History of Experience: Theories, Methodologies, and Concepts

The first open international conference of HEX, Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences. The theme of the conference is History of Experience: Theories, Methodologies, and Concepts.

Keynote speakers of the conference are Professor Laura Lee Downs (European University Institute, Florence) and Professor Jan Plamper (Goldsmiths, University of London).

The concept of experience has played a major role in many classic works of history, as those of R.G. Collingwood and E.P. Thompson. Studying the experiences of people whose voice was often silenced became an empowering element in the new social history and in the history from below. This enterprise became heavily criticized in the post-structuralist thinking. Experience as simple or essentialist evidence in explaining history was challenged by many influential historians like Joan W. Scott. In Germany, on the other hand, the history of experiences (Erfahrungsgeschichte) answered the challenge of the cultural turn by taking Peter Berger’s and Thomas Luckmann’s sociology of knowledge (1966) as its point of departure in explaining experiences as social and linguistic constructions. Lately, studies in the history of emotions have made important contributions to enrich historical scholarship, mostly in a constructionist fashion.

Conference programme

Conference web site

HEX web site

For more information, please contact
Director of HEX, Professor pertti.haapala [at] (Pertti Haapala), tel. +358 50 524 2284