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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Centre for International Relations Research (CIRR) Chair Group on History and Theory of International Relations Research themes Historical Epistemology

Historical Epistemology

Rupetrian art in Altamira cove
Rupetrian art in Altamira cove

How do the combination between sets of beliefs, knowledges, imaginations, and practices make it possible to think of a certain kind of subject at a particular time (e.g. liberal, modern, capitalist, nationalist)? How do connections between ideas, understandings of nature, forms of organisation, and modes of reasoning about order, power, and governance, have given rise to specific spaces of governance (e.g. the territory, the ocean, the nation, the colony)?

Such questions are examples of how a historical epistemological approach opens up the possibility of understanding the making of subjects, spaces, entities, and temporalities in non-lineal fashion and in a meta-disciplinary way.

Historical epistemology is a methodological approach actively pursued at HTIR. Through individual and collective efforts we have been working on understanding the making of global connectivities and novel spaces of governance in historical and regional settings. We are doing so by using mapping and cartography, archives and material artefacts, ideas, imaginaries, and theories, as well as personal histories and emotions, as empirical sites for investigation. We have projects ranging between the fourteenth and the twenty-first centuries, and overlapping themes such as empire-making and dismantling, the creation of oceanic spaces, the epistemologies of navigation and localisation, the invention of peoples and individuals, the making of ecosystems and environments, as well as the theory of international, legal and socio-political order.

Projects engaging with this methodological approach at HTIR are shown at the menu on the left.

Historical Epistemology - Sailing ship - source Anonymous
Last modified:04 May 2020 3.41 p.m.