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Multi­discipli­nary & Innovative Courses

 

Introduction to Conceptual History

Organiser:

Centre for Nordic Studies, University of Helsinki

 

Related Degree Programmes:

 

Dates:

8.-18.8.2017

Prices:

690-990 EUR Learn more

Credits:

6 ECTS

Coordinator:

Jani Marjanen & Johan Strang

Target students

Finnish and international PhD and advanced Master’s degree students from various academic fields.

Synopsis

In August 2017 “An Introduction to Conceptual History” will be offered by the Centre for Nordic Studies, University of Helsinki, as part of the Helsinki Summer School. Now in its twelfth year, the course will be organized by Concepta: the International Research School in Conceptual History, The Political Concepts Standing Group of the European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR), and the Centre for Nordic Studies at the University of Helsinki.

An international team of distinguished scholars and visiting lecturers will engage and encourage course members in critical discussions about the political aspects in key concepts used in human activities, as well as in the analytic concepts employed in the social sciences and the humanities. The course seeks to familiarize younger scholars with the methods and practices of conceptual history, and the study of political concepts as a style of theorizing about and analyzing political practices. The goal of conceptual history is to understand the ways in which concepts and ideas are operationalized in political life through the study of the debates on their migration, translation, reinterpretation and diffusion through time and space (from the local to the global). Conceptual analysis involves the examination of the larger semantic, discursive, ideological and rhetorical settings of conceptual controversies, and requires familiarity with a variety of approaches to discourse, ideology and rhetoric. These concepts are communicated verbally, in print and through other media.

The course will introduce the main aspects of the theory and methodology of conceptual analysis through discussions the work of scholars such as Reinhart Koselleck, Quentin Skinner, J. G. A. Pocock, Michel Foucault, Pierre Rosanvallon and Dipesh Chakrabarty as well as such thinkers as Max Weber and Hannah Arendt. Conceptual history offers a distinct perspective for studying the activity of politics, in theorizing, practices and institutions as well as the political aspects of culture, economy and society.

Students will be encouraged to use these as tools in their own research projects. A special emphasis will be placed on different examples of conceptual change, underlining the inherently contested character of concepts in use. In addition, trends in current scholarship will be explored through case studies presented by course members as well by as invited guests. The course will be conducted via lectures, discussions and work-in-progress sessions. It welcomes Ph.D. and advanced Master’s degree students from a variety of academic disciplines.

Learning objectives

The objective is to enable the students to use the methods of conceptual history in their own research.

Course format and teaching methods

The course seeks to support the students’ thesis word by offering relevant lectures, discussions on course readings and workshops on the participants’ texts.

Means and criteria of assessment

If students submit the required assignments, read the provided texts and participate in the teaching, they will pass the course.

Main teachers of the course are

(small changes are possible)

Postdoc researcher Anna Björk, University of Jyväskylä

Professor Martin Burke, The City University of New York

Postdoc researcher Ainur Elmgren, University of Helsinki

Professor Jan Ifversen, University of Aarhus

Postdoc researcher Jani Marjanen, University of Helsinki

Associate Professor Niklas Olsen, University of Copenhagen

Professor Kari Palonen, University of Jyväskylä

Professor Margrit Pernau, Max Planck Institute for Human Development

Acting Dean Evgeny Roshchin, RANEPA University, St. Petersburg

Associate Professor Johan Strang, University of Helsinki

Course Schedule

Location: City Centre Campus

Monday August 7, 2017 
Arrival in Helsinki, Registration

Tuesday August 8, 2017 
Registration continues
HSS Opening ceremony & Welcome Party (afternoon)

Wednesday 9 August
9:30-9:45: Opening Remarks by Professor Martin Burke, The City University of New York
9:45-11:00: Postdoc researcher Jani Marjanen, University of Helsinki
Conceptual History and Different Approaches to Concepts
11:00-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-13:00: 9:30-11:00: A Text Discussion on Reinhart Koselleck’s ‘Introduction and Prefaces’ and Jan Ifversen’s ‘How to Study Key Concepts’.
13:00–14:30: Lunch Break
14:30–16:00: Professor Martin Burke
The History of Concepts and the Cambridge School I

