Müller, P (2004) Geschichte machen. Überlegungen zu lokal-spezifischen Praktiken in der Geschichtswissenschaft und ihrer epistemischen Bedeutung im 19. Jahrhundert. Ein Literaturbericht. Historische Anthropologie , 12 (3) 415 - 433.
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This article synthesizes recent studies of various fields in order to raise new questions about the past of the historical discipline. While studies of the history of the sciences dethroned the notion of the autonomous and heroic scientist (e.g. S. Shapin, M. Biagoli, B. Latour), the past of the historical discipline is dominantly comprehended as the history of “great men” and their “great ideas”. This article demands a new approach of the past of our discipline. Studies about academic institutions refute both the commonly assumed thesis of a research imperative and the alleged determining power of Humboldt’s reform. Instead older traditions like the “Family university” persisted throughout the 19th century and the role of Humboldt turns put to be a myth invented at the beginning of the 20th century. Thus, the question how historical research was performed and under which concrete circumstances researchers achieved historical knowledge remains unanswered. A synthesis of published studies in the field of literary studies, gender studies, media studies and especially the history of sciences allows the development of various dimensions of research: First, the concrete performance of doing research is scrutinized, for females, amateurs, assistants were crucially involved in the production of knowledge. Second, the articles examines diverse sites and places of historical research (such as private homes of scholars, states archives etc.) and the role which these sites played in forming academic knowledge. Third, the article emphasizes different actions of research such as the writing, collecting evidence etc. Moreover, the article highlights the role of emotions by examining Ranke’s letters about his findings in the Viennese Court Library. Finally, the article raises the point of self-fashioning, for in a period when “Bildung” was an unquestioned maxim, self-fashioning of researchers allowed researchers to promote their activities and distinguish themselves from their competitors.
|Title:||Geschichte machen. Überlegungen zu lokal-spezifischen Praktiken in der Geschichtswissenschaft und ihrer epistemischen Bedeutung im 19. Jahrhundert. Ein Literaturbericht|
|Additional information:||Reviewed by peers in "Neue Zuercher Zeitung" in June 2005.|
|UCL classification:||UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > SSEES (School of Slavonic and East European Studies)|
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