The 20th Century in Basic Concepts. A Dictionary of Socio-Political and Cultural Semantics in Germany

The project The 20th Century in Basic Concepts. Dictionary of Socio-Political and Cultural Semantics in Germany continues the historical dictionary Basic Concepts in History, associated with Reinhart Koselleck. The articles therein concentrated on the so-called ‘Sattelzeit,’ the epochal threshold in which the cultural semantics of medieval Europe transformed into the modern world, that is, on a conceptual-historical examination of the emergence of modernity. In the entire 119 articles, however, the 20th century merely figures in short outlooks. They reveal that by the 20th century many concepts had already lost their radiance, had become semantically empty or obsolete, or had been replaced by new concepts.

The planned dictionary is an interdisciplinary and cooperative research project intended to go beyond enshrining established knowledge. Rather, we intend to make an experimental contribution to basic research in the humanities, in cultural studies, social sciences, and in history. Taking our cue from Koselleck’s characterization of the historical narrative, our aim is ‘writing down, writing further and rewriting history’ from the perspective of a changed present. Especially, however, new basic concepts emerging in the 20th century shall be examined. As such, Koselleck’s overarching hypotheses will be put to the test and, in turn, may possibly be historicized themselves.

Methodologically, the concepts will be approached from a different perspective than in the original endeavor, conceived of more than half a century ago. This concerns, for example, the use of broader source material that is more easily accessible and evaluated with digital technologies today. Conceptually, this entails not only the inclusion of metaphor, as called for by Koselleck himself, but also a fresh approach to the relation of factual and conceptual history.

since 2020
Head researcher(s): Ernst Müller
Associate Researcher(s): Barbara Picht, Falko Schmieder

 

See also

Publications

Begriffsgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts
Themenheft des Archivs für Begriffsgeschichte

Vol. 63, Issue 1 (2021)
Felix Meiner, Hamburg 2021
ISBN 978-3-7873-4004-0 (Print); 978-3-7873-4010-1 (eJournal)
Ernst Müller, Falko Schmieder (ed./eds.)

FORUM INTERDISZIPLINÄRE BEGRIFFSGESCHICHTE (FIB)

E-JOURNAL (2021) 10th YEAR / ISSUE 1
Berlin 2021, 58 pages
ISSN 2195-0598
DOI 10.13151/fib.2021.01
Ernst Müller, Falko Schmieder

Begriffsgeschichte
zur Einführung

Junius, Hamburg 2020, 200 pages
ISBN 978-3-96060-317-7
Ernst Müller, Wolfert von Rahden (ed./eds.)

FORUM INTERDISZIPLINÄRE BEGRIFFSGESCHICHTE (FIB)

E-JOURNAL (2020) 9th YEAR / ISSUE 1
Berlin 2020, 108 pages
ISSN 2195-0598

Ernst Müller

Barbara Picht

Falko Schmieder

 

The project continues the long-standing research on the theory and practice of interdisciplinary history of concepts from which these publications, among others, have resulted:

Ernst Müller, Falko Schmieder

Events

Lecture
25 Nov 2021 · 12.00 pm

Falko Schmieder: Odo Marquards Kritik der Geschichtsphilosophie und sein Gegenprogramm der Kompensation

Universitat de València

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Lecture
25 Nov 2021 · 10.30 am

Ernst Müller: Der Begriff “Entzweiung” bei Joachim Ritter

Universitat de València

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Lecture
25 Nov 2021 · 9.30 am

Barbara Picht: Der Beitrag der Ritter-Schule zum Historischen Wörterbuch der Philosophie

Universitat de València

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Workshop at Warburg-Haus Hamburg
22 Oct 2021 – 23 Oct 2021

Die “Vorträge der Bibliothek Warburg.” Das intellektuelle Netzwerk der KBW, part II

Warburg-Haus, Heilwigstraße 116, 20249 Hamburg

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Lecture
15 Sep 2021 · 12.30 pm

Falko Schmieder: Positivismusstreit

Universidad de Salamanca

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Lecture
13 Sep 2021 · 12.30 pm

Ernst Müller: Fakultäten/Universitätenstreit

Universidad de Salamanca

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Lecture
13 Sep 2021 · 11.00 am

Barbara Picht: Historismusstreit

Universidad de Salamanca

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Lecture
15 Jun 2021 · 12.30 pm

Henning Trüper: Rescuing the dead from oblivion: humanitarian morality and historical discourse

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Campus de Getafe, Edificio Ortega y Gasset

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Lecture
15 Jun 2021 · 11.30 am

Ernst Müller: Die Entdeckung des Gefühlswerts in der Begriffsgeschichte

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Campus de Getafe, Edificio Ortega y Gasset

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Lecture
14 Jun 2021 · 11.00 am

Falko Schmieder: Der Überlebensbegriff als Instrument der angstpolitischen Kolonialisierung des Alltagslebens im Atomkriegs- und Ökologiediskurs

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Campus de Getafe, Edificio Ortega y Gasset

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Lecture
14 Jun 2021 · 10.05 am

Barbara Picht: Angst. Wie schreibt man ihre Geschichte?

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Campus de Getafe, Edificio Ortega y Gasset

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Lecture
19 Oct 2020 · 7.00 pm

Barbara Picht: “Das 20. Jahrhundert wechselt sein Aussehen je nach Blickwinkel.” West- und östliches Europa aus der Perspektive des polnischen Schriftstellers Czesław Miłosz

Helle Panke e.V. – Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Berlin, Kopenhagener Str. 9, 10437 Berlin

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Workshop
27 Feb 2020

Aufgaben und Methoden der Begriffsforschung: Die Beispiele Staat und Politik

Freie Universität Berlin, DFG KFG 2615 - Rethinking Oriental Despotism, Fabeckstr. 15, 14195 Berlin

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Media Response

10 Feb 2021
ArbeiterInnen im ideologieverarbeitenden Gewerbe

Ernst Müller und Falko Schmieder legen eine hervorragende, wenn auch spröde »Begriffsgeschichte zur Einführung« vor. Review by Kai Sammet, in: literaturkritik.de, 10.02.2021