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The Journal of the History of Ideas Blog


Theory of History

Chronology’s Forgotten Medieval Pioneers

by guest contributor Philipp Nothaft According to a metaphor once popular among early modern scholars, chronology is one of the “two eyes of history” (the other being geography), which is an apt shorthand for expressing its tremendous utility in imposing… Continue Reading →

Historicizing Failure

by guest contributor Disha Jani Making meaning out of the past requires sifting: turning flotsam and jetsam into units of time and entities of subjecthood. One of the most basic ways in which historians sift is with beginnings and ends… Continue Reading →

The Methodology of Genealogy: How to Trace the History of an Idea

by guest contributor Yung In Chae We all know the story of Man the Hunter: thousands of years ago, cavemen went out and hunted food for cavewomen and cavechildren, who sat idly at home and depended on this masculine feat… Continue Reading →

Towards a Global Intellectual History?

by guest contributor Sarah Dunstan Speaking of the emerging calls for transnational and global intellectual history in a 2011 article, David Armitage wrote that ‘[w]hat is certain is that the possibilities for such a global history – or even for… Continue Reading →

The Archival Agenda: Thinking Through Scientific Archives at the Royal Society

by guest contributor Brooke Palmieri Imagine that an archivist’s child is raised from birth as a professional archivist to see how they documented their life. Imagine that toddler making a finger painting, taking a digital image, filing away the physical… Continue Reading →

Practical Past, Runaway Future

by guest contributor Zoltán Boldizsár Simon In his latest book and recent articles, Hayden White puts the almost-forgotten notion of the “practical past” back on the scholarly agenda, and right at the center of debates within the field of philosophy… Continue Reading →

History contra global

by John Raimo It is a truth universally acknowledged, that everyone feels strongly about global history. It may even prove more contentious so far as intellectual history goes. Yet what goes comparatively little discussed would be how today’s global history… Continue Reading →

Marcel Schwob and Moody History

by guest contributor Dylan Kenny Everyone in Paris knew Marcel Schwob (1867-1905). Journalist, critic, slang philologist, decadent symbolist fabulist, whose French Hamlet Sarah Bernhardt acted in 1899, whose 1904 lectures on François Villon were attended by Max Jacob and his… Continue Reading →

Mobility in Context and the Global Intellectual

by Maryam Patton If ideas are the most migratory things in the world, as Arthur O. Lovejoy suggested in 1940, then why have intellectual historians proven less eager to adopt the precepts of global history in comparison to their colleagues… Continue Reading →

The Sounds of History

by John Raimo So far as writing history goes, the British historian G.M. Young wrote, “The secret is to treat every document as the record of a conversation, and go on reading till you hear the people speaking.” This characterization… Continue Reading →

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