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Article on Acceleration

The journal Traverse: Zeitschrift für Geschichte has just published a special issue on the topic of Temporal Experiences: Acceleration and Plural Temporalities (Zeiterfahrungen: Beschleunigung und plurale Temporalitäten). The table of contents may be found here.

In it, I have published a contribution on the concept of acceleration under the title:

Beschleunigung im langen 19. Jahrhundert: Einheit und Vielfalt einer Epochenkategorie

[Acceleration in the Long 19th Century: Unity and Plurality of a Temporal Category]

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The essay starts by contrasting the influential theories of acceleration formulated by Reinhart Koselleck and Hartmut Rosa. On this basis, it argues for a new approach to the history of acceleration based in the methodical tradition of Historical Semantics.

From this point of view, the usual interpretation of acceleration as the distinguishing and dominant temporal mode of the modern era is left behind in favor of a more empirical approach. Taking German debates on the topic during the 19th century as a case study, the article shows how acceleration was not a singular phenomenon (defining the modern era) at all. Rather, it could have many different meanings according to the perspective and interests of various groups as well as the changing historical contexts. In this manner, the article argues for a differentiated focus on the ways in which ‘modern’ people interpreted their own temporality instead of the sweeping, but ultimately oversimplified identification of modernity as the ‘era of acceleration’.

The recent issue of the Dutch journal De Negentiende Eeuw published my review of Henk te Veldes new study

Sprekende politiek: Redenaars en hun publiek in de parlementaire gouden eeuw

[Speaking Politics: Orators and their Audience in the Golden Age of Parliamentarism]

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The book, which analyses the history of parliamentary rhetoric in Great Britain and France throughout the ‘long’ nineteenth century, comes highly recommened, both to scholars of the period and to a wider public.

Erasmus Coordinator

Starting this semester, I am the official Erasmus Coordinator for the History Department of Freiburg University.

More information on the program may be found here, here,  here and here.

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For questions and guidance, I can be reached by email (erasmus.history[at]uni-freiburg.de), or during my office hours (starting October 11, 2016) on tuesdays, 10:00 – 12:30 (location).

 

 

 

On the H-Soz-Kult platform, I have published a review of Alain Corbin’s Histoire du silence. De la Renaissance à nos jours.

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Alain Corbin: Histoire du silence. De la Renaissance
à nos jours, Paris 2016.

The book presents a wide ranging overview over the changing meanings and uses of silence in Western culture from the Renaisance to the present day. Alongside its historical analysis, it presents a case for the reappraisal of silence as a space of self-knowledge which – as the author argues – has too often been lost in the modern world of “hypermédiatisation” (p. 11).

The review may be found here.

After some delay, a research guide written by my colleagues and me at the chair of Western European History at Freiburg University has been published on the Clio-Online platform.

Theo Jung / Sonja Levsen / Sabine Mischner / Friedemann Pestel / Christina Schröer, Das lange 19. Jahrhundert, in: Clio Guide – Ein Handbuch zu digitalen Ressourcen für die Geschichtswissenschaften, Hrsg. von Laura Busse, Wilfried Enderle, Rüdiger Hohls, Gregor Horstkemper, Thomas Meyer, Jens Prellwitz, Annette Schuhmann, Berlin 2016 (=Historisches Forum, Bd. 19), http://www.clio-online.de/guides/epochen/das-lange-neunzehnte-jahrhundert/2016.

In it, we present a broad overview over the digital resources presently available to historians of the ‘long’ nineteenth century, ranging from search catalogues and source databases to institutional frameworks and communication platforms. It aims to ‘guide’ the student and scholar through this new field of expertise as well as provide a critical evaluation of the possibilities and pitfalls opened up by the availability of these new gateways to information and source materials.

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The volume Thinking about the Enlightenment: Modernity and its Ramifications, edited by Martin L. Davies of Leicester University has now been published by Routledge.

My chapter,

Multiple Counter-Enlightenments: The Genealogy of a Polemics from the Eighteenth Century to the Present

the penultimate in a very diverse series of perspectives on the various dimensions of the relationship between Enlightenment and the present, takes up the issue of counter-enlightenment(s). It asks how various criticisms of ‘the’ Enlightenment gradually came to be viewed as constituting a singular tradition of thought, constitutive of Western reflection upon or own place in history.

Volume Introduction

Thinking about the Enlightenment looks beyond the current parameters of studying the Enlightenment, to the issues that can be understood by reflecting on the period in a broader context. Each of the thirteen original chapters, by an international and interdisciplinary team of contributors, illustrates the problematic legacy of the Enlightenment and the continued ramifications of its thinking to consider whether modernity can see its roots in the intellectual revolution of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Drawing from history, philosophy, literature and anthropology, this book enables students and academics alike to take a fresh look at the Enlightenment and its legacy.

The proceedings of a conference I attended two years ago in Heidelberg have been published as volume 18 in the series Schriften zur politischen Kultur der Weimarer Republik by Peter Lang.

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My own contribution, titled

Eine “Klage, die so alt ist, als die Geschichte”? Dimensionen des Wandels im Diskurs der modernen Kulturkritik

(A “Complaint as old as History itself”? Dimensions of Change in the Discourse of Modern Cultural Criticism)

develops an analytical model to describe four dimensions of change in the modern discourse of cultural criticism since the late eighteenth century.

Click here for the volume’s contents, a short introductory text, part of the introduction and the publisher’s page.