Professor Peter Burke – Vortragsexposé – Wintersemester 2007/2008

Studium generale: 100. Mainzer Universitätsgespräche
"Tradition ist Gegenwart – Zur kulturellen Wende in den Wissenschaften"

Professor Peter Burke (Cambridge)

Strengths and Weaknesses of Cultural History

Mittwoch, 30. Januar 2008, 18.15 Uhr, Hörsaal N 3 (Muschel)

In this lecture I shall try to place the recent boom in cultural history in its cultural and social context, before attempting to assess the gains and losses we have made from this 'turn'.

Assuming that the audience will be sympathetic to cultural history in general and the 'New Cultural History' in particular, I shall begin my assessment by discussing weaknesses in and problems raised by this approach, distinguishing five in particular: the very success of the cultural turn; the tensions within the new approach; the problem of viewing culture as a text; the problem of predominantly cultural explanations; and the problem of cultural 'constructivism'.

On the positive side, I shall be discussing the virtues of vagueness and the value of viewing history in terms of different kinds of cultural encounter.

(Vortrag in englischer Sprache)

Peter Burke was formerly professor of Cultural History, University of Cambridge, and remains a Fellow of Emmanuel College. His most recent books, both published in 2004 and translated into German, are What is Cultural History? ('Was ist Kulturgeschichte?', Suhrkamp) and Languages and Communities in Early Modern Europe ('Wörter machen Leute', Wagenbach).

Nächster Vortrag in dieser Reihe:
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Dieter Simon
(Direktor em. am MPI für europäische Rechtsgeschichte, Frankfurt a. M.)
Der Jahrmarkt des Rechts
Mittwoch, 6. Februar 2008, 18.15 Uhr, Hörsaal N 3 (Muschel)