Kategorie: DHI Washington

‘Collecting’ and Comparing – Skulls, Transatlantic Knowledge Production, and Racial Science

On May 29, 1793, Göttingen anthropologist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach received a Georgian woman’s skull. It would later become the most prominent representation of the so-called Caucasian variety of humankind. His Russian skull supplier, Georg Thomas von Asch, emphasized the “coincidence”1 of finding this specific skull. Only due to her sudden death had the deceased woman … Continue reading ‘Collecting’ and Comparing – Skulls, Transatlantic Knowledge Production, and Racial Science

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Everyday Knowledge, Science, and Psychiatric Committals during Germany’s Age of Extremes

Hans A. was 72 years old and in good shape when he was admitted to the Eglfing-Haar Mental Institution in March 1944.1 This Bavarian asylum was notorious at the time for its high mortality rate, and Hans A. died there within two months without having shown any signs of serious illness prior to his admission. … Continue reading Everyday Knowledge, Science, and Psychiatric Committals during Germany’s Age of Extremes

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Knowledge Notes

Occasional notes on calls, events, publications, and more that caught our attention. Please email us your own items. Calls for Papers: The History of Intellectual Culture (HIC) International Yearbook of Knowledge and Society seeks contributors and/or guest editors for its 2025 volume. Research articles should be around 8,000 words; theoretical contributions, review essays, etc., can … Continue reading Knowledge Notes

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For the Love of Bread and Barches – The Very German-Jewish Challah Knife

That Germans love bread seems to be one stereotype that is largely accurate. Given Germany’s rich baking culture, it is perhaps not surprising that it also has a long tradition of producing challot, braided loaves eaten during Shabbat. There were many expressions for challah, including Datscher, Challe, and Striezel.1 The most common terms, Barches and … Continue reading For the Love of Bread and Barches – The Very German-Jewish Challah Knife

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Call for Proposals to Online Source Portal ‘History of the German-Jewish Diaspora’

For a German version of this call, please visit Geschichte der deutsch-jüdischen Diaspora . Deadline: January 31, 2024. The Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies is seeking authors for a digital platform. It is dedicated to the lifeworlds of German-speaking Jewish women and men who emigrated or fled from their countries of origin beginning in … Continue reading Call for Proposals to Online Source Portal ‘History of the German-Jewish Diaspora’

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Women’s and Gender History in the Digital Age: The “Helene-Lange-Archiv” and its Potential for Historical Research and Education

Editorial note: Hannah Voß has finished her undergraduate degree in History and English and American Studies at the University of Münster and is currently in the last semester of completing her master’s degree in history. Her bachelor’s thesis focused on the role of “New German Dance” in the period of National Socialism in Germany. Her current research interests include the history of National Socialism and the Holocaust as well as the history of social movements, Gender, and Queer History. In her master’s thesis, Hannah … Continue reading Women’s and Gender History in the Digital Age: The “Helene-Lange-Archiv” and its Potential for Historical Research and Education

Styles of Reasoning and the History of Knowledge

We have many different cognitive abilities, and human history runs on many paths. Not surprisingly, there are many ways to conduct scientific research. … These are distinct styles of reasoning, each of which has been developed in its own way, in its own time frame, and each of which contributes to the larger fabric of … Continue reading Styles of Reasoning and the History of Knowledge

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Reflections on the Process of Network Analysis Dataset Creation Using Line Content Classification with Python

By Simon Krahé Editorial note: Simon Krahé is finishing his undergraduate studies in English and American Studies, History and Computer Science at the University of Wuppertal. He will use network analysis methods in his bachelor’s thesis. His research interests include digital humanities and digital history practices, especially the use of Natural Language Processing (NLP) methods on large corpora of cultural heritage data. Network analysis can be a valuable tool for digital history research: it can lead to new insights into social structures of historical … Continue reading Reflections on the Process of Network Analysis Dataset Creation Using Line Content Classification with Python

Rumors in Transition: Uncertain Information in the Premodern Culture of News

“Flying Tales” of War Sometime in early 1523, the merchant Matthias Mulich (†1528) received a letter from his servant Matthias Scharpenberch. Mulich usually lived and worked in the Hanseatic city of Lübeck but was staying in Nuremberg at the time for family reasons. There, he regularly received letters that informed him about the situation in … Continue reading Rumors in Transition: Uncertain Information in the Premodern Culture of News

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Provenance Research as History of Knowledge: Archaeological Finds from the Syrian-Turkish Border at the British Museum

The British Museum is one of the most popular museums in the world. The free permanent exhibition provides information about two million years of human history from a cross-cultural perspective. Since its founding in 1753, the museum has had a clearly universal ambition: It has aimed to explore and exhibit the history of the world … Continue reading Provenance Research as History of Knowledge: Archaeological Finds from the Syrian-Turkish Border at the British Museum

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Unicorns: Knowledge of the Environment and the Hispanic Mediterratlantic

Unicorns, although they are non-existent, are ubiquitous today as symbols. For example, they remain the national animal of Scotland, first added to the Scottish coat of arms in the 1500s to represent the untamable, proud nature of Scotland. Unicorns also intrigued ancient, medieval, and early modern authors who wrote about these imaginary animals and how … Continue reading Unicorns: Knowledge of the Environment and the Hispanic Mediterratlantic

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Exploring Histories of Risk and Knowledge

Introduction When Ulrich Beck published Risk Society in 1986, the sociologist could have hardly known how influential his work would become for scholars studying risk. The idea that industrial modernity undermined itself through the very means of technological advancement proved exceptionally relevant. At the time of publication, chemical industries and nuclear energy presented paramount environmental … Continue reading Exploring Histories of Risk and Knowledge

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Why Should You Trust Geometry? The Mathematics of Mining in Early Modern Germany

My book Underground Mathematics tells the story of a discipline that has been forgotten today, subterranean geometry. Known as “the art of setting limits” (Markscheidekunst) in German and geometria subterranea in Latin, it developed in the silver mines of early modern Europe. From the Ore Mountains of Saxony to the Harz, in many mining cities … Continue reading Why Should You Trust Geometry? The Mathematics of Mining in Early Modern Germany

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