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09/11/2019 - 09/11/2019 | Paris

Rural History 2019 | Panel 306, Panel 406

Title of the panels: Rural Epistemologies in Dialogue: The Production of Knowledge in Peripheral Regions in the 19–20th Centuries – Part 1+2

Organiser: Dietlind Hüchtker and Corinne Geering, Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO), Germany

Modern society has been characterised as knowledge-based. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, access to education, the popularisation of science, and mechanical labour have transformed knowledge into a valuable resource. In the case of rural actors, middle class and government-initiated reforms aimed to make knowledge appear unidirectional, as a product of center-periphery relations. Rural people were the subjects of modernization and education, not producers of knowledge. However, recent research has highlighted the role of rural-based producers in scientific knowledge, in particular, the way indigenous and traditional ecological knowl-edge has contributed to agricultural science and botany. This panel expands such histories, with a focus on rural actors outside of agriculture and husbandry. Instead, the papers in this panel discuss the epistemologies of rural entrepreneurs, craftsmen, physicians, teachers, lawyers and members of various social and political organiza-tions. While knowledge in these fields is still primarily associated with state centres and urban civil society, this panel instead addresses the formation, adaptation and ruptures of modern rural epistemologies that occurred in interaction with central initiatives.

The individual papers discuss the mutual production of knowledge in the fields of education, medicine, health and sexuality, craftsmanship and land property among others in Central Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centu-ries. In the case studies of these papers, knowledge serves as a prism to focus on processes of interaction rather than the passive notion of unidirectional enlightenment. Thus, the panel addresses the following questions: How did rural epistemologies shape political, social and economic structures? How were rural people overshadowed by more resourceful actors from the centres? What caused cleavages and conflicts? By discussing these and other issues, this panel seeks to deepen the understanding of modern practices of knowledge in the countryside.

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09/11/2019 - 09/11/2019

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Target group:

Scientists and scholars



Subject areas:

History / archaeology, Social studies

Types of events:

Conference / symposium / (annual) conference




Virginie Michaels


Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

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