At the next Vossius Seminar Fabian Krämer (LMU München) and Julia Kursell (University of Amsterdam) will present their research. Fabian Krämer: "Before the “Two Cultures”: How the sciences and the humanities grew apart" and Julia Kursell: "Towards a history of music cognition".
15:00 - 16:00 Fabian Krämer: "Before the “Two Cultures”: How the sciences and the humanities grew apart"
16:15 - 17:15 Julia Kursell: "Towards a history of music cognition".
Before the “Two Cultures”: How the sciences and the humanities grew apart
Few beliefs about the nature of knowledge appear to be less problematic and more deeply ingrained than the assumption that a wide gulf divides the natural sciences and the humanities. The happy phrase “the two cultures,” invented by the British physical chemist and novelist C.P. Snow in the Cold War, has over the past decades assumed an a-historical ring. But like many other dichotomies that characterize modernity, this binary opposition is younger than we tend to think. Its emergence constituted one of the most fundamental transformations in the history of knowledge. The talk will trace some aspects of this dichotomy by focusing on the institutional setup and spatial organization of European and American universities in the nineteenth century.
Towards a history of music cognition
The field of music cognition is rather young. Arguably, however, it has a history that goes back to the earliest records of thinking about music. The presentation is a first attempt to ask what precautions a history of music cognition might take to bring past and present together. More specifically I would like to discuss the following three issues: 1) Prehistories have the reputation to be whiggish - is the intertwinement of two prominent topics in the histories of the sciences, humanities and the arts – music and cognition – strong enough to justify a history of the contemporary concept of music cognition? 2) In the past 150 years, the fields of knowledge in which the workings of the musical mind have come to be investigated have been encountering different political constellations. The history of psychology, for instance, was heavily shaken by the impact of the NS regime in Germany. How can or should present research relate to this complex history and what can the history of one field contribute to this question? 3) Is there something to gain from a history of music cognition within current research in the field? Are there ways to reuse and uncover earlier approaches and findings? The presentation will briefly introduce select case studies from physiology and experimental psychology between 1850 and 1950. Input from the Vossius community is very welcome!