History of science and disciplinary history from the perspectives of history of persons, institutional history, and history of praxictes generate concepts of the past that imply, actualize, and problematize biographical knowledge about the actors and groups involved. The regularly undertaken integration of biographical facts as a heuristic tool or as material illustrative of historical facts stands opposed to a widespread epistemological scepticism that denies the knowledge-value of an explicit concentration on personal circumstances. Instead ‘paradigms’, theories, institutional structures, prominent constellations of controversy, and practices and materialities are stressed as historical factors and placed at the center of research.
This workshop will present and discuss research projects on the history of humanities which range from the interest in individual and shared practices (editing, excerpting, note-taking, cooperating, teaching) through to history-of-science approaches that pursue individual or collective (auto)biographies of researchers. The question will be posed of where exactly the boundary lies between the personal and the scientific life, between private and professional forms of praxis: To which sphere should we assign idiosyncratic ways of writing, reading practices, excerpting and note-taking, publication preferences, or academic careers? And how, then, do we locate praxis-historical and biographical approaches within the theories of scientific authorship?