Latest issue (2.2) of History of Humanities has been published.

Publication Cover

Issue 2.2 of our journal “History of Humanities” is now online.

It contains a Forum section on the “Origins of Musical Disciplines”. As well as five research articles on the “History of Knowledge in the Age of Transition”, on “Otto Jespersen’s “Progress in Language””, on “The Dante of Alessandro Torri”, on “Gendered Philology”, and on “The Comparative Method in the Modern Humanities”. And not to forget: 13 book reviews.

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Latest issue of History of Humanities has been published!

The latest issue of History of Humanities 2(1) deals with Practical and Material Histories of the Humanities.

The so-called practical and material turns that have occurred in recent historiography of science also apply to the history of the humanities. The present issue therefore begins with a “Theme” section on the practices of historical research in archives and libraries. The six articles in this section deal with seemingly mundane aspects such as editing, copying, inventorying, and the handling of archival objects (including boxes and paper clips), as well as with the limitations of archival access, their ergonomics, and even their lighting and temperature. The authors contend that such practical aspects are relevant for understanding continuities in the humanities to a much larger extent than has previously been thought.

The “Forum” section explores the history of the analysis of materials and techniques in art. The “material turn” is clearly one of the characteristic features of the humanities in the early twenty-first century. It has dislodged the centrality of the human element and foregrounded the social life of things, the agency of objects, and actor-artifact assemblages. Textual and language-oriented models of knowledge are complemented by studies of “tacit” and “embodied” knowledge.

For more info and the Table of Contents of issue 2(1) click here.

How a New Field Could Help Save the Humanities

Here’s my essay in the Chronicle Review that has just been published. I make a case for studying the general history of the humanities on par with (and in close alliance with) the history of the sciences.

“Unlike the history of science, the history of the humanities is not an academic discipline. This is surprising — humanists are among the most historically minded scholars. How can it be that humanists care about the history of everything except about their own? The situation is of course more subtle: There is historiography of philology, of history writing, of religious studies, of art history, of musicology, of literary studies, and more, but what is missing is an academic discipline that explores the history of the humanities together. For the “humanities” to be more than just an umbrella term, this bewildering gap in intellectual history must be remedied. […]”

Click here for the complete essay.

History of Humanities Conference, Oxford, 28-30 September 2017

The sixth conference on the history of the humanities, ‘The Making of the Humanities VI’, will take place at the University of Oxford, Humanities Division and Somerville College, UK, from 28 till 30 September 2017.

Goal of the Making of the Humanities (MoH) Conferences

The MoH conferences are organized by the Society for the History of the Humanities and bring together scholars and historians interested in the history of a wide variety of disciplines, including archaeology, art history, historiography, linguistics, literary studies, media studies, musicology, and philology, tracing these fields from their earliest developments to the modern day.

We welcome panels and papers on any period or region. We are especially interested in work that compares scholarly practices across humanities disciplines and civilizations.

Please note that the Making of the Humanities conferences are not concerned with the history of art, the history of music or the history of literature, and so on, but instead with the history of art history, the history of musicology, the history of literary studies, etc.

Keynote Speakers

Elisabeth Décultot, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg: From an Antiquarian to an Historical Approach? The Birth of Art History in the 18th Century

Shamil Jeppie, University of Cape Town: Styles of Writing History in Timbuktu and the Sahara/Sahel

Peter Mandler, University of Cambridge: The Rise (and Fall?) of the Humanities

Paper Submissions

Abstracts of single papers (30 minutes including discussion) should contain the name of the speaker, full contact address (including email address), the title and a summary of the paper of maximally 250 words. For more information about submitting abstracts, see http://www.historyofhumanities.org/.

Deadline for abstracts: 15 April 2017

Notification of acceptance: June 2017

Panel Submissions

Panels last 1.5 to 2 hours and can consist of 3-4 papers and possibly a commentary on a coherent theme including discussion. Panel proposals should contain respectively the name of the chair, the names of the speakers and commentator, full contact addresses (including email addresses), the title of the panel, a short (150 words) description of the panel’s content and for each paper an abstract of maximally 250 words. For more information about submitting panels, see http://www.historyofhumanities.org/.

Deadline for panel proposals: 15 April 2017

Notification of acceptance: June 2017