Kasper Risbjerg Eskildsen

Kasper Risbjerg Eskildsen

MA & PhD

  • Universitetsvej 1, 42.1

    DK-4000 Roskilde


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Personal profile


Kasper Risbjerg Eskildsen is a historian of science. His work focuses on the history of the human sciences as well as the history of higher education in the modern era, from the 17th century to today.  


He recieved his MA from the University of Copenhagen (1999) and his PhD from Freie Universität Berlin (2003). He has held teaching, research, and visiting postitions at the University of Copenhagen, University of Chicago, Harvard University, University of California at San Diego, Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte in Berlin and École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris.

He co-founded and currently serves as president of the Critical Edge Alliance, a global alliance of experimental and alternative universities and colleges.

He leads the Science Studies research group at Roskilde University.  


Modern Historiography in the Making: The German Sense of the Past, 1700-1900 (Bloomsbury, 2022).

Edited volumes

Humaniora? En spørgende videnskabsteori (Samfundslitteratur, 2020).

(with Rens Bod), The Classics of the Humanities I: From the Enlightenment to the Digital Age, special issue of History of Humanities, 2019.

(with Martin Mulsow and Helmut Zedelmaier), Christoph August Heumann (1681-1764): Gelehrte Praxis zwischen christlichem Humanismus und Aufklärung (Franz Steiner Verlag, 2017).

Selected papers

"Virtues of History: Exercises, Seminars, and the Emergence of the German Historical Discipline, 1830-1900," History of Universities, 34, 1 (2021), 27-40.

(with Rens Bod) "The Forgotten Curriculum of the Humanities," History of Humanities, 4, 2 (2019), 219-227.

"Scholarship as a Way of Life: Character and Virtue in the Age of Big Humanities", History of Humanities, 1, 2 (2016), 387-397.

"Relics of the Past: Antiquarianism and Archival Authority in Enlightenment Germany," Storia della Storiografia, 68, 2 (2015), 69-81.

"Private Übungen und verkörpertes Wissen: Zur Unterrichtspraxis der Geschichtswissenschaft im 19. Jahrhundert," Akademische Wissenskulturen : Praktiken des Lehrens und Forschens vom Mittelalter bis zur Moderne, eds. Martin Kintzinger og Sita Steckel (Basel: Schwabe Verlag, 2015), 143-161.

“Inventing the Archive: Testimony and Virtue in Modern Historiography,” History of the Human Sciences, 26, 4 (2013), 8-26.

"The Language of Objects: Christian Jürgensen Thomsen's Science of the Past," Isis, 103, 1 (2012), 24-53.

"Exploring the Republic of Letters: German Travellers in the Dutch Underground, 1690-1720," Scientists and Scholars in the Field: Studies in the History of Fieldwork and Expeditions, eds. Kristian H. Nielsen, Michael Harbsmeier, and Christopher J. Ries (Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2012), 101-122.

“Leopold Ranke’s Archival Turn: Location and Evidence in Modern Historiography,” Modern Intellectual History, 5, 3 (2008), 425-453.  (Winner of the 2009 Best Article Award of the Forum for History of Human Science).

“Christian Thomasius, Invisible Philosophers, and Education for Enlightenment,” Intellectual History Review, 18, 3 (2008), 319-336.

“Leopold von Ranke, la passion de la critique et le séminaire d’histoire,” Lieux de savoir: Espaces et communautés, ed. Christian Jacob (Paris: Albin Michel, 2007), 462-482.

“How Germany left the Republic of Letters,” Journal of the History of Ideas, 65, 3 (2004), 421-432.


  • History, Society
  • Theory of science, History and sociology of science, knowledge and technology, Research policy
  • Education, Learning, Training

Publication network

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