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Larsson Simon. Intelligensaristokrater och arkivmartyrer: normerna för vetenskaplig skicklighet i svensk historieforskning 1900-1945

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Larsson Simon. Intelligensaristokrater och arkivmartyrer: normerna för vetenskaplig skicklighet i svensk historieforskning 1900-1945
Hedemora ; Gidlund, 2010. — 339 s. — (Södertörn doctoral dissertations, 1652-7399 ; 44). — ISBN 978-91-7844-802-9
The dissertation deals with the construction of norms of academic excellence in the Swedish discipline of history 1900-1945. The area of focus is the competition for professorial chairs in history. The legacy of the discipline viewed history as a holistic concept, binding together most humanistic disciplines. From the perspective of this legacy, the view of empirical specialization was becoming increasingly ambivalent. How can one determine which of two specialist historians is the most qualified one, when they are not specialized in the same field?
The primary sources for this study are academic expert reviews. Throughout the examined period it is a more and more salient feature that expert reviewers end up operating with concepts of personality as a way out of the dilemma described above, the most qualified being the historian with the ideal personality. The charismatic concept of “research personality” was usually contrasted to that of the empirical specialist. Contrary to previous views, the study concludes that the norms of excellence gave a lot more credit to synthesis than has hitherto been believed, albeit as potentiality inherent in the ideal historian’s personality, more than actuality, as in a published work of history. This had a lot to do with an experience of crisis, or lack of institutional purpose for the narrow fields of humanistic inquiry. Hence affirmation of the charismatic research personality served as a kind of regeneration of the humanities in terms of institutional self image.
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