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The Return of Intellectual History and a Challenging Future - Some Reflections on the State of the Field with a Focus on Recent Anglo-American Scholarship -

Min Byoung Hee 1

1홍익대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Intellectual history, which had been marginalized in the field of history during the past several decades, has been recently revitalized. The context of the return is the spread of the conviction that the humanities including historical studies should take their responsibility for the present and the future of the world. Intellectual history provides a special space of interdisciplinary communication for the academia and universities which are suffering from the fragmentation of the highly specialized discipline system. Over the past few decades, intellectual history has expanded its realm of research. It has overcome the criticism of elitism and idealism and stretched its research subjects over the people, real life, and popular culture. Intellectual history has been influenced by diverse methodologies and perspectives in the related disciplines. Other disciplines have developed interests in the subjects of ideas, knowledge, and high culture which have been the traditional realm of intellectual history. Now the realm of research is largely overlapped between intellectual history and other related disciplines. The new objects such as psychology, emotion, experience are also expanding the realm of intellectual history. Globalization, digital humanities, and the epistemological turn for the space and time recently change the landscape of historical studies. Consequently “global intellectual history” has emerged in the field. Despite the rosy description of the field, some intellectual historians are concerned about eclecticism which could obfuscate what unites intellectual history as a sub-discipline and fall into dilettantism. Intellectual historians should reflect on the nature of its interdisciplinarity and improve the real procedures of interdisciplinary works in order to develop intellectual history as a vital field par excellence.

Citation status

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