This series is published jointly by the International Society for Cultural History (ISCH) and Routledge.
In both research and teaching, the vitality of cultural history is burgeoning, with a variety of interpretations of culture cross-fertilising between disciplines – history, critical theory, literature and media, anthropology and ethnology, and many more.
This series focuses on the study of conceptual, affective and imaginative worlds of the past, and sees culture as encompassing both textual production and social practice. It seeks to highlight historical and cultural processes of meaning-making and explore the ways in which people of the past made sense of their world.
We welcome contributions that are theoretically informed, conceptually lucid and empirically grounded, relating to the cultural history of any time period or geographical area. We appreciate rethinking of cultural and historical concepts, methods, and theories, and encourage innovative writing and “experimental” history.
Submissions are invited from established scholars, as well as less experienced practitioners, working in the field of ‘cultural history’ in its most inclusive sense. Works accepted into the series will be scholarly monographs and collections of articles (80–100,000 words) of high quality and originality. Prospective authors should send a detailed proposal with a rationale, chapter outlines and at least two sample chapters alongside a brief author’s biography and an anticipated submission date. ISCH membership is not required to publish in the series.
Send your proposals to the series’ editors: Filippo Carlà-Uhink (filippo.carla-uhink @ uni-potsdam.de) or Dana Weber (aweber @ fsu.edu)
The series will have a wide appeal to scholars working in Cultural History, whatever their disciplinary background. While the volumes will be scholarly works of primary research, they should be accessible to undergraduates as well as postgraduate researchers and academics.
Statistics, Public Debate and the State, 1800-1945. A Social, Political and Intellectual History of Numbers by Jean-Guy Prvost, Jean-Pierre Beaud (2012)
“Based around a number of illustrative case studies, this book charts the development of our modern-day reliance on statistics. Topics covered include scientific innovations, administrative issues and the use of numbers in politics. By looking at these aspects of statistics together, the authors are able to present a truly original work.”
A History of Emotions, 1200–1800 edited by Jonas Liliequist (2012)
“The history of emotions is an expanding field of research. The essays in this collection examine emotional responses to art and music, the role of emotions in contemporary notions of gender and sexuality, and theoretical questions as to their use. Bringing together a series ofcase-studies from points across the medieval and early modern periods,the authors in this volume provide fascinating glimpses into humanemotional experience across a variety of cultures.”
A Cultural History of the Radical Sixties in the San Francisco Bay Area by Anthony Ashbolt (2013)
“The San Francisco Bay Area was a meeting point for radical politics and counterculture in the 1960s. But until now there has been little understanding of what made political culture in this area unique. This work explores the development of a regional culture of radicalism in the Bay Area, one that underpinned both political protest and the counterculture. Ashbolt argues that geography played a key role the development of radicalism in the region. His study makes an important contribution to the history of radical politics and offers a new way at looking at America in this period.”
Breast Cancer in the Eighteenth Century by Marjo Kaartinen (2013)
“Early modern physicians and surgeons tried desperately to understand breast cancer, testing new medicines and radically improving operating techniques. In this study, the first of its kind, Kaartinen explores the emotional responses of patients and their families to the disease in the long eighteenth century.”
Crime and the Fascist State, 1850-1940 by Tiago Pires Marques (2013)
“By studying the development of Italy’s penal system, Pires Marques provides valuable insights into the wider political culture of European society. Focusing on the rise of fascism in Spain and Portugal as well as Italy, he examines the role of religious, economic and political factors in the making of penal laws.”
“Marshall McLuhan was one of the leading media theorists of the twentieth century. This collection of essays explores the many facets of McLuhan’s work from a transatlantic perspective, balancing applied case studies with theoretical discussions.”
Cultural Histories of Sociabilities, Spaces and Mobilities by Colin Divall (2015)
“For the majority of us the opportunity to travel has never been greater, yet differences in mobility highlight inequalities that have wider social implications. Exploring how and why attitudes towards movement have evolved across generations, the case studies in this essay collection range from medieval to modern times and cover several continents.”
“This book traces the history of the Annunciation, exploring the deep and lasting impact of the event on the Western imagination. Waller explores the Annunciation from its appearance in Luke’s Gospel, to its rise to prominence in religious doctrine and popular culture, and its gradual decline in importance during the Enlightenment.”
Philosophies of Multiculturalism. Beyond Liberalism by Lus Cordeiro-Rodrigues and Marko Simendic (2017)
“This edited collection offers a comparative approach to the topic of multiculturalism, including different authors with contrasting arguments from different philosophical traditions and ideologies. It puts together perspectives that have been largely neglected as valid normative ways to address the political and moral questions that arise from the coexistence of different cultures in the same geographical space. The essays in this volume cover both historical perspectives, taking in the work of Hobbes, Tocqueville and Nietzsche among others, and contemporary Eastern and Western approaches, including Marxism, anarchism, Islam, Daoism, Indian and African philosophies.”
Excavating Modernity. Physical, Temporal and Psychological Strata in Literature, 1900-1930, edited by Eleanor Dobson, Gemma Banks (2019)
“This book scrutinizes physical, temporal and psychological strata across early twentieth-century literature, focusing on geological and archaeological tropes and conceptions of the stratified psyche. The essays explore psychological perceptions, from practices of envisioning that mimic looking at a painting, photograph or projected light, to the comprehension of the palimpsestic complexities of language, memory and time. This collection is the first to see early twentieth-century physical, temporal and psychological strata interact across a range of canonical and popular authors, working in a variety of genres, from theatre to ghost stories, children’s literature to modernist magna opera.”
