Rethinking the Role of Institutional Histories in the Humanities and the Social Sciences
For several decades now, institutional histories of the humanities and the social sciences (as distinct from institutional histories of the sciences) have often been seen as suspect, perhaps even as complicitous with the institutional priorities and prerogatives of the disciplines under study. Such histories, often read as written under the sign and influence of the “great men” of the past, have seemed insufficient to recording changes from below or to registering internal tensions and shifts that may have been present in the field long before they were ever fully recognized. Might a renewed attention to institutional history, now more attuned to such dissonances, allow for a more capacious understanding of our disciplinary pasts? How might such institutional histories inform and be informed by the work of intellectual historians who arguably share with institutional historians an abiding interest in both the locations and locutions of ideas?
The aim of this Cube is to bring together scholars who are invested in the writing of institutional and/or intellectual histories within the humanities and the social sciences (and related fields such as Law and Education). The Cube will provide a forum for regular discussion and workshopping of ongoing work and one of the deliverables of the Cube will be a culminating conference which will bring to campus scholars who are actively engaged in writing such histories.