2 May 2019 5:00pm - 7:00pm Room SG1, Alison Richard Building, Cambridge, CB3 9DT


gloknos is delighted to welcome Dr Johan Östling (Lund University) to present Circulating Public Knowledge: Towards a New History of the Postwar Humanities as part of our annual series.

The purpose of this lecture is to demonstrate how a new history of the postwar humanities could be written. Drawing on approaches from the emerging field of the history of knowledge, I will outline a study of the conditions for the circulation of humanistic knowledge in the public sphere of Western Europe in the 1960s and 1970s. By introducing “arena of knowledge” as an analytical concept, I will highlight certain media platforms where circulation of humanistic knowledge occurred, for instance newspapers, paperback series and early television. All in all, the paper underlines the importance of the humanities for a kind of public knowledge in these years and thereby challenges a crisis narrative of the humanities of the postwar period that is prevalent both in autobiographical accounts and established historiography.

Johan Östling is a historian at Lund University, focused on the history of knowledge, but with expertise more broadly in ideas, culture, and politics in Europe’s modern history. Currently, he is exploring knowledge circulation in the Swedish press in the 1960s.

Attendance is free but spaces are limited, so please email to reserve your seat. Please be aware that we will take an audio recording of this event, which may include any questions and responses delivered by the audience.


gloknos is initially funded for 5 years by the European Research Council through a Consolidator Grant awarded to Dr Inanna Hamati-Ataya for her project ARTEFACT (2017-2022). ARTEFACT is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (ERC grant agreement no. 724451). For information about gloknos or ARTEFACT please contact the administrator in the first instance.


19 October 2018

Prof David Edgerton (King’s College London) – Turning the Global History of ‘Technology’ Upside Down: The Supremacy of Uruguay

4 December 2018

Prof Eleanor Robson (University College London) – Geographies of Knowledge in Ancient and Modern Iraq: The Nahrein Network and the Intellectual Infrastructure of Heritage

23 January 2019

Dr Sujit Sivasundaram (University of Cambridge) – In the Bay of Bengal: Modelling Empire, Globe and Self

In conjunction with the Centre for South Asian Studies Seminar Series

28 February 2019

Dr Erica Charters (University of Oxford) – Knowledge and War: Paper Technologies in Early Modern Empires

8 March 2019

Prof Rebecca Earle (University of Warwick) – The Political Economy of Nutrition in the Eighteenth Century

8 May 2019

Dr Johan Östling (University of Lund) – Circulating Public Knowledge: Towards a New History of the Postwar Humanities

14 June 2019

Dr Sonja Brentjes (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Berlin) – Heavens and Earth: An Empirical Approach to Knowledge Across Cultures 

Upcoming Events


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