Kategorie: DHI Washington

Knowing Otherwise: The Transatlantic Travels of Creative Thinking Expertise in the 1950s

Brainstorming as a way to organize ideation was first practiced in the United States in 1938 in the advertising firm Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn (BBDO). One partner, Alex Osborn, later described it as “using the brain to storm a problem,” adding that it should be done “in commando fashion.”1 As a method for thinking … Continue reading Knowing Otherwise: The Transatlantic Travels of Creative Thinking Expertise in the 1950s

Mind the Gap: Cultural Cleavage and the Idea of the ‘Common People’

A specter is haunting the current political discourse, the specter of cultural cleavage. More and more observers see the emergence of a socio-cultural gap between a hegemonic, globalist, educated class and an underrepresented, locally anchored underclass. The titles of two studies speak volumes: Cleavage Politics and the Populist Right (2010) by sociologist Simon Bornschier, and … Continue reading Mind the Gap: Cultural Cleavage and the Idea of the ‘Common People’

Projecting ‘World Government’: The Creation of the League of Nations as a Case Study in International Policy-Making

The postwar was, as it often is, a projecting age. Following World War One, political, military, thought, and other leaders resolved to prevent such a catastrophe from ever occurring again. Projects proposed at the Paris peace talks were many and varied in origin, scale, ideology, and so on. More significant, though, was an overarching commonality … Continue reading Projecting ‘World Government’: The Creation of the League of Nations as a Case Study in International Policy-Making

State Knowledge in Central Europe after 1848

What do governments know? When and why have they generated knowledge about themselves, sovereign territories, the functioning of bureaucracies, legal systems, and the effectiveness of legislation? In other words, how have officials made that capacious concept we call the state legible? State knowledge took on heightened importance in Central Europe in the nineteenth century with … Continue reading State Knowledge in Central Europe after 1848

Queer Ancestry as a Problem of Knowledge in Early 20th-Century Germany

Frederick the Great (1712–1786) was not a homosexual. Or so claimed the German physician and amateur medical historian Gaston Vorberg in 1921. Scurrilous rumors about the sexual desires of the legendary Prussian monarch had circulated ever since the eighteenth century. Vorberg sought to debunk them using the tools of critical scholarship and source analysis. In … Continue reading Queer Ancestry as a Problem of Knowledge in Early 20th-Century Germany

Identifying “Indians”: Racial Taxonomy as a Settler Colonial Politics of Knowledge

Canada’s definition and documentation of “Indians” is a project of bureaucratic knowledge production in service of the continued assertion of settler colonial political visions.1 The Indian Act was introduced in 1876 to assert the terms of the political relationship between the Dominion of Canada and certain peoples the Act defines as “Indians.” The Act has … Continue reading Identifying “Indians”: Racial Taxonomy as a Settler Colonial Politics of Knowledge

Affordable Civilization: Education Reform, Textbook Piracy, and the Question of ‘New Knowledge’ in Modern China

Beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century, as the intensified Western aggressions expedited the Qing Empire’s decline, Chinese sociocultural elites started to question the value and relevance of their traditional knowledge system. Believing knowledge to be the secret behind the rise of the Western powers, these elites avidly consumed so-called New Learning (xinxue), … Continue reading Affordable Civilization: Education Reform, Textbook Piracy, and the Question of ‘New Knowledge’ in Modern China

Hygiene Propaganda and Theatrical Biopolitics in the Soviet Union in the 1920s–40s

The Bolshevik Revolution strove to create a “new man,” a morally and psychologically superior human being. This new man required a complete physical and mental renewal, including, among other measures, the hygienic literacy of the masses. A wide range of media were employed for the Revolution’s ends, including not only various forms of print but … Continue reading Hygiene Propaganda and Theatrical Biopolitics in the Soviet Union in the 1920s–40s

Russian Information Politics and the French Revolution

Russia’s support for right-wing politicians around the world has been in the news a lot in recent years. From Ukraine to France and the United States, Vladimir Putin has aligned Russia with political groups that oppose immigration, LGBT rights, and secularism. But this isn’t the first time a Russian leader has been the figurehead of … Continue reading Russian Information Politics and the French Revolution

Education for a Free Society? Ancient Knowledge, Universities, and the Neoliberal Disorder

Often remembered as a critique of Keynesian economics, Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (1944) contained two other important assertions about the future of liberalism. Buried in the thirteenth chapter—”The Totalitarians in Our Midst”—of Hayek’s bestseller was a discussion of the fundamental relationship between knowledge and liberalism. Hayek posited there that the humanities represented the … Continue reading Education for a Free Society? Ancient Knowledge, Universities, and the Neoliberal Disorder

An Alternative History of ‘Alternative Facts’: Postmodernism and the Center-Right Knowledge Ecology

Long a matter of academic attention, the very criteria of what makes a fact now circulates as a matter of politics. Indexing the increasingly widespread concern about what makes a fact, the Oxford dictionary selected “post-truth” as the 2016 word of the year. This philosophical issue crystallized in wider public discourse just after the inauguration … Continue reading An Alternative History of ‘Alternative Facts’: Postmodernism and the Center-Right Knowledge Ecology

Is Neoliberalism Biting Its Own Tail? From the Economics of Ignorance to Post-Truth Politics

In our infinite ignorance, we are all equal. —Karl Popper   In a recent column in Dissent, the historian Daniel T. Rodgers takes issue with how the word “neoliberalism” has become “a linguistic omnivore” in present-day scholarship. Deeming its success “a measure of its substantive hollowness,” he untangles its various meanings (“market fundamentalism,” “commodification of … Continue reading Is Neoliberalism Biting Its Own Tail? From the Economics of Ignorance to Post-Truth Politics

Exploring Knowledge in Political History

A century ago, World War I brought devastation and violence to Europe and other regions of the world, in many cases upending previously dominant political, social, and cultural orders. For women in large parts of the Western world, the end of the war saw a historical achievement, the right to vote.1 Suffragist activists had fought … Continue reading Exploring Knowledge in Political History

The Bauhaus Bookshelf: A Gateway to Original Bauhaus Sources and Publications

The bauhaus bookshelf is a bilingual (German-English) online resource created by Andrea Riegel, a partner at the Düsseldorf-based communication design agency Riegel+Reichenthaler. Riegel also created  Design is fine. History is mine, a popular blog on design and art history. The bauhaus bookshelf, a labor of love launched in 2019, combines access to reproductions of original Bauhaus publications with a timeline, excerpts, photographs, and other contextual information. The download is for personal, non-commercial use only. While many events and publications in 2019 celebrate the Bauhaus … Continue reading The Bauhaus Bookshelf: A Gateway to Original Bauhaus Sources and Publications

Bauhaus Wissen für alle: das virtuelle Bauhaus Bücherregal

Das bauhaus bookshelf ist ein zweisprachiges virtuelles Bücherregal, das von Andrea Riegel konzipiert und umgesetzt wurde. Andrea Riegel, Partnerin beim Düsseldorfer Gestaltungsbüro Riegel und Reichenthaler, hat schon Design is Fine, History is Mine, entwickelt, eine beliebte Plattform zur Design-und Kunstgeschichte. Andrea Riegel hat das bauhaus bookshelf in ihrer Freizeit entwickelt und 2019 Online gestellt. Das sehr schön gestaltete virtuelle Bücheregal verbindet den Zugang zu digitalisierten Originalquellen mit einer Zeitleiste, Auszügen, Fotos und anderen Informationen über den historischen Kontext des Materials. Die meisten der Reproduktionen … Continue reading Bauhaus Wissen für alle: das virtuelle Bauhaus Bücherregal