By examining the history of universal history from the late Middle Ages until the early nineteenth century we trace the making of the global. Early modern universal history can be seen as a response to the epistemological crisis provoked by new knowledge and experience. Traditional narratives were no longer sufficient to gain an understanding of events. Inspired by recent developments in theory of history, the volume argues that the relevance of universal history resides in the laboratory of intense, diverse and mainly unsuccessful attempts at thinking history and universals together. They all shared the common aim of integrating all time and space: assemble the world and keep it together.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction Hall Bjørnstad, Helge Jordheim and Anne Régent-Susini 2. On the History of Universal History Gérard Ferreyrolles Section I: Past: Universality and Histories 3. The Unity of History in Early Modern Europe Zachary Sayre Schiffman 4. "Even Fables Will Become History": La Popelinière and Universal History at the End of the Sixteenth Century Philippe Desan 5. Experience, Confusion, and History in Bossuet’s Discourse on Universal History John D. Lyons 6. Tocqueville’s Democracy in America and the End of History Guillaume Ansart Section II: Present: Time and Visualization 7. Providential Novelties: Werner Rolevinck’s Universal Timelines Patricia Clare Ingham 8. Tattoos and Time: Visual Ethnography and Universal History in A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia (1590) Tony Sandset 9. Histoire de l’œil, œil de l’histoire: Can We See Universal History? About Bossuet’s Discourse on Universal History Anne Régent-Susini 10. Making Universal Time: Tools of Synchronization Helge Jordheim Section III: Future: Pedagogy and Politics 11. Between Providence and Foresight: Bossuet’s Discourse on Universal History Hall Bjørnstad 12. Commonplaces and Simple Truths: Ludvig Holberg's Synopsis historiæ universalis (1733) and the Tradition of Textbooks Anne Eriksen 13. Universal History and the Lessons of the French Revolution in Friedrich Schiller Johannes Türk 14. Historicization and Perpetuation of the French Language: A Laboratory of the Universal Hélène Merlin-Kajman
Hall Bjørnstad is Associate Professor of French and Director of Renaissance Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington.
Helge Jordheim is Professor of Cultural Studies, University of Oslo, and Professor II of German, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Anne Régent-Susini is Associate Professor at the Université Sorbonne nouvelle (Paris) and a member of Institut Universitaire de France (IUF).