media and the Practice of History
3 April: N.B. Double Seminar
Augusta Dimou, Paths towards Modernity: Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece in Comparison
For further information and reading please get in touch with email@example.com
Discussant: Sabine Rutar
Sociability as a Historical Category, Two Case Studies
Sabine Rutar, Internationalist Networking in a Multicultural Setting: Workers’ Associations in Triest (1888 – 1927)
Amaia Lamikiz, Associative Life and the Study of the So-called Society of Silence Under Francoism
For further information and reading please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
Discussant: Augusta Dimou
June Paper Presentation, No Seminar
17 April: N.B. 9.00-13.00!
Sid Tarrow, Dynamics of Contention
Professor Tarrow will present a forthcoming book he is collaborating upon with Doug McAdam and Charles Tilly. The volume, which shares the title of this seminar session, is an attempt at a provocative comparative and macrohistorical approach where comparisons are often diachronic, i.e., used to discover analogies in the past. The role of social protest in modernisation processes is the focus. Three crucial questions will be addressed at the session:
1. What has happened to the social dimension after the “cultural turn”? How can it be returned to historiography?
2. To what extent are macrohistorical “grand narrative” approaches still conceivable?
3. What relevance do comparative methodological approaches have?
Hanspeter Kriesi and Thomas Welskopp will open the discussion.
Please contact email@example.com for a copy of the manuscript.
Workshop Ideology and Historiography: The Making of Yugoslavian Identity in Serbian, Slovenian and Croatian Historiography
15 May: 11.00-13.00
Reinhart Koselleck, Reconciliation of Social and Cultural History?
Workshop Pasts Proposed, Factual and Contra-factual History
Writing History, A Collaborative Venture
seminar Autumn/Spring 2000-2001
Mondays 11.00-13.00 in Sala Triaria, Villa Schifanoia
This seminar is based on the premise that contemporary research in history should not be perused in solitude. Developing problem formulation, source selection, analysis, methodological approach and argumentation is often far more productive as a collective enterprise. Group reflection is an efficient means of achieving a critical distance which is decidedly different from that arrived at in individual work or even the hierarchic dialogue of a supervisor-researcher context.
Recent developments in historiography have drawn increased attention to the value of joint enterprises in theoretical and methodological reflection. The many challenges to “conventional” historiography have been central to this development. Examples of such challenges appear in the formulation of macro stories, problems related to historical narration, the temporality and contextuality of any historical writing, the expanding role of philosophical and value-oriented issues in historiography and the growing awareness of the importance of argumentation.
We maintain that no history should be composed and published without an awareness of these challenges and a willingness to confront them. This is not to propose that they can or should be approached from any specific theoretical or methodological point of departure. On the contrary, they should be problematised and reflected upon from plural points of view, which make the author aware of the strengths and weaknesses inherent in each individual approach. One additional long-term goal is also to promote an awareness of philosophic historiography.
In many respects, this seminar continues the seminar Rewriting History in the academic year 1999-2000. The form of publication of the papers on the web, one week before the session, and the opening of the session with discussants’ criticism and their subsequent publication as a web debate will continue. It should be noted that active participation is open to all; this, however, as the title implies, is connected not only with the presentation of a paper but also participation in the criticism of papers written by other seminar participants. The seminar is designed to allow researchers to reflect on rewriting history in their own work. An integrated workshop with the participation of external guests will augment this seminar. We invite both participants in the seminar and all others to contribute to the web debate in our online magazine, Collaborative History.
Winter Semester 2000
Bo Stråth, Introduction
European States and Citizens: A Millennium of Debate (villa Schifanoia sala Europa)
Conference organised by: Quentin Skinner and Bo Stråth
Hagen Schulz-Forberg, Locations of Liberty, London 1851-1939
Discussants: Katiana Orluc and Sandra Maß
Sybille Mohrmann, Das Russenbild im Feuilleton der Berliner Tagespresse 1945-46 (The Image of Russians in the “Feuilleton” of Berlin’s Daily Press 1945/46)
Discussants: Renate Huber and Augusta Dimou
Katiana Orluc, Europe before Europe: The Transformation of European Consciousness after the First World War
Discussants: Augusta Dimou and Carsten Humlebaek
Katerina Andersson, Parliamentary Reform and the Construction of a Union in Scandinavia in the 1860s
Discussants: Thomas Cayet and Thomas Jørgensen
Morakot Jewachinda, The Significance of Architectural Heritage for the Construction of “The New Europe”
Discussants: Thomas Fetzer, Eirinn Larsen
James Kaye, The Salzkammergut, A Landscape after Salt and Materialism in the Immaterial, Heimat in “Heimatgaue” (pdf)
Discussants: Renate Huber and Megan Metters
Collective Identities and Multiple Modernities
(Teatro, Badia Fiesolana)
Workshop organised by Shmuel Eisenstadt, Alessandro Pizzorno, Bo Stråth and Peter Wagner
