of science, transnational history, the history of political economy, as well as the theory of Enlightenment studies, postcolonial studies, and transnational and transcultural studies. The three articles deal to a significant degree with the dialectic
A Focus on the History of Concepts
Florian Krobb and Dorit Müller
preapproved and monitored, and their movements subject to bureaucratic procedures. 5 The development of scientific travel entered a new phase of intensity in the Enlightenment period. On “enlightened” journeys, cultural practices such as collecting
David Allen Harvey
Despite its long-standing reputation for skepticism and irreverence, the Enlightenment took religion quite seriously. Historians have long recognized this fact, and have often represented the intellectual history of the eighteenth century in terms of the struggle between religious faith and philosophical skepticism. One common view of the period holds that religious dogmatism and intolerance, memorably condemned by Voltaire as l’Infâme, served as the negative pole against which the positive Enlightenment ideals of secularism, reason, and tolerance were articulated. Nearly a century ago, Ernst Cassirer characterized this view (which he did not entirely share) by writing, “French Encyclopedism declares war openly on religion,” accusing it of “having been an eternal hindrance to intellectual progress.” Around the same time, Carl Becker argued that the eighteenth-century philosophes sought to recast the “heavenly city” imagined by church fathers such as St. Augustine into a vision of a terrestrial utopian future. A generation later, Peter Gay described the philosophes as “modern pagans,” who “used their classical learning to free themselves from their Christian heritage.” For such scholars, the historical signifi cance of the Enlightenment lay in its break with religious tradition and embrace of “modernity”, defined primarily by secularism and rationality.
The Second World Museologies Workshop, National Museum of Ethnology (MINPAKU), Osaka, December 2019
Laura Osorio Sunnucks, Nicola Levell, Anthony Shelton, Motoi Suzuki, Gwyneira Isaac, and Diana E. Marsh
Enlightenment-derived legitimating conventions ( Lyotard 1984 ). While many scholars in critical museology and other branches of the social sciences and humanities acknowledge that knowledge is neither transcendental nor universal, but carefully controlled
Celebrating Twenty Years of Feminist Enlightenment Projects in Tver’
Julie Hemment and Valentina Uspenskaya
Hemment, her US-based feminist anthropologist colleague, mentee, and friend. Since we first met in 1995 when Hemment was a doctoral student, we have undertaken several collaborative research projects; our relationship has been one of mutual enlightenment
A Northern Perspective
Dmitry V. Arzyutov and Sergei A. Kan
of the field could already be identified. This concept was an interweaving of a significant number of discursive fields, reaching back to the epoch of Enlightenment and deriving elements from the experience of field activities of Vladimir Bogoraz and
German Rabbis Abroad as Cultural Agents?
Tobias Grill and Cornelia Wilhelm
During the second half of the eighteenth century, the Haskalah, the Jewish enlightenment movement, emerged in Germany to reconcile science and rationalism with Judaism. Such a programme was considered a prerequisite for a rapprochement between Jews and Gentiles. The Maskilim, the Jewish Enlighteners, regarded it as absolutely necessary to adapt Jewish life to modernity, in order to preserve Judaism. One of the main goals of the Haskalah programme, which portended a renunciation of the traditional dominance of religious education, was the acquisition and dissemination of secular knowledge. German Jews increasingly attended common schools or established their own modern educational institutions where secular knowledge was imparted, while the teaching of religious subjects had lost much of its earlier significance. Consequently, religion ceased to dominate all spheres of life and became merely a part of it.
Cosmopolitanism has become a rediscovered conceptual frontier within the social sciences. It has emerged in the space for relational thinking about contemporary movements of people and ideas beyond old societal boundaries, as an alternative to the homogenizing implications carried by globalization. It forefronts new cross-territorial contexts of encounter attending to samenesses and differences among people, places, and the nonhuman, presenting new kinds of translocal issues for anthropologists of the environment. While cosmopolitanism draws historically on aspects of Enlightenment universalist rationalism, current applications of the term forefront an empathy and respect for other people’s cultures and values. This is frequently drawn into a distinction between “normative” and “cultural” cosmopolitanisms. The first Kantian sense involves a context-transcendent level of ethical principles with general validity, while the second is about taking cognizance of difference and invokes some positive tolerance of multiplicity and appreciation of others. In both cases there is a sense of a projected “ethical horizon” (Werbner 2008).
A Transatlantic Journey of American Liberalism
John Layton Harvey
To study how American scholars have written about the history of France over the course of the last hundred years is, in certain ways, to appraise the evolving contours of American liberalism. For American historians who specialize in the past of France, its empire, or its wider continental context, the twentieth century saw a steady growth of institutional optimism. Although conservative suspicion against popular sovereignty and universal Enlightenment reason once markedly influenced the profession, since the late 1950s the American study of France has been increasingly associated with an advancement of progressive-minded ideals. Yet, reflections over the past thirty years on the development of French history in American universities have been curiously silent on the nature or evolution of liberalism within their field. Its contours and challenges over the course of the twentieth century, as a distinct intellectual focus within the wider American Academy, remain in some ways terra incognita.
Difficult Histories and Threatening Memories
Victor Jeleniewski Seidler
On the seventieth anniversary of the destruction of the Vilna ghetto I explore ambivalences in Holocaust memory in the Baltic states and troubling notions of a 'double genocide' while tracing train journeys of death that connected Vienna, Vilna and Tallinn and so western and eastern Europe. Exploring how memories are connected to place and investigating how family legacies of Litvak identity also travel, I show how Musar ethical traditions also journeyed as far as South Africa to influence the ethical politics of the African National Congress. Framing questions about the relationship between ethics and memory across generations I return to the painful warnings in the words of Elchanan Elkes at the destruction of the Kovno ghetto. I trace the possibilities that they help to frame a post-Shoah ethics and a vision of 'the human' that questions the rational self that informed Enlightenment thinking and that proved incapable of resisting the brutalities of Nazism.