University Jubilees and University History Writing

A Challenging Relationship


Editor: Pieter Dhondt
Researching and writing its history has always been one of the tasks of the university, particularly on the occasion of anniversary celebrations. Through case studies of Prague (1848, 1948), Oslo (1911), Cluj (from 1919), Leipzig (2009) and Trondheim (2010), this book shows the continuity of the close relationship between jubilees and university historiography and the impact of this interaction on the jubilee publications and academic heritage. Up to today, historians are faced with the challenge of finding a balance between an engaged, celebratory approach and a more distant, academically critical one. In its third part, the book aims to go beyond the jubilee and presents three other ways of writing university history, by focusing on the university as an educational institution. Contributors are: Thomas Brandt, Pieter Dhondt, Marek Ďurčanský, Jonas Flöter, Jorunn Sem Fure, Trude Maurer, Emmanuelle Picard, Ana-Maria Stan and Johan Östling.
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Biographical Note

Pieter Dhondt (1976), Ph.D. in History, K.U.Leuven, is Senior Lecturer in general history at the University of Eastern Finland. Among his recent books: Un double compromis. Enjeux et débats relatifs à l'enseignement universitaire en Belgique au XIXe siècle (Academia Press 2011) and as editor National, Nordic or European? Nineteenth-Century University Jubilees and Nordic Cooperation (Brill 2011).

Review Quote

Universities are really fond of birthday parties [...] But why should historians get involved? Or even feel concerned? Is there more to expect from those celebrations than magnificent but Whiggish volumes, full of idealized remembrances and clever branding? Such are the issues at stake in this original and enlightening collection of essays edited by Pieter Dhondt.[...] In his brilliant historiographical introduction, Pieter Dhondt shows how the traditional jubilee history became more than a weapon of propaganda, with the emergence of university history as a scientific field in its own right, broadening its geographical, thematic and chronological horizons – even if this emancipation is still largely in statu nascendi. [...] their book is rewarding and useful: let us hope it paves the way to an even more independent but fully integrated university history. Pierre Verschueren (2016). The British Journal for the History of Science, 49, p. 151-152. doi:10.1017/S0007087416000273

Table of contents

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS INTRODUCTION 1. University history writing: more than a history of jubilees? Pieter DHONDT, University of Eastern Finland PART I: UNIVERSITY HISTORY WRITING AS PART OF THE JUBILEE 2. Two great anniversaries, two lost opportunities: Charles University in Prague, 1848 and 1948 Marek ĎURČANSKÝ, Charles University in Prague and Pieter DHONDT, University of Eastern Finland 3. The Royal Frederick University in Kristiania in 1911. Intellectual beacon of the North or a North Germanic provincial University? Jorunn Sem FURE, Telemark Museum 4. Commitment, reserve and self-assertion. The celebration of patriotic anniversaries in Russian and German universities 1912/13 Trude MAURER, University of Göttingen 5. Academic ceremonies and celebrations at the Romanian University of Cluj 1919-2009 Ana-Maria STAN, Babeş-Bolyai University PART II: UNIVERSITY HISTORY WRITING ON THE OCCASION OF A JUBILEE 6. 1968 as a turning point in Trondheim's university history Thomas BRANDT, Norwegian University of Science and Technology 7. University history research at the University of Leipzig Jonas FLÖTER, University of Leipzig PART III: UNIVERSITY HISTORY WRITING BEYOND THE JUBILEE 8. The Humboldtian tradition. The German university transformed, 1800-1945 Johan ÖSTLING, Lund University 9. French academia in a prosopographic perspective: a collaborative joint project Emmanuelle PICARD, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon 10. University history writing as part of the history of education Pieter DHONDT, University of Eastern Finland NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS INDEX


All interested in university history, history of education, intellectual and cultural history, as well as anyone involved in academic heritage or in the public relations of universities.