International Research School in Conceptual History and Political Thought

Research Training Seminar

Transcending Concepts: The History of Experiences, Interpretations, and Argumentation

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Organisers: CONCEPTA, International Research School in Conceptual History and Political Thought, Institute of History and Civilization, University of Southern Denmark, Danish Research School in History.

Date: 24-25 April 2008
Place: University of Southern Denmark, Odense (two hours by train from Copenhagen Airport)

Seminar description:
Originally a German invention connected to the history of ideas and the publication of lexicons, the history of concepts (or conceptual history) has in recent years turned into an important part of the so-called linguistic turn in the social and human sciences. Often drawing on the writings of the late Reinhart Koselleck and especially his idea of conceptual history as a scholarly enterprise situated between the history of ideas and the history of societies and social structures, an international variety of scholars has sought to push the boundaries of the discipline. With this two-day seminar, senior scholars as well as doctoral students and post-docs are invited to discuss the future of the field with special emphasis on the exploration of new methodological ground. In three separate sessions the relationship between conceptual analysis and the history of experiences (‘Erfahrungsgeschichte’), interpretations, and argumentation will serve as the take off for such discussions. In each of these sessions, a keynote speaker will give a theoretical introduction to the field then supplemented by two or three scholars presenting more case-oriented papers. For these sessions, we invite methodologically oriented papers by scholars with research experience in the respective field. The last sessions on both days of the seminar are workshops for Ph.D.-students who (regardless of discipline and empirical field of study) can have their work on concepts, discourses, experiences, interpretations or argumentation commented by a member of the CONCEPTA advisory board as well as the seminar in general. The Danish Research School in History will issue a 4 ECTS-diploma for such presentations (2,5 ECTS for registered participation without a presentation). The seminar is an open event with no seminar fee. For 300 euros the convenors will arrange for a seminar package including accommodation in Odense from the 23rd until the 25th, participation in the seminar dinner on Thursday, lunches on both days of the seminar, as well as transportation to Copenhagen on Friday (arriving app. 6 pm). If you want to present a paper please let us know before 31 December 2007.

1st session, Thursday 10.00-12.00: Experiences
2nd session, Thursday 13.00-15.00: Interpretations
3rd session, Thursday 15.30-17.00: Workshop
4th session, Friday 10.00-12.00: Argumentation
5th session, Friday 13.00-15.00: Workshop

Key-note speakers:
Professor, Dr. Jörn Leonhard (University of Freiburg)
Experiences and Language: Towards a Comparative Dimension
Lecturer Lars Erslev Andersen (University of Southern Denmark)
How to Apply Gadamer’s Theory of Interpretation in Conceptual-Historical Research on Contemporary International Politics
PD Dr. Hans Erich Bödeker (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin)
Begriffsgeschichte and/as History of Discourse and Argumentation

Alexandre Escudier (Sciences Po, Paris)
Jörn Leonhard (University of Freiburg)
Jeppe Nevers (University of Southern Denmark)