I was asked to translate this Call to Action from the Verband der Historiker und Historikerinnen Deutschlands, originally written by Eva Schlotheuber and Frank Bösch. There has been a significant reduction in the teaching of fundamental historical skills (palaeography, codicology etc) in German universities. This situation is hardly unfamiliar to us in the UK.
Here is Eva Schlotheuber on the background for the debate:
In Germany, a move to organise programmes of study on a modular basis has led to the virtual disappearance of academic source criticism from the university curriculum. As a result, a third of university chairs in the area of ancillary historical skills (palaeography, codicology, epigraphy etc) have been lost in recent decades. At the same time, however, there has been substantial financial and scholarly investment in the digitisation of archival and manuscript sources, largely thanks to the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), the main German research foundation. If, however, we are to make full use of this digitisation project, it is imperative that the gap in skills training is addressed, before we find ourselves facing a situation in which the Faculty also lacks the relevant expertise. Our aim is to begin a debate about the discipline’s scholarly foundations, culminating in in a discussion at the Historikertag (the annual convention of all German historians) in Hamburg in September 2016.
Please read and comment over at the original English post – discussion is an integral part of this process!
See the whole Call to Action at the Teaching the Codex WordPress site: