Kategorie: 20. Jahrhundert

Consumer Engineering and the Rise of Marketing Knowledge, 1920s–1970s

Marketing knowledge—information and analysis concerning markets, consumers, and their behavior—became a crucial asset for businesses and governments during the twentieth century. In 1971, the German-American market researcher Alfred Politz drafted a memoir of his time in marketing research titled “How to Produce Consumers—Methods and Illusions.” Over the course of his career, from the 1930s to … Continue reading Consumer Engineering and the Rise of Marketing Knowledge, 1920s–1970s

Some Remarks on the 1923 “Controversy Over Science and Metaphysics”

by Joseph Ciaudo (University of Heidelberg) Controversies are often seen as important events that contribute to the march of intellectual history. Some can even be considered historical landmarks. The controversy over science and metaphysics that took place in China in 1923 is no exception. It had a lasting impact on the Chinese intellectual scene of the twentieth century. But what happens if, instead of thinking of ideas confronting each other in a mental realm, we regard this debate as one of concrete people speaking […]

The Politics of Measurement: Knowledge about Economic Inequality in the United Kingdom and Beyond since 1945

If you had a conversation about the growing gap between rich and poor almost anywhere in today’s world, you would very likely refer to “the top one percent,” a phrase that evokes the skyrocketing wealth of the superrich. A similar conversation in West Germany in the 1970s or 1980s would have revolved around the latest … Continue reading The Politics of Measurement: Knowledge about Economic Inequality in the United Kingdom and Beyond since 1945

Knowledge about Democratic Silence: Political Science and the Rise of Electoral Abstention in Postwar Switzerland (1945–1989)

In recent decades, a diagnosis of democratic crisis or even of a post-democratic condition has emerged in public debate in many Western states. The rise of electoral abstention, particularly since the 1970s and 1980s, often serves as statistical evidence for this assessment.1 Yet what exactly can abstention tell us about the state of democracy? My … Continue reading Knowledge about Democratic Silence: Political Science and the Rise of Electoral Abstention in Postwar Switzerland (1945–1989)

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

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

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

A Little Advice: Syrian American Advice Booklets as Knowledge Production


STACY D. FAHRENTHOLD discusses the significance of a 1909 Syrian American advice book for Ottoman subjects planning to emigrate to the United States. The Arabic-language text included knowledge about the would-be immigrants’ specific rights in America and the important self-fashioning necessary for dealing with U.S. authorities. (1,578 words)

Daniel Siemens (Newcastle): Blueprints for a dying democracy? The political history of Interwar Europe in light of contemporary debates

Nous publions sur ce blog les abstracts des interventions à la journée d’étude Critiques de la démocratie, autoritarismes, populismes en Europe: quelles continuités et ruptures entre l’entre-deux-guerres et aujourd’hui?, dans une autre langue que cell…

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today is a perfect occasion to feature the Digitales Deutsches Frauenarchiv, the digital German women’s archives, as well as Atria, the institute on gender equality and women’s history. The DDF, launched last year, is a new portal dedicated to making selected historical sources documenting the history of women’s movements in (mostly) German speaking countries available online to a broad public audience. The portal features thematic essays that provide context for selected documents, as well as biographical essays on key actors, for example on Louise … Continue reading Happy International Women’s Day!

Valentin Behr (Warszawa): De la Seconde à la Troisième République : mythification de l’entre-deux guerres et conceptions politiques dans la Pologne contemporaine

Nous publions sur ce blog les abstracts des interventions à la journée d’étude Critiques de la démocratie, autoritarismes, populismes en Europe: quelles continuités et ruptures entre l’entre-deux-guerres et aujourd’hui?, dans une autre langue que cell…

Reiner Marcowitz (Metz/Nancy): Weimar : Welche Bedeutung hat der negative Gründungsmythos der Bundesrepublik Deutschland heute noch?

Nous publions sur ce blog les abstracts des interventions à la journée d’étude Critiques de la démocratie, autoritarismes, populismes en Europe: quelles continuités et ruptures entre l’entre-deux-guerres et aujourd’hui?, dans une autre langue que cell…

Valérie Dubslaff (Rennes): Die „nationale Krise“ in den 1960er Jahren – extremistische Kontinuitäten und zeitgenössische Resonanz

Nous publions sur ce blog les abstracts des interventions à la journée d’étude Critiques de la démocratie, autoritarismes, populismes en Europe: quelles continuités et ruptures entre l’entre-deux-guerres et aujourd’hui?, dans une autre langue que cell…