Humour in the Arts. New Perspectives, edited by Vivienne Westbrook, Shun-liang Chao (2019)
“This collection demonstrates the usefulness of approaching texts—verbal, visual and aural—through a framework of humour. Contributors offer in-depth discussions of humour in the West within a wider cultural historical context to achieve a coherent, chronological sense of how humour proceeds from antiquity to modernity. Reading humorously reveals the complexity of certain aspects of texts that other reading approaches have so far failed to reveal. Humour in the Arts explores humour as a source of cultural formation that engages with ethical, political, and religious controversies whilst acquainting readers with a wide range of humorous structures and strategies used across Western cultures.”
Cultural History in France. Local Debates, Global Perspectives, edited by Evelyne Cohen, Anaïs Fléchet, Pascale Gœtschel, Laurent Martin, Pascal Ory (2020)
“This volume, which gathers contributions presented at the annual conferences of l’Association pour le développement de l’histoire culturelle (ADHC), questions the subjects and boundaries of cultural history in France – with regard to neighboring approaches such as cultural studies, media studies, and gender studies – to elaborate a “social history of representations.” Historians, philosophers and sociologists address a large variety of topics and methodological proposals. Definitions, objects and actors, memories and cultural transfers: this book depicts the major questions that underlie the historical debate at the beginning of the 21st century.”
New Perspectives on Jewish Cultural History. Boundaries, Experiences, and Sensemaking, edited by Maja Gildin Zuckerman, Jakob Egholm Feldt (2020)
“This book presents original studies of how a cultural concept of Jewishness and a coherent Jewish history came to make sense in the experiences of people entangled in different historical situations. Instead of searching for the inconsistencies, discontinuities, or ruptures of dominant grand historical narratives of Jewish cultural history, this book unfolds situations and events, where Jewishness and a coherent Jewish history became useful, meaningful, and acted upon as a site of causal explanations. Inspired by classical American pragmatism and more recent French pragmatism, we present a new perspective on Jewish cultural history in which the experiences, problems, and actions of people are at the center of reconstructions of historical causalities and projections of future horizons. The book shows how boundaries between Jewish and non-Jewish are not a priori given but are instead repeatedly experienced in a variety of situations and then acted upon as matters of facts. In different ways and on different scales, these studies show how people’s experiences of Jewishness perpetually probe, test, and shape the boundaries between what is Jewish and non-Jewish, and that these boundaries shape the spatiotemporal linkages that we call history.”
Reconstructing Minds and Landscapes. Silent Post-War Memory in the Margins of History, edited by Marja Tuominen, T. G. Ashplant, Tiina Harjumaa (2021)
“Mental and material reconstruction was an ongoing process after World War II, and it still is. This volume combines a detailed treatment of post-war cultural reconstruction in Finnish Lapland – a region on the geographical and historical margins of its nation-state – with comparative case studies of silent post-war memory from other European countries The contributors shed light on key aspects of cultural reconstruction generally: disruptions of national narratives, difficulties of post-war cultural demobilisation, sites of memory, visual narratives of post-war reconstruction, and manifestations of trans-generational experiences of cultural reconstruction.
Exploration of the less conspicuous aspects of mental reconstruction reveals various forms of post-war silence and silencing which have halted or hindered different groups of people in their mental return to peace. Rather than focusing on the “executive level” of material reconstruction, the volume turns its gaze towards those who experienced the return to peace in the mental, societal, and historical margins: members of ethnic, religious, and cultural minorities, women, and children.
The chapters draw on archival and other original sources, personal memories, autobiographical interpretations, and academic debate. The volume is relevant for scholars and advanced students in the fields of cultural history, art history, and cultural studies.”
Cultural Translation and Knowledge Transfer on Alternative Routes of Escape from Nazi Terror. Mediations Through Migrations, edited by Susanne Korbel, Philipp Strobl (2021)
“The book investigates and compares the role of artistic and academic refugees from National Socialism acting as “cultural mediators” or “agents of knowledge” between their origin and host societies. By doing so, it locates itself at the intersection of the recently emerging field of the history of knowledge, transnational history, migration, exile, as well as cultural transfer studies. The case studies provided in this volume are of global scope, focusing on routes of escape and migration to Iceland, Italy, the Near East, Portugal and Shanghai, and South-, Central-, and North America. The chapters examine the hybrid ways refugees envisaged, managed, organized, and subsequently mediated their migrations. It focuses on how they dealt with their escape in their art and science. The chapters ask how the emigrants located themselves––did they associate with ethnic, religious, and/or cultural affiliations, specific social classes, or specific parts of society—and how such identifications were portrayed in their knowledge transfer and cultural translations. Building on such possible avenues for research, this volume aims to offer a global analysis of the multifarious processes not only of cultural translation and knowledge transfer affecting culture, sciences, networks, but also everyday life in different areas of the world.”
Uisneach or the Center of Ireland, by Frédéric Armao (2022)
“The hill of Uisneach lies almost exactly at the geographical center of Ireland. Remarkably, a fraction at least of the ancient Irish population was aware of that fact. There is no doubt that the place of Uisneach in Irish mythology, and more broadly speaking the Celtic world, was of utmost importance: Uisneach was – and probably still is – best defined as a sacred hill at the center of Ireland, possibly the sacred hill of the center of Ireland.
Uisneach or the Center of Ireland explores the medieval documents connected with the hill and compares them with both archeological data and modern Irish folklore. In the early 21st century, a Fire Festival started being held on Uisneach in connection with the festival of Bealtaine, in early May, arguably in an attempt to echo more ancient traditions: the celebration was attended by Michael D. Higgins, the current President of Ireland, who lit the fire of Uisneach on 6 May 2017.
This book argues that the symbolic significance of the hill has echoed the evolution of Irish society through time, be it in political, spiritual and religious terms or, perhaps more accurately, in terms of identity and Irishness. It is relevant for scholars and advanced students in the fields of cultural history, Irish history, and cultural studies.”