Spring Semester 2001
5 March NB 9.00-11.00!
Thomas Jørgensen, National Roads to Socialism, The Left and the Nation in Denmark and Sweden 1956-66
Chahnaz Kherfi, Le parti des Liberaux constitutionnels dans l’Egypte de l’entre-deux guerre (1919-1936); le modele liberal europeen pour l’Egypte (The Egyptian Liberal Constitutional Party in the Inter-war Years (1919-1936); The European Liberal Model for Egypt)
Discussants: Rouzbeh Parsi and Nihan Yelutas
Nihan Yelutas, Otherness Doubled, Being Migrant and “Oriental” at the Same Time
Discussant: Megan Metters
26 March NB. Rescheduled, the Seminar will take place on 27 April. See below!
Thomas Fetzer, European Civil Society after World War II – A Survey
Discussant: Thomas Jørgensen
Identity and Temporality Constructions of Continuity and Discontinuity
Workshop organised by Peter Apor, Renate Huber, and Carsten Humlebaek
Utopian Images of Peace and War in Europe
9 April, NB. 9.30-13.00 in sala Triaria!
Images of Historical and Political Time
Special seminar with Reinhart Koselleck and Kari Paalonen
27 April, NB. Friday in the Framework of the Junepaper Presentations, at 15.00!
Eirinn Larsen, Chapter II: The Field of Business Education in the Past and Present (Project: Gender and Higher Education in France and Norway, The Importance of Gender in the “Feminisation” of Business Education in the 1970s and 1980s)
Thomas Fetzer, European Civil Society after World War II – A Survey
Discussant: Thomas Jørgensen
2 May, NB. 11.00-13.00, sala Europa! (Extraordinary Seminar within the framework of the research project The Modernity of Europe)
Richard Kearney, Nations and Narratives: Pax Romana , Pax Americana
Sabine Rutar, Cultural Practice in Trieste’s Multinational Workers’ Movement Prior to World War One
Thomas Cayet, Etude d’un milieu d’organisateurs-rationalisateurs durant l’entre-deux-guerres. Apport d’une approche internationale (Study of a Milieu of Promoters of “Scientific Management” During the Inter-war Years, An International Approach)
Text French pdf
Abstract English pdf
Discussants: Augusta Dimou and Megan Metters
War and Peace in a Cosmopolitan Perspective
with Gopal Balakrishnan
Bringing the Social and the Political back in Again
Revisiting Social History in the Light of the Recent Cultural Turn but Moving Towards a Processual Macro-history
Workshop organised by Bo Stråth and Sid Tarrow
28 May, NB. 9.00-17.00 Sala Europa
Inter-Media and the Practice of History
Workshop with Lars-Åke Engblom, Hans-Ulrich Jost, Giuseppe Lauricella
A working group organised by Bo Stråth and Thomas Ekman Jørgensen
The basic idea of this working group is to gather a group of research students working on similar issues to discuss their projects. To get inspiration for their theses by comparing different approaches, methodological problems and theoretical points of departure.
15 April 10.00-13.00, Bo Stråth’s office, Villa Schifanoia
National Self-Images and European Integration: Scotland and Catalonia
Images of the surrounding World and of the Future – a Comparison of Danish and Tuscan/Italian intellectuals in the Framework of the Discourses on the Nation and the Modernisation of Society during the Period 1830-1870
7 May 10.00-13.00, Sala Belvedere, Villa Schifanoia
Trade unions in transnational labour markets: a tentative theoretical frame (pdf)
Between memory and history: the foundation and first years of the Leo Baeck Institute
Challenges and Problems of the Linguistic Turn
A seminar series 2004-2005 organised by Thomas Ekman Jørgensen and Bo Stråth
The last two decades in history and the social sciences have been marked by the advances of what is known as the linguistic, or the cultural, turn. Historians, sociologists, and (maybe less so) political scientists have increasingly focused on questions of language, identity, symbols and social constructions, leaving behind the quantifiable material explanations of the 1960s and 1970s.
Although this turn can be traced back to the mid-1960s with the works of Michel Foucault, both the scientific communities still devoted to ‚traditional‘ approaches, as well as those dedicated to studies of culture and language, refer to the linguistic turn as a novelty. Indeed, many (mainly the practitioners themselves) see the linguistic turn as an oppositional, progressive method breaking new grounds in the face of hard resistance from the ‚conservatives‘. Even if the conflict between the two is very real in many institutions, the adjectives ’new‘ and ‚traditional‘ are hardly appropriate after twenty years. Rather the present situation is one of competition between established schools and methods.
