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070067 GR Guided Reading - The historians and the public sphere (2018W)

The political uses of the past

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 7 - Geschichte
Continuous assessment of course work

Registration/Deregistration

Details

max. 25 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Thursday 04.10. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum Geschichte 2 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 9
Thursday 11.10. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum Geschichte 2 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 9
Thursday 18.10. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum Geschichte 2 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 9
Thursday 25.10. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum Geschichte 2 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 9
Thursday 08.11. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum Geschichte 2 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 9
Thursday 15.11. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum Geschichte 2 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 9
Thursday 22.11. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum Geschichte 2 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 9
Thursday 29.11. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum Geschichte 2 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 9
Thursday 06.12. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum Geschichte 2 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 9
Thursday 13.12. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum Geschichte 2 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 9
Thursday 10.01. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum Geschichte 2 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 9
Thursday 17.01. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum Geschichte 2 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 9
Thursday 24.01. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum Geschichte 2 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 9
Thursday 31.01. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum Geschichte 2 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 9

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

The historians and the public sphere. The political uses of the past.

This course is centered on the relation between the historians and power, on the role of historians in the public sphere (Habermas). Covering texts from the period of the Enlightenment (for instance classical Kant’s Was ist Aufklärung?) till the present days, the guiding thread of the seminar is to track the different positions of the historians in relation to the field of power: from the historians “serving” the national state to the contemporary global, think tank or free-lance historians operating in the situation of questioned national states borders and confliting private interests.
How the historian does he take part in the building of the national lieux de mémoire (Pierre Nora), how is he involved in the rewritings of the national history influenced by the events in the political public sphere? What are the problems that the institution and the profession of the historian faces in contemporary “regime of historicity” (Hartog), in the time when appeared the postmodern “applied history”? To what debates historians have taken part in key moments of the European history?
For this purpose, I consider that some of the texts anthology “Political uses of the past” (Jacques Revel, Giovannni Levi) could be of great help.
The possible topics also include: Benedict Anderson’s analysis of the imagined communities; the position of the committed historian during the Dreyfus affair; the Bulgarian memory battles concerning the “salvation of Bulgarian Jews”; a comparison between the contradictory histories that could be find in different national school text books (the case of Romania and Bulgaria).
The tensions between the historical narratives of the center and the periphery will be discussed through Maria Todorova’s „Imagining the Balkans”, a book inspired by Edward Said’s the classical research on orientalism (Eduard Said).
To continue the examination of the previous question, the attention can be turned towards the so called Subaltern studies: a postcolonial periphery perspective, writing history “from the below” and focusing on the non-elites as agent for political change.
In the frame of the proposed topic, the recent debate about the need of memory laws can also be introduced. On this point, the examples go from the laws on the Holocaust to the post 1989 laws convicting communism.

Week 0 Presentation of the seminar. Presentations of the participants.

Week 1 The Children of the decree, film (Decrețeii)

Week 2 – The Enlightenment, the revolution, the history. What is Enlightenment? Birth of the modern history.

Compulsory readings:
Immanuel Kant, “What is Enlightenment?”
Michel Foucault, “What is Enlightenment?” - 1984

Week 3 The historians, the nation, the nationalism.

Benedict Anderson – Imagined communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. (Introduction and Chapter 1).

Suggested readings
Eric Hobsbawm. Introduction: Inventing Traditions. In: Eric Hobwbaum & Terence Ranger (eds), The Invention of Tradition (1992), 1-14

Week 4. The realms of national memory. Memory and counter-memory.

Compulsory readings
Nora, Pierre, "Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Memoire," Representations 26 (Spring, 1989), 7-25

Suggested readings
Peter Carrier, "Places, Politics, and the Archiving of Contemporary Memory in Pierre Nora’s Les Lieux de memoire," in Susannah Radstone (ed.), Memory and Methodology (Oxford 2000), 37–57

Week 5 Imagining the Balkans. The Balkans between cliché and European future.

