Rethinking Modern University History
Conference, Oslo October 28th to 30th 2011
In connection with the University of Oslo’s 200th anniversary celebration, Forum for University History is organizing an international conference in cooperation with the International Commission for the History of Universities.
Modern universities are extremely complex and diverse institutions. Sometimes termed “multiversities” for their apparent lack of inner cohesion and unifying cultural identity, they pose formidable challenges to those who seek to study and write their histories. How might the traditional, highly compartmentalized approach, producing a fragmented, introverted historiography “by professors, for professors”, be transcended? Can contextualizing strategies help us understand the specific contributions of universities to modern societies, and what can be gained from comparative cross-cultural and transnational studies?