Universität Bielefeld

© Universität Bielefeld

Zentrum für Theorien in der
historischen Forschung


Reinhart Koselleck is one of the best-known historians of the 20th century. His work in the fields of conceptual history (Begriffsgeschichte), theory of history, and political iconography has greatly shaped not only historical research in particular but also the humanities in general. Koselleck’s research combines the exploration of historical phenomena with a reflection on basic historical concepts and figures of thought, thus showing in the most exemplary fashion how historical research responds to its own “necessity of theory”.

Reinhart Koselleck was substantially involved in the founding of Bielefeld University. In memory of his longstanding activity, the Faculty of History, Philosophy, and Theology, together with the Rectorate of Bielefeld University, has established the Reinhart Koselleck Visiting Professorship. Excellent scholars whose work has significantly contributed to facilitating theoretical reflection on historical research are invited to reside at Bielefeld University within the framework of this professorship.

The visiting professorship will be held annually. The holder of the Koselleck-professorship resides in Bielefeld for two months (during the semester) and is involved in the academic life of the Faculty and especially in the activities of the Center for Theory in Historical Research.

Current Reinhart-Koselleck-Guest-Professorship

Francois Hartog

In October/November, 2018, Francois Hartog will be our guest in Bielefeld as a Koselleck-Professor.

He is a retired professor of École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris. Hartog was a student of Jean-Pierre Vernant. In an outstanding way his works combine the intellectual history of antiquity with issues of historiography and the theory of history. Precisely most recently his thorough analyses of the current way of understanding our time have made him one of the most discussed theoreticians of history. His idea of regimes of historicity shows a far-reaching social-political dimension while at the same time considering the roles of history and historiography. The unveiling of a phenomenon which he calls `presentism´ provides ample food for thought.

In the following a selection of his most important works:


  • Régimes d'historicité. Présentisme et expériences du temps, Paris 2003. Englisch: Regimes of Historicity: Presentism and Experiences of Time, New York 2015.
  • Regimes of Historicity: Presentism and Experiences of Time. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015.
  • De l’histoire universelle à l’histoire globale? Expériences du temps, in: Le Débat 154 (2009), S. 53–66. Deutsch: Von der Universalgeschichte zur Globalgeschichte? Zeiterfahrungen, in: trivium 9 (2011), trivium.revues.org/4059
  • Évidence de l'histoire. Ce que voient les historiens, Paris 2005.
  • Les usages politiques du passé (hrsg. zusammen mit Jacques Revel), Paris 2001.
  • Für eine Archäologie des historischen Denkens, Jörn Rüsen (Hrsg.): Westliches Geschichtsdenken. Eine interkulturelle Debatte, Göttingen 1999, 117-126.
  • Mémoire d'Ulysse : récits sur la frontière en Grèce ancienne, Paris, 1996.
  • Memories of Odysseus: Frontier Tales from Ancient Greece. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.
  • Temps et histoire: "Comment écrire l'histoire de France?, in: Annales 50 (1995), 1219-1236.
  • Le xixe siècle et l'histoire. Le cas Fustel de Coulanges, Paris 1988.
  • Le Miroir d'Hérodote. Essai sur la représentation de l'autre, Paris 1980.
  • The Mirror of Herodotus: The Representation of the Other in the Writing of History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.
  • The Invention of History: The Pre-History of a concept from Homer to Herodotus. History and Theory 39:3 (2000), 384–385.
  • Time and Heritage. Museum International 57:3 (2005), 7–18.
  • The Double Fate of the Classics. Critical Inquiry 35:4 (2009), 964–979.
  • Polybius and the First Universal History. In Peter Liddel and Andrew Fear (eds.), Historiae Mundi: Studies in Universal History. London: Bloomsbury, 2010, 30–40.
  • The Modern Régime of Historicity in Face of Two World Wars. In Chris Lorenz and Berber Bevernage (eds.), Breaking up Time: Negotiating the Borders between Past, Present and Future. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013, 124–133.


  • Croire en l'histoire. Flammarion, 2013.
  • Partir pour la Grèce. Flammarion, 2015.
  • La nation, la religion, l'avenir : Sur les traces d'Ernest Renan. Gallimard, 2017.


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