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 Knowledge is produced, adapted, forgotten, rejected, superseded, expanded, reconfigured, and more—always by human beings (at least in this more-or-less pre-AI age), alone or in communities, always in culturally, socially,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
    • New Blog: ‘Migrant Knowledge’

      Monday, 18. March 2019 - The German Historical Institute Washington has launched a new blog, Migrant Knowledge, at migrantknowledge.org. Begin with the “About” page there to understand what is animating the project.

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    • Knowledge Notes

      Tuesday, 12. March 2019 - Reading An Uneasy Alliance: Indigenous Traditional Knowledge Enriches Science by George Nicholas at The Conversation The Women Who Contributed to Science but Were Buried in Footnotes by Ed Yong at The Atlantic The Secret History of Women in Coding by Clive Thompson at The New York Times Magazine...

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    • Join the Army and Learn a Trade

      Thursday, 21. February 2019 -

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    • Practical Knowledge and Inner-German Migration

      Monday, 11. February 2019 - But within a week I’d already found work. —Herr Winter   Citizens of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) who moved to the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in the 1980s later incorporated their migration experience into their biographies as success stories. When they relocated, they...

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    • Classical Knowledge, Power, and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Dutch Rabbinic Education

      Monday, 28. January 2019 - Tell me, o Muse, of the man … (Homer) Francis Bacons belief that knowledge is power is one of the great epistemic mottos of all time. In early nineteenth-century Jewish Amsterdam, where civic emancipation had overturned the old corporate hierarchies, the rabbinic elite soon came to...

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