Forum and Book Launch: Academic Anniversary Cultures - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Monday, November 22/2021, 6 pm

Anniversaries are a central point of reference in our historical culture - but the anniversary itself also has a history. Both are especially true for universities as social elite forges, which derive their prominent function also from their tradition. Academic foundation anniversaries thus refer to central fields of social relevance attributions. This is shown by various recent presentations - among them the anthology "Inszenierte Geschichte. Mediality and Politics of European University Anniversaries from 1850 to Today".

For historians, however, the historical anniversary is not only a research object, but often also a research practice. Anniversaries provide historians with opportunities and chances. Constellations arise around round anniversaries in which funds are available and positions can be created.

It is therefore all the more important to reflect on the interrelationships of "doing history" in the anniversary, to ensure independent research despite commissions, without excluding the circle of interested and involved parties that is expanded in the anniversary. The planned event will therefore not only provide an opportunity to discuss current research on the history of academic jubilees. It also creates a framework for sharing ideas about "doing history" around planned college and university anniversaries.

The event will take place online. After the two plenary presentations, break-out sessions will provide an opportunity to share experiences in smaller groups. Registration is not required; access information will be posted on this homepage one hour before the event begins.



Prof. Dr. Marcus Popplow (Karlsruhe): Welcome and moderation

Prof. Dr. Susanne Schötz (Dresden): What to celebrate and when? University anniversaries and women's studies using the example of the TU Dresden

Prof. Dr. Marian Füssel (Göttingen): Review lecture on the new publication: "Anton F. Guhl / Gisela Hürlimann (Eds.): Inszenierte Geschichte. Medialität und Politik europäischer Hochschuljubiläen von 1850 bis heute | Staging History. Anniversaries in European Institutions of Higher Learning from 1850 to the Present (Medien der Geschichte 5). Berlin/Boston 2022"

Dr. Anton F. Guhl (Karlsruhe) and Prof. Dr. Gisela Hürlimann (Dresden): Opening of the break-out sessions.


Full text version

Anniversaries are a central point of reference in our historical culture. But the anniversary also has a story of its own. This is particularly true for universities as training grounds for social elites and as sites that derive their prominent function also from their tradition. Academic foundation anniversaries thus become central occurrences for attributing social relevance to universities, colleges and their members. Various media compete in such anniversaries as individual and collective identities are staged and (re-)produced not only through commemorative publications and speeches, but also through student festivities, public celebrations, or even protests. The 15 contributions of this anthology analyze long-past as well as recent European university anniversaries. In doing so, they provide a historical overview of anniversary (media) cultures, and at the same time offer an orientation for critically assessing present day jubilees.



We would like to thank the Institute for Technology Futures (ITZ) for its support and generous sponsorship, which has enabled worldwide full-text access to this book.