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The 50th anniversary of FBK’s Italian-German Historical Institute

December 14, 2023

The latest issue of the "Annali" is dedicated to the anniversary, while the traditional Study Week will focus on some of the main historiographical turning points that have emerged in recent decades

November 3, 1973, marked the beginning of the activities of the Italian-German Historical Institute, which arose within the Istituto Trentino di Cultura with the idea of promoting exchange between the Italian and German historiographic cultures. Established from an intuition of Paolo Prodi and Bruno Kessler’s, over the years Fondazione the Bruno Kessler‘s Research Center has become an important place of reflection for hundreds of historians who in the conferences and publishing initiatives promoted have found strong motivation to examine the roots of European civilization and their development.

The 50th anniversary of ISIG’s founding is dedicated to the latest issue of the “Annali” edited by the Center and published under the title “ISIG: Fifty Years of History (1973-2023) – ISIG: Fünfzig Jahre historische Forschung (1973-2023),” while the traditional Study Week, to be held in Trento December 14-16, on “Turning Points: Turns in Recent Historiography,” will focus on some of the major historiographical turning points that have emerged over the past decades.

“Fifty years have passed,” FBK-ISIG director Massimo Rospocher said, “and since the founding of ISIG and of the Annali everything has changed, not only from the historiographical point of view. Alongside the political, economic and social context that surrounds us, the research context in which this institution operates and the institutional framework of reference have also changed; funding methods and channels are no longer what they used to be; publication methods and communication languages for results are constantly evolving; internationalization and the mobility of researchers have changed the very geography of the historical discipline. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of ISIG, rather than proceeding with a mere self-celebration of the institution, it was deemed appropriate to reflect with a public event on the significance – sometimes problematic – of ‘turning points’ in contemporary historiography and their impact on our interpretation of the past. Resuming one of the distinguishing features from the time of its founding, ISIG intends to offer a reflection that does not conform to the ‘fashions’ of the moment, presenting a catalog of those currently most popular, but rather seeks to problematize this rhetoric that makes innovation or novelty its central feature.”

Since the establishment of the institute, the Study Week has been the main scholarly event organized annually by ISIG. It is an international conference that brings together some of the most established international scholars with the aim to addressing themes and issues that are central to the historiographical debate.

The goal of this year’s conference is to reflect on the significance of some of the recent methodological breakthroughs and their impact on our interpretation of the past. With the participation of a number of established scholars (including Jo Guldi, Julia Thomas, Susanne Rau, Giuseppe Marcocci, Rosa Salzberg, Anne Gerritsen), we will explore these methodological innovations to determine if they are an expression of a particular vibrancy of the discipline or a reflection of its crisis. We will examine the relationships between them, discuss their innovative scope, and reflect upon their actual influence on the historian’s work.

The members of the organizing committee of the 64th Study Week are Massimo Rospocher (FBK-ISIG), Sandra Toffolo (FBK-ISIG), Maurizio Cau (FBK-ISIG), Gabriele D’Ottavio (University of Trento), Christoph Cornelissen (University of Frankfurt). Organized in cooperation with the University of Trento, the conference has been made possible thanks also to the support of the Ministry of Culture, the University of Bologna and the University of Frankfurt.

Please follow thr link below for Information and program

Information about the Annals “ISIG: Fifty Years of History (1973-2023) | ISIG: Fünfzig Jahre historische Forschung (1973-2023)” can be found at the link below:


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