Universität Erfurt

Wissenschaftsgeschichte

(East) European Epistemologies. Studies in the Reflexive Pluralisation of the World in the 20th Century

The research initiative (East) European Epistemologies investigates modes of (self-)reflexivity in the history of the sciences and the humanities. Eastern, Central, and South-Eastern Europe have served as a starting point to gain a perspective on the interconnectedness of historical theories, practices and figures of knowledge production – “epistemologies” – within their political environments. The initiative is based on the assumption that due to the dynamic social, economic, intellectual etc. development of these areas the politics of such epistemologies can be studied at manifold examples. Thus, we aim to strengthen research in Historical Epistemology with a special focus on political implications, in order to radically situate historical theories of knowledge. This – as we believe – can help to better understand contemporary developments that hardly ever miss to connect the spheres of politics and research one way or another.

Since 2017, we have convened numerous international researchers from various disciplinary backgrounds to study theories, practices and figures of scholarship under the auspices of Political Epistemology. At a first workshop on Political Epistemologies of Eastern Europe (Erfurt) we examined various initiatives in Science Studies from Eastern, Central, and South-Eastern Europe, especially in the first half of the 20th century. In June 2018, we reconvened for a second workshop in Moscow to focus on Political Epistemologies of the Soviet Union: 1917-1945-1967. Again in Erfurt the focus shifted to the transformation period when we asked for A New Culture of Truth? On the Transformation of Political Epistemologies since the 1960s in October 2018. Publications are currently being prepared. Our fourth workshop, to be held in St. Petersburg from 3.-4. June 2019 will take this one step further and analyse recent developments: Beyond Post-Truth: Media Landscapes in the “Age of Insecurity. A further concern of the initiative is to integrate research of the history of the sciences and the humanities in Eastern, Central, and South-Eastern Europe. A first Pre- and Postdoc Workshop (Link) will be held in Erfurt on 12 July 2019.

Core group:

  • Bernhard Kleeberg, History of Science/Humanities, Max Weber Center/Univ. of Erfurt
  • Dietlind Hüchtker, History of Eastern Europe, Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) Leipzig
  • Friedrich Cain, History of Science/Humanities, Max Weber Center/Univ. of Erfurt
  • Karin Reichenbach, History of Eastern Europe, Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) Leipzig
  • Jan Surman, History of Science/Humanities, IGITI/Higher School of Economics Moscow

Additional members:

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