This exploratory essay seeks to unravel the inherent contradictions between two fundamental trends in contemporary historiography: the “spatial turn” on the one hand, and the “linguistic turn” on the other hand. The “spatial turn,” it argues, turned “space's” status as a category of analysis into an accepted dogma. Under these circumstances, one often overlooks the fact that “space,” like all concepts, can also be problematic and at times even misleading. By looking at several examples from and about the intellectual world of early modern Europe, the article demonstrates how the use of space as a category of analysis encounters two fundamental challenges. First, the problem of the absence of the word “space” itself from important early modern texts (“shrinkage”); and second, the overuse of the term “space” in translations and analysis of early modern intellectual works (“contamination”).
A Reconsideration of the Concept of Space and Its Role in the Early Modern Period
A Computational Model for History of Concepts
Peter De Bolla, Ewan Jones, Paul Nulty, Gabriel Recchia, and John Regan
This journal, Contributions to the History of Concepts , has, since its inception, been commendably open to different approaches to the history of concepts and, since its first volume, in 2005, has significantly contributed to the heterogeneous
The Emotional Education of Boys in Mexico during the Early Porfiriato, 1876–1884
Carlos Zúñiga Nieto
Romantic attitudes toward the concept of boyhood flourished in the Yucatán region during the beginning of the independence fight in Cuba against Spain in 1868. Recent scholarship has focused on the changing concepts of childhood through hygiene
An Essay on the Semantic Structure of Religious Discourses
The widespread opinion among conceptual historians is that political concepts are always contested in their actual usage. Religious concepts in modernity are also not only contested; they are constructed on an ontological contradiction. They imply that the object to which they refer exists, and at the same time that it does not. I demonstrate this idea using four religious concepts: religion, God, the beyond, and spirit. I conclude with discussion on the reality status of religious concepts in modern historiography and religious studies.
Biological Concepts and Their Careers beyond Biology
Jan Surman, Katalin Stráner, and Peter Haslinger
This article introduces a collection of studies of biological concepts crossing over to other disciplines and nonscholarly discourses. The introduction discusses the notion of nomadic concepts as introduced by Isabelle Stengers and explores its usability for conceptual history. Compared to traveling (Mieke Bal) and interdisciplinary (Ernst Müller) concepts, the idea of nomadism shifts the attention from concepts themselves toward the mobility of a concept and its effects. The metaphor of nomadism, as outlined in the introduction, helps also to question the relation between concepts' movement and the production of boundaries. In this way conceptual history can profit from interaction with translation studies, where similar processes were recently discussed under the notion of cultural translation.
cendres (1966) Conceptual history is devoted to studying the use of concepts in historical change, which human beings must always manage cognitively. Reinhart Koselleck, the founder of Begriffsgeschichte , made time management the central focus of this
From the English Philosophical Context to the Greek-Speaking Regions of the Ottoman Empire
Eirini Goudarouli and Dimitris Petakos
and the philosophy of science and technology, scholars strongly acknowledge the role and gravity of conceptual change in historical and philosophical inquiry. They are interested in the changing meaning of fundamental scientific concepts and the direct
An Analysis from Two Ethnographic Studies of Midwifery Units in England
Christine McCourt, Juliet Rayment, Susanna Rance, and Jane Sandall
be drawn with the assertion of localism as opposed to globalism through concepts or projects of place as discussed by Dirlik (1999) and Escobar (2001) . In the case we shall describe, the work to develop desired social relationships and philosophy
Reflections on the Concept of Unnati (Progress) in Hindi (1870–1900)
This article analyzes the historical semantics of the concept of unnati in the nationalist discourse in Hindi between 1870 and 1900. The article first outlines the basic features of the Enlightenment concept of progress using Koselleck's analysis. It then goes on to discuss the place of the concept of progress in the colonial ideology of a “civilizing mission,“ and concludes by taking up the analysis of the usage of the term unnati in the nationalist discourse in North India.
How the Scientific Reflex Came to be Employed against Nazi Propaganda
The article analyzes Sergej Chakhotin’s transfer of the concept of reflex from Russian physiology to German propaganda. Chakhotin had been working at Ivan Pavlov’s laboratory in St. Petersburg in the 1910s. The experiences he had there with reflex conditioning, the boom of psychotechnics, and the application of psychological practices for aesthetic purposes were his basis for the invention of a socialist propaganda program against the Nazi regime. It is shown how the concept of reflex changed as it meandered through different disciplines.