"The past and present of Ideen- and Geistesgeschichte in Germany"
D. Timothy Goering (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
The discipline of Intellectual History has followed remarkably different paths in different countries. While the discipline has arguably established itself more successfully as a distinctive field of research in the US and Great Britain than anywhere else, Germany can claim to have to oldest discipline of Intellectual History. Wilhelm Dilthey and Friedrich Meinecke both produced important works in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that paved the way for the development of Ideengeschichte and Geistesgeschichte. However, despite its rich historical heritage, Ideen- and Geistesgeschichte ran into choppy waters throughout the 20th century and have only recently re-emerged in the German historical profession. This lecture will sketch the complicated history of Ideen- and Geistesgeschichte from the late 19th century to today and will locate some of the central themes and research interests in Ideen- and Geistesgeschichte today.