History of Knowledge Blog

GHI's History of Knowledge Blog

Knowledge does not simply exist, awaiting discovery and use. Knowledge is produced, adapted, forgotten, rejected, superseded, expanded, reconfigured, and more—always by human beings (at least in this more-or-less pre-AI age), alone or in communities, always in culturally, socially, economically, and institutionally specific contexts.

Knowledge is central to most purposeful human practices, whether at work, in the family, or for worship, whether implicitly or explicitly, whether passed down by hands-on training or through books and other storage and retrieval systems. Both product and basis of human interactions, knowledge has a history. Indeed, human history cannot be understood apart from the history of knowledge.

This blog aims to serve as a venue for the exchange of ideas and information on the history of knowledge. It is currently managed by a small team at the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC, but it desires contributions by and engagement with scholars working elsewhere.

  • Latest Posts
    • Mediators of Knowledge: WPA Folklorists and 1930s Migrant Culture

      Thursday, 12. April 2018 - What kind of knowledge are we addressing when we talk about folk culture? What can we extract from work songs, ballads, lullabies, and reels? What do stories of various kinds, relayed by word of mouth, tell us about the communities they sprang from? What do they reveal about how migrants...

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    • Knowledge Notes

      Wednesday, 07. March 2018 - CfP deadline extended to March 15 for Histories of Migration: Transatlantic and Global Perspectives (Bucerius Young Scholars Forum) at GHI West, Berkeley. The organizers seek papers that rephrase questions and methodological issues in migration history from a history of knowledge perspective or...

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    • Report: Kinship, Knowledge, and Migration

      Wednesday, 07. March 2018 - Panel Series at the 41st Annual Conference of the German Studies Association in Atlanta, GA, October 5–8, 2017 In October 2017, Simone Lässig and Swen Steinberg convened a panel series at the German Studies Association’s annual conference that focused on the roles of family and kinship...

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    • Developing Knowledge Societies: Africa Needs a Linguistic Revolution

      Wednesday, 21. February 2018 - African societies are on the brink of changing from postcolonial societies into global knowledge societies. Digitalization and globalization could enhance their transformation from knowledge-consuming to knowledge-producing societies, which would also help bring full mental decolonization to...

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    • CfP Reminder: Abandoned Encyclopedia Projects

      Monday, 19. February 2018 - Stranded encyclopedias: encyclopedic dreams and practices c. 1600–2000, Stockholm, September 13–14, 2018; deadline: March 1.

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