The idea of the seminar ‚Challenges and Problems of the Linguistic Turn‘ is, first and foremost, to get beyond the image of the linguistic turn as a ground-breaking new perspective and see it as an established school with constraints and possibilities. As the possibilities and advantages have been thoroughly described elsewhere, the seminar will mainly focus on the questions of constraints. As with other scientific disciplines, the linguistic turn in the social and humane sciences is mainly a restrictive praxis. It prescribes certain questions and answers and how to get from one to the other while excluding alternatives. It could be argued that the linguistic turn has arrived at a state where the original insights, to a large degree, have been exhausted. The school seems to show signs of entrenchment, which makes its inherent limits ever more obvious. We hope to maintain or create a more dynamic and open view of the disciplines by taking such tendencies of entrenchment and exhaustion up for discussion.
Session 1 (Sala Europa, 14 October 1500-1700)
Challenges and Problems of the Linguistic Turn (Introduction to the seminar, Thomas Jørgensen. Readings: Victoria Bonnet & Lynn Hunt, “Introduction“, in Beyond the Cultural Turn, Berkeley & Los Angeles 1999, pp. 1-32)
Session 2 (Villa la Fonte, 5 November 1700-1900)
Narration and Representation (Hayden White: Metahistory in Retrospect and Prospect, readings: Hayden White, “Introduction: The Poetics of History“ in Metahistory, Baltimore 1973, pp. 1-42)
Session 3 (Sala Europa, 26 November 1700-1900)
Language and the Social Fabric, (Bo Stråth: From Social History to the Linguistic Turn. Readings: Reinhart Koselleck, “History of Concepts and Concepts of History“)
Session 4 (Seminario 1, 31 March 1500-1700)
Spaces and Limits of Interpretation (Thomas Ekman Jørgensen and Poul Noer), download papers here (pdf)
Session 5 (Sala Triaria, 26 April 1500-1700)
Uses of ‚Discourse‘, (Rita Garstenauer, paper available in Serio Amadei’s office)
Session 6 (18 May)
Memory and Genocide, workshop in collaboration with Martin van Gelderen on Memory and Representation
Historical Writing and Practices and Politics of Remembrance
A seminar series Oct-Dec 2006, Jan-Mar, 2007 in the framework of Bo Stråth’s research seminar
Organiser: Bo Stråth, Henning Trüper, Niklas Olsen
Date: Oct – Dec 2006
Place: Villa Schifanoia, Sala Triaria
23 Oct – Villa La Fonte, sala A
8 Dec – Villa Schifanoia, Europa
This seminar series during the academic year 2006-2007 will investigate history production and memory politics and reflect on their connection. What is the political dimension of historiography and the historical dimension of politics? By “political dimension of historiography” we mean politics broadly, including the ethical and rhetorical dimensions of history writing, networks of historians, and professional practices of the craft. By “the historical dimension of politics”, we mean the use of history and memory construction (as well as oblivion and pacts of silence) in legitimising politics and policy-making. What history use creates what images of the past, and what connections to legitimisation do such images have?
The seminar will focus during the autumn of 2006 on Studies in the Production of Historical Writing (convenors Henning Trüper and Niklas Olsen) and during the spring of 2007 on Politics and Practices of Remembrance (convenor Gosia Pakier).
The final autumn seminar on 8 December will link the two semesters: a seminar in memoriam of Reinhart Koselleck.
Historical Writing and Practices and Politics of Remembrance: I Studies in the Production of Historical Writing
Studies in the Production of Historical Writing
Autumn (Oct-Dec) 2006
Convenors: Henning Trüper and Niklas Olsen
The aim of the autumn part of the seminar is to explore historical approaches to the production of historical writing. Since around 1800, making things historical has been inextricably and complicatedly tied to scholarly writing about the past. Correspondingly, during this period, the history of historical writing has been established as an independent field.
To a certain extent, our perspective on historical writing implies a rupture with older debates on historiography. A common feature of most of those debates has been the attempt to work one’s way towards a supposed core of historical writing, be it a “method”, “theory”, “paradigm”, “ideology” or a set of particular social institutions, and to cast the history of historical writing in terms of changes in these core notions. These labels, it seems to us, carry problematic implications of constancy, stability, and self-enclosed systematicity, and they have as such, led to somewhat impoverished notions of historiography, which we hope to avoid.
