The International Commission for the  

History and Theory of Historiography


History of the Commission


History of the Commission

    The Commission on Historiography was established at the 15th International Congress of Historical Sciences, held in Bucharest in 1980. The groundwork was prepared by Charles-Olivier Carbonell (France), Lucian Boia (Romania) and Georg G. Iggers (USA), all are well-known scholars in the study of historiography and historical theory. The first Bureau for the Commission consisted of Bianca Valota Cavalotti (Italy), Andrzej Grabski (Poland), Hans Schleier (GDR), Karl-Georg Faber (FRG), as well as the above three scholars. Wolfgang Mommsen (FRG), Jerzy Topolski (Poland), and Zhang Zhilian (China) also worked closely with the Bureau for establishing the Commission and helping organize its activities in the formative period.

    The Commission's first president (1980-1990) was Charles-Olivier Carbonell. In 1982, the Commission launched the journal Storia della Storiografia, edited originally by Valota Cavalotti in Milan and later by the history faculty of the University of Turin, where Edoardo Tortarolo has acted as its chief editor since 1990. From the mid 1990s, Georg Iggers also assumed the editorship of the journal. Publishing articles in English, French, German, as well as in Italian, Storia della Storiografia has become a leading journal in the field of the history of historiography.

    In 1990 Wolfgang Mommsen succeeded Carbonell as president (1990-1995) of the Commission and the Storia della Storiografia also became a free-standing journal whereby its editors were given greater autonomy. Meanwhile the theoretical debates of the 1980s had called for more attention to theoretical issues in the study of historiography. In 1995 the Commission thus changed its name from International Commission on Historiography to International Commission for the History and Theory of Historiography at its meeting in Montreal. At the same meeting, Georg Iggers succeeded Mommsen as president (1995-2000) of the Commission. In 2000 when the Commission had its general meeting in Oslo, Richard T. Vann, senior editor of History and Theory, was elected president (2000-2005), along with a re-shaped Bureau. In 2005, at the 20th International Congress of Historical Sciences in Sydney, Masayuki Sato of Yamanashi University in Kofu, Japan became the fourth president (2005-2010) of the Commission. In 2010 at the 21st Congress in Amsterdam, Antonis Liakos of University of Athens, Greece, was elected the fifth president, along with a new, expanded bureau (2010-2015).

    During its first twenty-five years of existence, the Commission has devoted its great efforts to drawing interest in all aspects of historiography and expanding its membership worldwide. At present, the Commission comprises members not only from Euro-America, but also from East Asia and Australia. It provides an important venue for scholars of diverse cultural backgrounds to exchange their work and ideas in advancing the study of historiography and historical theory. In the future, the Commission hopes to promote more of its work and have more participation from scholars in Africa and the Middle East.

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