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History and Histories in Eighteenth Century Denmark-Norway

The project contributes to the history of knowledge. It will explore what kind of stories and histories that were told, to whom, with what aims.

About the group

In the eighteenth century, history was conceptualized and composed as histories. They might be travelogues, biographies, letters, "relations", descriptions, memoirs, funeral orations or portraits – in addition to political or "perfect" history. The narratives might present the history of states and realms, but just as frequently they told about important individuals or powerful families, foreign countries and towns. Their aim might be religious, moral, political, educational or simply just to entertain and amuse. It is the contention of the project that this wide diversity shaped the idea of history in significant ways.


"History and Histories in Eighteenth Century Denmark-Norway" is a contribution to the history of knowledge. It will explore a wide range of texts, genres, forms, collections and practices from the long eighteenth century, those belonging to elite culture and erudite knowledge as well as those of popular culture. It will work with both printed texts and those that circulated as manuscripts and unprinted letters. The research questions concern what kinds of histories that were told, with what aims and to whom. How were hierarchies of genres created, maintained or changed, and in what ways did the multitude of histories affect the idea of history?


Published Apr. 3, 2017 1:50 PM - Last modified Apr. 8, 2020 2:26 PM