We hold that the detailed analysis of historical writing as the result of scholarly work is suitable for the production of a more dynamic and less monolithic picture of “historical cultures”, in which constantly changing practices and experiences can be accommodated easily and are in fact the main interest. Rather than looking for a supposed core of historical writing, or drawing a distinction between a centre and a periphery of historiography, we propose a broader perspective on the processes in which historical writing is produced.
Attention should be paid, in our opinion, more broadly to the practices of everyday work in which historical texts emerge, to the ways such texts are interrelated with a broader field of historical culture and with a narrower field of the personal histories of their producers. The set-up of the seminar topics follows these trajectories.
Some of the seminars will transgress the conventional two hours model (11-13) and last for four hours (9-13 with a brief coffee break) with three-four presentations each time finished by a buffet lunch. The themes of these extended meetings will be:
(1) Historians at work: how does historical writing emerge in working practices?
This seminar aims at a broad perspective of text production. It asks for the day-to-day routines of historical work, with an interest in all related practices, such as reading, note taking, writing up research, reviewing, editing, or translating. Historical writing is spun into webs of practices and produced in relation to standards of various kinds, only a slight part of which ever seems to be made explicit. There are everyday notions of reception, hermeneutics, epistemology, ethics, rhetoric, style and modes of explanations, as well as of the material proper for making history. All of this informs the texts historians produce. Observing how these notions originate, function, and change over time seems of high importance. This perspective questions the possibility of a clear division between an “internal” set of epistemic activities constituting the essential part of historical writing and a more contingent “external” set of social and cultural factors also contributing somehow. One of the aims of this workshop is to explore alternatives to this type of account of historical writing.
(2) Historical culture and historical writing
This seminar attempts to illuminate the practices of dealing with history within society. We presume that a useful key to such dealings is the practice of historicisation, i.e., making the past historical (assuming that history is not simply everything that is past) in specific contexts. The focus would be on practices such as commemoration, establishing distinctions between private and public and relevant and irrelevant. This perspective includes ‘popular’ and literary images of history, history as an instrument in political discourse, and history as an object, e.g. in collections of artefacts, books, etc. Viewing ‘historical culture’ as a field of dynamic change, through analyzing these practices, we would like to ask how ‘historical culture’ originates, functions and changes – and why and how such cultures are maintained and abandoned. Central in the workshop will discuss what conceptual instruments are available or imaginable for studying historical culture and investigate how ‘historical culture’ relates to practices of academic historical writing (presumably ranging from agreement over coexistence to conflict).
(3) Making historians: experiences, culture and self-fashioning
The idea here would be to achieve a sort of comparative perspective on case examples of 19th and 20th-century historians, or groups of historians, analysing the interplay of varying formative experiences, modes of group culture and modes of self-fashioning, and their importance for the writing of history. How can historical writing be a form of self-fashioning, succumbing to and confirming group discipline, and rewriting one’s formative experiences? In an attempt to answer this question, the making of historians as writers could be represented as a sort of mutual interrelating of contingent individual life, social contexts and text. Historians would appear as focal points between institutional standards and arrangements, social powers, moral codes, emotional dispositions, ideological commitments, and aesthetic ideas. Which notion of authorship does this suggestion imply?
9 Oct 11-13 General Introduction. Bo Stråth, Henning Trüper, Niklas Olsen, Gosia Pakier
16 Oct 11-13 Ideology and Social Sciences. Michael Freeden, Oxford University (Villa La Fonte, s. A)
23 Oct 9–1530 Historians at Work: How Does Historical Writing Emerge in Working Practices? Philip Müller, Erfurt, Jacques Revel, Paris, Jo Tollebeek, Leuven, Henning Trüper. Buffet lunch
6 Nov 11-13 Organising the Past – Making Use of the Past. Henning Trüper, Niklas Olsen
20 Nov 9-13 Historical Culture and Historical Writing. Marnix Beyen, Antwerpen, Jeppe Nevers, Odense, Pavel Kolár, Potsdam. Buffet lunch
27 Nov 9-13 Making Historians: Experiences, Culture and Self-fashioning. Patricia Chiantera-Stutte, Bari, Thomas Etzemüller, Oldenburg, Niklas Olsen.
8 Dec 9-13 Language and History – Remembrance and Time. Reinhart Koselleck in Perspective. (Europa)
Opening. Bo Stråth
Historicity, Remembrance and Time in the Work of Reinhart Koselleck. Lucian Hölscher, Bochum. Discussant: Janet Coleman
Language and History. Reinhart Koselleck and Begriffsgeschichte. Willibald Steinmetz, Bielefeld Discussant: Janet Coleman
Buffet lunch (Sala Bandiere)