The Black Lives Matter demonstrations of 2020 renewed debate about the exclusionary and oppressive histories surrounding the formation of academic knowledge as well as the continued role academia plays in carrying forward these legacies. Universities are renaming English literature departments to reflect the global purview of their research as well as buildings once named for prominent and compromised scholars in their field. Across the humanities and social sciences, questions are being raised regarding the status of the expert and expertise, and the role of activism in shaping the priorities of scholarship. These debates are shifting the ground on which disciplinary traditions have been erected.
This seminar will convene practitioners and historians of the humanities and social sciences in critical dialogue about the origins and development of academic disciplines as well as their present and future. It will welcome presentations on new work and works-in-progress in the history and politics of academic knowledge and bring together scholars from different fields, including history, anthropology, and literature, to reflect on the ways in which disciplinary knowledge has historically been applied to create and shape the concepts of legal orders, nations, and empires in Europe and beyond.
Upcoming events in this series will be posted shortly.