Thursday 10 August
9:30–11:00: Associate Professor Niklas Olsen
Reinhart Koselleck and German Postwar Historiography
11:00–11:30 Coffee Break
11:30–13:00: Professor Martin Burke
The History of Concepts and the Cambridge School II
13:00–14:30: Lunch
14:30-16:00: Professor Martin Burke
The History of Concepts Today

Friday 11 August
(Temporality and Anachronism)
9:30–11:00: Niklas Olsen
Koselleck on Time
11:00–11:30: Coffee Break
11:30–13:00:  Postdoc Sami Syrjämäki
Quentin Skinner and the Problem of Anachronism in Intellectual History
13:00–14:30:  Lunch Break
14:30–16:00: Professor Margrit Pernau, Max Planck Institute for Human Development
Civilizing Emotions: Taking Conceptual History beyond National and Linguistic Borders

!! Saturday 12 August !!
10:00-11:00: Roundtable on Journal Publishing
Jan Ifversen (Contributions to the History of Concepts)
Martin J. Burke (Journal of the History of Ideas)
Kari Palonen (Redescriptions)
11.00–11.30: Coffee Break
11:30–13:00 Publishing Conceptual History
Hanna-Mari Kivistö
Niklas Olsen
Margrit Pernau
13:00–14:30: Lunch Break
14:30­–16:00: Reading the City Politically. A City Walk with Kari Palonen and Jani Marjanen

Monday 14 August
9:30-11:00: Professor Niilo Kauppi
Political Theory of the European Union
11:00-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-13:00: Professor Margrit Pernau, Max Planck Institute for Human Development
Emotional Translations: Taking Conceptual History beyond Language
13:00-14:30: Lunch Break
14:30-16:00: Professor Jan Ifversen
Conceptual History and Discourse Analysis: Concepts in Discourses
16:00–16:15: Coffee Break
16:15–17:45 Student presentations I (comments by Burke and Pernau)

Tuesday 15 August
9:30-11:00: Professor Martin Burke
Histories of Concepts and Histories of Print Culture
11:00-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-13:00: Postdoc researcher Anna Björk
Conceptual Approaches to Citizenship
13:00-14:30: Lunch Break
14:30-16:00: Professor Jan Ifversen
The Concept of Ideology
16:00–16:15: Coffee Break
16:15–17:45 Student presentations II (comments by Ifversen and Marjanen)

Wednesday 16 August
9:30-11:00: Acting Dean Evgeny Roshchin, Ranepa University, St. Petersburg
World Politics and the History of Concepts
11:00-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-13:00: Evgeny Roschin, A text discussion on Quentin Skinner’s ‘Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas’
13:00-14:30: Lunch Break
14:30-16:00: Johan Strang
Transnational Conceptual History: A Small State Perspective
16:00–16:15: Coffee Break
16:15–17:45 Student presentations III (comments by Roshchin and Strang)

Thursday 17 August
9:30-11:00: Postdoc researcher Ainur Elmgren
Studying the Concept of Populism from a Conceptual History Perspective
11:00-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-13:00: Professor Kari Palonen, University of Jyväskylä
Concepts of Parliament
13:00-14:30: Lunch Break
14:30-16:00: Postdoc researcher Taru Haapala
Studying Rhetoric and Conceptual Change
16:00–16:15: Coffee Break
16:15–17:45 Student presentations IV (comments by Rusinek and Marjanen)

Friday 18 August
9:30-11:00: Postdoc Sinai Rusinek, Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem
Conceptual History and Digital Humanities
11:00-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-13:00: Professor Mikko Tolonen, University of Helsinki
Digital Humanities and Conceptual History: Case Studies
13:00-14:30: Lunch Break
14:30-16:00: Professor Martin Burke
Concluding comments and discussion

 
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