A research network on historiography, memory and the use of history across disciplines

The network addresses the boundaries and conceptual substance of the field of history in Norway post-1945.

About the project

The purpose of the network The Boundaries of History is to stimulate historiographical reflection by concentrating in particular on the process whereby the discipline of history was shaped. We particularly want to investigate the establishment of the discipline of history and its conceptual content in relation to three bordering bodies;

  • The social contract, i.e. the task of history in society
  • The international community of scholars
  • The bordering academic disciplines.


Through seminars and workshops the network aims at contributing to an open debating culture around epistemological and normative conditions for contemporary Norwegian historical scholarship, and to prepare for further building of competence and increased research efforts.

The network wishes to contribute to creating a wide disciplinary public sphere where scholars may debate and research recent historiography in an institutional and transnational perspective. The main activities of the project, two larger seminars and several smaller workshops, will be open to all interested scholars regardless of institutional, thematic or chronological affiliations.


The project started as an answer to the evaluation of Norwegian historical scholarship commissioned by The Norwegian Research Council in 2008. One of the main viewpoints of the evaluation was that the historians’ successful adaptation to various audiences and external employers went at the expense of the internal scholarly renewal of the discipline. There is thus a need for continuing critical self-reflection. Under which circumstances have the discourses of the discipline been formed? To what degree do they contribute to the present historical consciousness, self-understanding and images of the future? Do the historical tradition contain “Trojan horses” ─ implicit assumptions and norms which unconsciously contribute to structuring our perspectives and choice of topics?


The Network is financed by the Norwegian Research Found.

Published July 8, 2010 1:11 PM - Last modified Dec. 1, 2017 1:39 PM