Johan Östling and David Larsson Heidenblad have been asked to write a concise and up-to-date account of the history of knowledge in the new series Elements in Historical Theory and Practice, published by Cambridge University Press. They have signed the contract and the book is due to be released in 2023.
In their book The History of Knowledge, Östling and Larsson Heidenblad intend to provide a pedagogical overview of the main currents, distinguishing ideas and key concepts of the field. However, the book will not primarily be a state-of-the-art overview but rather an argumentative contribution that seeks to push the field in a certain direction—towards studying knowledge in society and knowledge in people’s lives. Hence, the history of knowledge envisioned by the authors is not a rebranding of the history of science and intellectual history, but rather a reinvigoration of social and cultural history. This implies that many different forms of knowledge should be objects of study. By drawing on ongoing research from all across the world dealing with different time periods and problems, the authors will demonstrate that the history of knowledge can enrich our understanding of past societies. Moreover, the field can give us conceptual tools and historical insights for interpreting today’s world.
According to Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Elements “are a new concept in academic publishing and scholarly communication. They consist of original, concise, authoritative, and peer-reviewed scholarly and scientific research, organised into focused series edited by leading scholars, and provide comprehensive coverage of the key topics in disciplines spanning the arts and sciences. Conceived from the start for a digital environment, they provide a dynamic reference resource for graduate students, researchers, and practitioners.”
Cambridge Elements in Historical Theory and Practice is a series intended for a wide range of students, scholars, and others whose interests involve engagement with the past. Topics include the theoretical, ethical, and philosophical issues involved in doing history, the interconnections between history and other disciplines and questions of method, and the application of historical knowledge to contemporary global and social issues such as climate change, reconciliation and justice, heritage, and identity politics. The editor of the series is Daniel Woolf (Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario).