Category: #English


Hard to Be a God: Historians in the Face of Evil

Aurimas Švedas – Historians very often play secondary characters in novels – strange loners whose knowledge occasionally helps solve complicated cases involving robberies or murders. Only rarely do they appear as heroes. When they do, they explore fundamental issues related to our understanding of history, the interpretation and communication of historical knowledge, and the historian’s responsibility for their activities. They can also show us how contemporary society grapples with the past, history, and memory.



Helge Jordheim – Can there be something like a concept of the totality of being, including what lies outside and surrounds it? This is the self-contradictory, paradoxical question raised by the concepts Welt and Umwelt. They are not alone in this. “History,” Geschichte, offers a similar paradox, as do, in certain respects, “modernity” or “the modern,” even more so if we include liminal concepts like “the end of history” and “the postmodern.”


On the Precipice of the Digital Cliff: Christian Wachter‘s Geschichte digital schreiben: Hypertext als non-lineare Wissensrepräsentation in der Digital History

Ethan Kleinberg – I should start by making clear that I am no expert on Digital History, hyper-text, or media theory. I have, however, been thinking about the Digital for some time now so this is not totally unfamiliar territory.

Technology, Accelerated History, and the Plurality of Historical Times

Isabella Consolati – In his works, Reinhart Koselleck does not dwell on the history of the concept of technology (the lemma Technologie does not even appear in Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe). However, technology as a concept constitutes the empirical basis of the modern conception of time and plays a major role in the genesis of contemporaneity.
Contributo in italiano Post in English



Sébastien Tremblay – Koselleck once said that monuments are intrinsically linked to the impermanence of historical events. They are a conversation between the past and the future taking place in the present. Yet, static, they also become agents of oblivion. What if the best path to remembrance could be found in the impulse to destroy them? Using Koselleck’s approaches to politischeSinnlichkeit and underlining the plurality of history, I argue that vandalism is not per se an act of censure or the manifestation of a “cancel culture,” but is rather an act of commemoration.



Jonathon Catlin – Reinhart Koselleck once reflected, “I built up my entire studies through the experience of the war.” Indeed, in both his social and intellectual formation he is a child of what his onetime denazification instructor Eric Hobsbawm called the “age of catastrophes.” This post reflects on Koselleck’s use of the concept of “catastrophe” and argues for his place in a tradition of German critical-catastrophist and anti-catastrophist thought, alongside Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, Günther Anders, Hannah Arendt, and W. G. Sebald.


Translating Koselleck. Challenges

Victor Neumann – Translation from German into Romanian requires terminological equivalences for two national communities with different linguistic origins, heritages, and cultural landmarks, and which live in different temporalities. Since the meaning of modernity is different, translating a fundamental concept into Romanian requires contextualization and an understanding of its meaning in both languages. Translating Koselleck requires motivating the reader, inviting them to become a co-discoverer of the other’s past and present and their own, as well as to encounter the personal experience and memory of the historian.
Post in Romanian Post in English


Three Memorable Excursions with Reinhart Koselleck

Jeffrey Andrew Barash – In 1982 I took the initiative to write to Reinhart Koselleck, although I had never met him, to ask if he would be willing to serve as the sponsor of my application for an Alexander von Humboldt-Fellowship. I had just defended my doctoral dissertation at the University of Chicago, entitled Martin Heidegger and the Problem of Historical Meaning, and I returned to Paris to apply for grants that would permit me to rewrite my thesis for publication as a book. Upon receiving my letter, Koselleck kindly invited me to give a talk in Bielefeld on a topic of my choice.

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