Cultural studies, History

In cooperation with the University of California at Santa Cruz, Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut, Essen, and Pasts, Inc. Center for Historical Studies at CEU.

Course date

5 July - 16 July, 2004
Application deadline:
15 February, 2004
Course Director(s): 

Sorin Antohi

History, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Tyrus Miller

University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, United States of America
Course Faculty: 

Costica Bradatan

Miami University, Philosophy, Oxford, United States of America

Wlad Godzich

University of California, Santa Cruz, Humanities, English and Literature Department, Santa Cruz, United States of America

Jorn Rusen

Institute of Culture, Essen, Germany

Hayden White

University of California, Santa Cruz, United States of America

The course is organized around three major topics. The first, "History and Cosmos," explores these two fundamental modes of organizing time and the symbolic mechanisms that underlie them. We reconceive the binary opposition of cosmos and history as complementary elements within unitary "historical cosmoi," symbolic frameworks within which societies organize and control time. In the second part, "De-Universalizing History," we take up recent challenges to the view of history as a universal medium allowing chronometric correlations between events of different orders and in different spaces. We sketch an alternative view of "global" history that emphasizes active, open dynamics of cross-cultural translation and creative misunderstanding, analogical and poetic transformation of other systems, and detachment / reattachment of minority elements within larger historico-cosmic systems. The final part, "Critiquing Historicism," considers basic concepts and topics of historiography in light of the idea of historical cosmoi. In particular, we focus on the conceptual foundations of historicist theory and practice: its notions of context, event, temporal continuity, causality, and singularity in historical time. This is an advanced-level course, offered to young Humanities scholars (assistant professors / advanced PhD students) with a proven relevant research and teaching record.