Category: #English

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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

Koselleck 100

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

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Bygone!

Koselleck 100

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.

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Catastrophe

Koselleck 100

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.

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Translating Koselleck. Challenges

Koselleck 100

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

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Three Memorable Excursions with Reinhart Koselleck

Koselleck 100

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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Fascism

Koselleck 100

Federico Marcon – An investigation into the semantic value of “fascism” immediately presents the paradox of a term that confronts us, on the one hand, with connotative clarity—everybody instinctively understands that it means something bad—and, on the other, with a bewildering excess of meanings. Its polysemy is an embarrassment for historical semantics, which strives to contain and order its content, as it is for the practitioners of Begriffsgeschichte, who attempt to register its variations from a core meaning that “fascism” does not have.

Crisis-time / Krisenzeit

Koselleck 100

Gennaro Imbriano – “Let us think about the plight of the Russians in Estonia or Latvia. Those countries are home to minorities that carry a great explosive power […]. That is, all the old issues are still there, out of which crises can flare up that could ultimately lead to armed conflicts. That is why I do not consider the hypothesis of a new war between states in Eastern Europe to be so far-fetched.”
Contributo in italiano Post in English

The life span of a light bulb. Thoughts on the preservation and decay of a changing object

Marcus Wystub – Is a new light bulb on its way to replace the broken one seen in the photograph of the sewing room at the Wäschefabrik Museum in Bielefeld? The lamps in the background apparently provided the workstations of the seamstresses with light until the 1980s. A look at the room suggests they were part of and a prerequisite for the process of producing linen and clothing. Today, in contrast, they lit up the room for me as a museum visitor.
Beitrag in Deutsch Post in English

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Stones and Jinns. Time between Layers of Sedimentation and Hauntology

Koselleck 100

Margrit Pernau – Koselleck’s metaphor of the layers of sedimentation (Zeitschichten) was and continues to be one of his most productive ideas. Instead of assuming a neat division between the past and the present, this metaphor allows to explore ways in which the past retains its presence in the present. Like in the process of sedimentation – Koselleck here draws on geological knowledge – older layers of history never disappear, but get overlaid by newer deposits. Koselleck’s metaphor has repeatedly translated into visuals.

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