TRAMES 4, 1, 1997

Wolfgang Drechsler and Rainer Kattel. Karl Bücher in dorpat

University of Tartu


Karl Bücher (1847Ė1930), an eminent historical and anthropological economist and a founder of journalism as an academic discipline in Europe, held between 1882 and 1883 the Chair of Geography, Ethnography, and Statistics at the Imperial University of Dorpat (now Tartu). The present essay details especially the situation of the University during that time; the history of Bücherís Chair, which is argued to be one of the most eminent at Dorpat, attracting internationally reputable scholars; the relations between Baltic Germans, Imperial Germans, Russians, and Estonians; the identity problem of the Baltic Germans in the context of both the German and the Russian nation state; and the language question (Russian vs. German) at the University. Particular consideration is given to the academic fights over two dissertations Bücher supervised and which were strongly criticized by the Baltic Germans, and to the Baltic German attitude towards the Estonian peasantry and Bücherís analysis thereof. Finally, Bücherís publications are discussed against the background of general Dorpat publishing habits at that time.

Back to contents or to the first page.