Intellectual History – University of Copenhagen

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The Copenhagen Intellectual History Seminar

The Copenhagen Intellectual History Seminar is an interdisciplinary forum for historical research within a variety of scientific areas, offering researchers and students with historical interest the opportunity to engage in discussions across disciplinary borders and institutional settings. Such a forum is adequate and fruitful in regard to a number of topics in the history of thought transcending the disciplinary borders in modern educational systems. Moreover, the forum serves as a platform for methodological reflection relevant to intellectual history and its neighbouring historical disciplines.

Intellectual history as a discipline has not yet been institutionalised in Denmark, but it has gained momentum in the English-speaking world since the 1980s, where it comprises several competing schools emphasising different approaches and focusing on different periods and themes. It is probably fair to say, however, that the discipline focuses on ideas and arguments in written texts, and that these texts are seen not as abstract propositions, but as material objects produced within scientific, social, historical and cultural contexts. The methodology of intellectual history is to some extent shaped as a reaction to what has been perceived as weaknesses in preceding historical disciplines such as history of philosophy, problem history and history of ideas. Intellectual history in its modern form frequently connects with concept history, book history and global intellectual history. For the methodological literature of these disciplines, please click on ‘Literature’. The Copenhagen Intellectual History Seminar does not belong to any school of intellectual history.

Contact: Associate Professor Leo Catana