2. Mapping the Dynamics of Humanities

2012-2015 Sponsored by The Velux Foundation
PI Frederik Stjernfelt & PI David Budtz Pedersen

The aims of this collaborative project are (a) to map the content and context of the humanities over the last fifteen years, and (b) to identify theoretical and methodological resources for developing an empirically-based philosophy of the humanities. By looking at the structure and dynamics of the humanities at universities and other research institutions (e.g., museums, archives, cultural institutions), the programme seeks to provide empirical insight into which humanist theories, methods, concepts, etc. that are operative in today’s science system.

The investigation of contemporary and historical knowledge production in the different disciplines of the humanities falls within three main areas: history of science, philosophy of science, and sociology of science. Indeed, by tracing the historical origins of the humanities, and by examining their conceptual roots as well as their social organisation, new diagrams and cognitive topographies can be unveiled that give important insights into the disciplinary and interdisciplinary structure of science, how it changes, and which disciplines that tend to flourish or disappear.

A particular aim of the research programme is to understand the humanities as situated between disciplinary science and other modes of research. Mapping the humanities involves an investigation of the relationship and flow between research in the humanities, and between the humanities and the social and natural sciences. Research topics include the search for multidisciplinary publication patterns, key-word analysis, new and emerging subfields, co-investigator links, etc. The programme is meant to inspire cross-disciplinary debate on how to track scientific activity and progress across the disciplines.

Project outcomes and publications:

Emmeche, C., Pedersen, D.B. & Stjernfelt, F. (2016). Mapping Frontier Research in the Humanities. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Pedersen, D.B., Stjernfelt, F. & Køppe, S. (2015). Kampen om disciplinerne: viden og videnskabelighed i humanistisk forskning. Reitzels Forlag.

Pedersen, D.B. & Sternfelt, F. (2016). Kortlægning af dansk humanistisk forskning. Reitzels Forlag.