Compulsory readings

Maria Todorova. Conversion to Islam as a trope in Bulgarian historiography, fiction and film
http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2003-11-04-todorova-en.html

Suggested readings
Maria Todorova, The Balkans between cliché and European future.
http://www.iwm.at/iwmauthor/maria-todorova/
Vintila Mihailescu, Balkanization of the mind or the new political mysticism
http://www.ejst.tuiasi.ro/Files/31/Mihailes

Assessment and permitted materials

No examination.
Grade based on: personal oral presentation (20 min.) : 50%, participation in class: 40%, attendance: 10%

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Examination topics

Reading list

Week 0 Presentation of the seminar. Presentations of the participants.

Week 1 The Children of the decree, film (Decrețeii)

Week 2 – The Enlightenment, the revolution, the history. What is Enlightenment? Birth of the modern history.

Compulsory readings:
Immanuel Kant, “What is Enlightenment?”
Michel Foucault, “What is Enlightenment?” - 1984

Week 3 The historians, the nation, the nationalism.

Benedict Anderson – Imagined communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. (Introduction and Chapter 1).

Suggested readings
Eric Hobsbawm. Introduction: Inventing Traditions. In: Eric Hobwbaum & Terence Ranger (eds), The Invention of Tradition (1992), 1-14

Week 4. The realms of national memory. Memory and counter-memory.

Compulsory readings
Nora, Pierre, "Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Memoire," Representations 26 (Spring, 1989), 7-25

Suggested readings
Peter Carrier, "Places, Politics, and the Archiving of Contemporary Memory in Pierre Nora’s Les Lieux de memoire," in Susannah Radstone (ed.), Memory and Methodology (Oxford 2000), 37–57

Week 5 Imagining the Balkans. The Balkans between cliché and European future.

Compulsory readings

Maria Todorova. Conversion to Islam as a trope in Bulgarian historiography, fiction and film
http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2003-11-04-todorova-en.html

Suggested readings
Maria Todorova, The Balkans between cliché and European future.
http://www.iwm.at/iwmauthor/maria-todorova/
Vintila Mihailescu, Balkanization of the mind or the new political mysticism
http://www.ejst.tuiasi.ro/Files/31/Mihailescu%20%2813%29.pdf

Week 6 History and teaching History. School and Nation.

Compulsory readings
Marc Fero 2003 The Use and Abuse of History: or How The Past is Taught to Children, London, Routledge
"Teaching History and the Future of the Nation – The Case of Quebec." In School and Nation: Identity Politics and Educational Media in An Age of Diversity, edited by Peter Carrier, 38-48. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013.

Week 7 Subaltern studies.

Compulsory readings
Dipesh Chakrabarty, “Postcoloniality and the Artifice of History. Who speaks for ‘indian’ Past”, In Representaion N 37, page 1-26
Or:
Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial thought and historical difference

Week 8 After the historians’ quarrel

Compulsory readings
François Furet, Ernst Nolte, Fascism and communism, University of Nebraska, 2001.

Week 9 The past through the archives . Post-socialist documentaries as a historical source

Oral presentation and discussion in class of the following source:
“The Great Communist Bank Robbery” [Marele jaf comunist] fim directed by Alexandru Solomon, Romania, 2004.
Compulsory readings:
Alexandru Solomon, “The Experiences of a Filmmaker. Reconstructing Reality form Documents in Communist Archives,” in: Oksana Sarkisova and Peter Apor (eds.), Past for the Eyes…, op. cit., p.103-116.

Week 10 Building the past.

Source to be screened in class:
“Skopje 2014”, a video simulation of the changing urban design of Skopje, Macedonia, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iybmt-iLysU

Week 11 The political uses of corruption
Ivan Krastev, When should does not imply can. The Making of the Washington Consensus on Corruption

Week 12 What is neoliberalism?
David Harvey, A brief history of neoliberalism, Oxford university press, 2005, p. 1-39

Association in the course directory

BA: Zeitgeschichte (4 ECTS)
BEd: Osteuropäische Geschichte, Österreichische Geschichte II; Frauen- und Geschlechtergeschichte; Historische Kulturwissenschaftliche Europaforschung
Diplom UF:Frauen- und Geschlechtergeschichte; Historische Kulturwissenschaftliche Europaforschung, Osteuropäische Geschichte (4 ECTS);
MA Osteuropastudien: M 2.1a oder M 2.1b.
MA HPS: M1.2, M1.3

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:30