Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

At a workshop at the ZiF in Bielefeld, I will be presenting a paper on the use of the concept of zeitgeist in early nineteenth century political discourse, titled:

The Politics of Time: Zeitgeist in Early Nineteenth-Century Political Discourse.

The workshop, titled “Zeitgeist: an Inquiry into the Media of Time-Specific Cultural Patterns”, takes place from 19 to 21 September, 2013. For the programm, click here. For the workshop’s concept, click here.

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This winter semester, I will be teaching one bachelors seminar and an exercise course. As usual, I have assembled a ‘pearltree’ for each of these courses with links to websites on their specific themes.

Bürgertum and Bourgeoisie: A Comparison between the German Empire and the French Third Republic
(Pearltree – websites on this topic)


Linguistic Violence and the Theater of Politics: a History of Political Rhetoric (1848-1945)
(Pearltree – websites on this topic)

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My courses for the summer semester 2012 are:

Political Assassinations in the long 19th Century (from Jean Paul Marat to Franz Ferdinand)
Even today, political assassinations are by no means rare. Time and again, individuals or groups decide to use targeted violence as a means to attack or even end a political order that is – in their eyes – unjust. Most often, the key factor in their choice of target is not just his or her political function, but especially their symbolic significance as the representative of a certain political system. The reaction to such events has always been highly controversial, such that at times, the assassins themselves (Charlotte Corday, Carl Ludwig Sand, John Wilkes Booth, Gavrilo Princip) subsequently became as famous as their victims. Taking our starting point from a number of European and American case studies, this course traces the history of the phenomenon of political assassinations in the ‘long’ 19th century. Beyond the individual histories of single (successful or unsuccessful) attempts, its focus will lie on the attempt to identify long-term developments and trends. In addition to the assassin’s methods, motives and goals, we will discuss the multifarious dimensions of impact and reaction in politics, the justice system, the media and the culture as a whole.

The Bielefeld School of Social History: History and Significance of a Historiographical Program
It is without doubt that the so-called ‘Bielefeld School’ of social history marks one of the decisive turning point in the history of (Western) German historiography in the 20th Century. In the 70s, a group of historians around Hans-Ulrich Wehler and Jürgen Kocka, voiced an opposition to the Historicism then dominant in the historical field. Instead of the traditional history of political events, their focus was on the theory based interpretation of long-term structural developments, a full fledge ‘history of society’. Even if this program of historiographical innovation was controversial from the start, it has unmistakably had a profound influence on historiographical writing in Germany and beyond. For all that, however, from the 80s onwards, the paradigm of social history, came under criticism – especially from the perspective of new varieties of so-called ‘cultural history’. Since then, new models of historiography – from discourse analysis to the history of everyday life, from gender history to the plurality of ‘turns’ – seem to have displaced social history as the discipline’s dominant paradigm. And yet, in recent years, many have argued for the integration of cultural and social history. Against this background, this course aims on the basis of several programmatic texts to trace the history of the Bielefeld School and its critics. In a second step, we will discuss the significance of the Bielefeld program for historiography in the present.

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Next March, I will be attending the 33rd annual conference of the Ninteenth Century Studies Association in Asheville, North Carolina. The title of the paper I will present is ‘Spiritual Power in a Secular Age: The ‘Spirit of the Age’ in Early 19th Century Politics’.

For more information, see here.

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