Beyond utopianism and relativism: History in the plural in the work of Reinhart Koselleck
Title: Beyond utopianism and relativism: History in the plural in the work of Reinhart Koselleck
Author: OLSEN, Niklas
Citation: Florence, European University Institute, 2009
Series/Report no.: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
This study examines the work of the German historian Reinhart Koselleck (1923-2006). Its aim is to provide an inter-textual and contextual interpretation of Koselleck’s scholarly production. While a variety of articles, reviews, opinion-pieces and obituaries offer valuable insights into his work, there is as yet no monographic study examining Koselleck’s oeuvre in a comprehensive manner. The present investigation addresses this lacuna. Instead of highlighting one aspect of his historical writing on behalf of others (and presenting Koselleck simply under one label, e.g. as a ‘conceptual historian’, a ‘social historian’, a ‘historian of memory’ or as a ‘theoretician of history’, as other commentators have done), it draws a full thematic, theoretical and biographical - or instead intellectual - profile that takes into account Koselleck’s entire scholarly production and the intellectual and social contexts in which it emerged. The study not only reinterprets known and uncovers unknown aspects of his work; it also offers a new overall interpretation of Koselleck’s entire scholarly production. It describes a set of recurrent motifs and discursive features in Koselleck’s texts that reveal the contours of a unifying pattern and a common objective in his varied and multi-faceted body of work.
LC Subject Heading: Koselleck, Reinhart -- Criticism and interpretation; Germany -- History -- 20th century; Historians -- Germany -- History -- 20th century; Authors, German -- 20th century -- Political and social views
Defense Date: 02/05/2009; Examining Board: Prof. Martin van Gelderen (EUI) - supervisor Prof. Sebastian Conrad (EUI) Prof. Lucian Hölscher (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) Prof. Willibald Steinmetz (Universität Bielefeld)
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