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30.10.2019 Koselleck-Lecture: Helge Jordheim (Oslo): Times of Nature, Times of History - Koselleck in the 21st Century

Veröffentlicht am 9. August 2019, 10:45 Uhr

Weitere Informationen folgen in Kürze.

In his essay on the need for theory in history (“Über die
Theoriebedürftigkeit der Geschichtswissenschaft”, 1972), Koselleck
distinguishes “historical time” from “natural” time:
“Historical time,” he
claims, is a product of a “denaturalization” and a “destruction of natural
chronology,” which in Western history took place at the end of the
eighteenth century. Prior to this, Koselleck argues, the process of history
had been organized according to “natural” categories: the rise and setting
of the sun and the moon, the change of seasons, as well as the birth and
death of the members of the ruling dynasties. But from the late eighteenth
century onward, historiography was reconfigured according to categories
obtained from history itself, derived directly from historical events,
experiences, and expectations, such as “progress, decline, acceleration, or
delay, the not-yet and the not-anymore, the before and the after, the too-
early and the too-late, the situation and the duration,” as he puts it in
another article from the same year. In this lecture, I intend to revisit this
moment, in history and in theory, taking Koselleck’s writings as
framework. In the first part, I will discuss what in shorthand could be called
the “denaturalization thesis”: that the modern regime of historicity – to
use François Hartog’s term – emerges from a separation of historical from
natural times, including cosmological, biological, and geological
chronologies. This leads to a discussion whether recent turns in the theory
of history, spearheaded by Dipesh Chakrabarty’s articles on “The Climate
of History” and “Anthropocene Time”, could be understood in the same
terms as a “renaturalization”. In the second part of the lecture, I will return
to Koselleck’s work and explore whether his theory of multiple times offers
us other ways to think and write about the relationship between historical
and natural times, which might prove useful in reconfiguring history in the
age of climate change, or rather, in Koselleckian terms, climate crisis. My
hope is that this will enable us to throw new light on both the history of
history and Koselleck’s work and thus contribute to current debates about
the futures of historiography.

 

Gesendet von Ingo Pätzold in zthf-veranstaltungen
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