Histcon.se Time, Memory and Representation Tid, Minne, Representation

A Multidisciplinary Program on Transformations in Historical Consciousness

Ett mångdisciplinärt forskningsprogram om historiemedvetandets förvandlingar

Rebecka Lettevall

Associate Professor, History of Ideas, Södertörn University

Biography

Associate professor at the Department for History of Ideas, Södertörn University. Director of research at CBEES and The Nobel Museum. Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Södertörn University. PhD in History of Ideas, Lund University 2001, with dissertation En europeisk kosmopolit. En idéhistorisk studie av Immanuel Kants Om den eviga freden och dess verkningshistoria. She has worked on the history of political thought, and in particular on the ideas of cosmopolitanism, world peace, and neutrality, and she recently edited the volume The Idea of Kosmopolis. History, philosophy and politics of world citizenship (2008).

Ongoing research

Lettevall will contribute an in-depth conceptual-historical study on the constellation of the conceptual pair patriotism and cosmopolitanism, combining a historical and analytical approach. By working simultaneously on these two conceptual terms she will encircle the problem of modern citizenship, in the tension between different forms of communities, the local and the global. While the cosmopolitan ideal has received attention over the last decades, that of patriotism is today partly hidden and repressed, as if certain concepts are forced into the background by changing historico-political situations (cf. Kateb 2006). But the significance of conceptual history, as delineated by Koselleck, is to trace the key concepts that can open up the past for us in new ways, and thus ultimately also to achieve a better understanding of the present. The premise for the study is that “patriotism” in particular provides such an important key for interpreting past political reality. The development of its use during the 20th century has contributed to making it problematic in the European political situation. At the same time, American popular culture and contemporary political discourse constitutes an important contrast. The idea is to develop a combination of historical conceptual analysis with a more critical-analytical approach.

 

Selected bibliography

R. Lettevall En europeisk kosmopolit. En idéhistorisk studie av Immanuel Kants Om den eviga freden och dess verkningshistoria Stehag/Stockholm: Symposion 2001 (diss.)

– eds. With M. Klockar Linder, The Idea of Kosmopolis. History, philosophy and politics of world citizenshi (Stockholm: Södertörn Academic Studies 2008)

– “Fred i tiden. Modern och senmodern fred speglad i Nobelprisen”, in M. Jerneck (Ed.) Fred i realpolitikens skugga (Lund: Studentlitteratur 2008)

– “Turning golden coins into loose change. Philosophical, political and popular readings of Kant’s Zum ewigen Frieden” in: J. Hrushka, S. Byrd (eds.) Jahrbuch für Recht und Ethik, vol. 17, 2009 (forthcoming)

– “On the war over perpetual peace”, in Kantian Review (ed. Howard Williams) Vol. 11, 2009 (forthcoming)

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