Kategorie: DHI London

“Vom Ereignis zur Dekade” — am 10.11. in Potsdam

 Auf der Konferenz “Die Zeiten des Ereignisses. Neuvermessung einer historischen Kategorie” am Zentrum für Zeitgeschichte in Potsdam halte ich am 10.11. einen Vortrag über “Vom Ereignis zur Dekade: Zeitrechnung in der Zeitgeschichte”. „Decaditis“ taufte der Journalist Ferdinand Mount in der Besprechung eines Buches über „die fünfziger Jahre“, die verbreitete Neigung, das 20. Jahrhundert in Jahrzehnten zu messen. Wann begann man eigentlich zu glauben, so der merklich gereizte Rezensent, die Vergangenheit in Zehnjahresabschnitte zu unterteilen sei eine nützliche Sache? Tatsächlich sind Kürzel wie „die zwanziger … Continue reading “Vom Ereignis zur Dekade” — am 10.11. in Potsdam

Sammelrezension: Geschichtstourismus

Wo auch immer Sie diesen Sommer in Urlaub waren, vermutlich haben auch Sie Kirchen und Museen besichtigt, sind auf Türme und Burgen gestiegen, haben an Stadtführungen teilgenommen, sind durch Freilichtmuseen spaziert und haben vielleicht sogar ein Reenactment besucht. Wenn Sie mindestens einer dieser Tätigkeiten nachgegangen sind, dann waren Sie in „Retroland“. So nennt der Luzerner Mediävist Valentin Groebner in seinem neuen Buch den Geschichtstourismus, und dieser dürfte – abgesehen vielleicht von reinen Natur- oder Strandaufenthalten – Teil so ziemlich jeder Urlaubsreise sein. In dasselbe … Continue reading Sammelrezension: Geschichtstourismus

Research USA

In September I took part in a seminar on popular culture at the annual conference of the German Studies Association in Pittsburgh. The seminar felt a bit like being back at university—only that everyone had read the text and engaged in the discussions. The gap between literature scholars and historians in evidence at other events at the GSA, was not a problem for us because we all felt like outsiders in our respective disciplines and faced similar problems not least the difficulties in finding … Continue reading Research USA

History Comes Alive reviewed

When, back in the 1970s, intellectuals observed a “wave of nostalgia”, they were thinking first of retro trends in popular culture and then of what they saw as a generally increasing interest in the past: the growing number of museums and museum visitors, the popularity of books, films and television programmes set in the past, the conservation movement, historical re-enactments and family history. Most intellectuals did not take seriously these phenomena and practices because they didn’t understand them as serious forms of history. To … Continue reading History Comes Alive reviewed

Labour’s Nostalgia — Review

Richard Jobson’s book Nostalgia and the Post-War Labour Party: Prisoners of the Past looks at the ways nostalgia has been used in conflicts within the Labour Party from the 1950s almost to the immediate presen. I reviewed the book for the History Workshop Journal. Nostalgia has become a pervasive term in politics. Both Brexit and Trump with their demands to ‘Take Back Control’ and ‘Make America Great Again’ have been described as nostalgic projects, driven by outmoded and anachronistic values and ideas. For obvious reasons, right-wing and … Continue reading Labour’s Nostalgia — Review

Sir Roy Strong, country houses and heritage

Yesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing Sir Roy Strong for my book. Sir Roy was director of the National Portrait Gallery from 1967 to 1973 and of the Victoria and Albert Museum from 1974 to 1987. Striding into the café of the National Gallery in a richly patterned, powder-blue suit and a beard reminiscent of a sixteenth-century Spanish grandee, Sir Roy looked less like a former museum director than a hipster. Now 82 years old, the man who as a research student blew … Continue reading Sir Roy Strong, country houses and heritage

CfA: ICAS:MP advertises multiple Senior and Postdoctoral Short-Term Fellowships starting in autumn 2018/2019, and autumn 2019/2020

Closing date: For 2018 Fellowships 15 July 2018; For 2019 Fellowships 15 September 2018. The M.S. Merian – R. Tagore International Centre for Advanced Studies “Metamorphoses of the Political: Comparative Perspectives on the Long…

Nostalgia in Contemporary Culture, University of Southern Denmark, 4-5 June

Last week I attended  a conference on “Nostalgia in Contemporary Culture” at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense organized by Rune Graulund, Niklas Salmose and Eric Sandberg. They are members of the project Nostalgia in Contemporary European Culture hosted by the University of Oulu, Finland. With participants from all over Europe as well as the United States, Turkey, China and Japan and with colleagues from literature, film and media departments, the conference was both extraordinary international and interdisciplinary. The topics of the papers were … Continue reading Nostalgia in Contemporary Culture, University of Southern Denmark, 4-5 June

New publication: Forum on nostalgia in History and Theory

The June edition of History and Theory includes a forum on nostalgia with papers by Achim Landwehr, Patricia Lorcin and myself. TOBIAS BECKER, The Meanings of Nostalgia: Genealogy and Critique (232-248) Nostalgia has become a new master narrative both in public discourse and academic research, serving as an explanation for trends in fields as different as popular culture, fashion, technology, and politics. This essay criticizes the wide-ranging use of the term. It argues that nostalgia often does not adequately describe the diverse uses of the past … Continue reading New publication: Forum on nostalgia in History and Theory

Chinese-European Academic Lecture No. 189

Heritage, law and religion: a colonial history of historic preservation in India (Indra Sengupta) Abstract: The term ‘heritage’ in the way in which we in modern times understand material and immaterial remains form the past has been largely defined by the UNESCO’s discourse on world heritage and its vast project of recognising world heritage sites (Glendinning 2013, Jokilehto 2009). It was in use in most countries of Western Europe by the middle of the nineteenth century. But protection of old, historic buildings and structures, […]