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Wednesday 12 April 2023 16.30 - 18.30
L-4 FAM15b Sibling Relations 2: Modes of Sharing - Siblinghood at the Turn of the Modern Era
C22
Network: Family and Demography Chairs: -
Organizer: Michaela Hohkamp Discussant: Siglinde Clementi
Moderators: -
Florian Andretsch : Non-partitioned Patrimonies Sharing Lower and Upper Austrian Noble Lordships in Fraternal Community, ca. 1600
The panel paper analyses how noble siblings in Upper and Lower Austria shared complexes of rights empowering them to receive rents from rural and sometimes urban subjects – usually referred to as ‘lordships’ (Herrschaften) – in early modern Upper and Lower Austria. While historians of the family and kinship often ... (Show more)
The panel paper analyses how noble siblings in Upper and Lower Austria shared complexes of rights empowering them to receive rents from rural and sometimes urban subjects – usually referred to as ‘lordships’ (Herrschaften) – in early modern Upper and Lower Austria. While historians of the family and kinship often portray the intergenerational transmission of property in pre-industrial times as a process that was settled at two key points of a given persons’s life – marriage and death – such characterizations tend to neglect family forms that knew one more key moment of property distribution: the partition. Especially in legal and cultural contexts in which a lot of importance was given to the idea that siblings – or at least male siblings – should be equals in matters of inheritance, the property of a departed parent was often not divided immediately after death, but years or decades thereafter. Until a final partition of the inherited assets in question was agreed upon, the heirs used the resources left behind communally, creating a phase of life in which siblings were highly co-dependent to each other. In the historiography of the family, such formations have received substantial attention in regards to rural family structures in parts of France, Italy and Eastern Europe, largely due to the interest of historical demographers in big households.
So far, the fact that European elites often made use of such wealth arrangements has so far received comparatively little specialized attention. However, some nobilities and urban patriciates frequently left income sources such as landed estates, companies or political offices in the communal use of more than one person until a final division. Even when a final partition was settled, usage rights and income from former communal property could still be ‘shared’ in a broader sense through legal instruments such as debt obligations or guardianships. In my paper, I argue that among the nobility of Lower and Upper Austria too, various modes of communal use of inherited income sources such as landed estates by brothers were a common model of familial property arrangement until the mid-17th century. In part, these practices were motivated by notions of ‘brotherhood’ valorising fraternal equality and unity, that had certain limits however. My aim is to shed light on the modalities of fraternal co-ownership in this social group by comparing at least two different cases from different noble lineages in the late 16th and/or early 17th century, making use of various sources from former noble family archives. My analysis follows three lines of inquiry: Firstly, I will examine general legal norms as well as specific contractual stipulations aiming to regulate the communal use of family assets. Secondly, my paper will give an outline of how income from shared patrimonies was distributed, how noble brothers allocated administrative tasks, how they made mutual decisions and what kind of conflicts could arise. Thirdly, I will summarize the legal agreements and/or other events that eventually put an end to the communal usage of their parents’ estates and other income sources. (Show less)

Stefani Engelstein : Sibling Structures: Nation, State, and Family
In the mid-eighteenth century, new words marked a new paradigm in Germany: Geschwister was coined and Familie took over the meanings of a number of earlier words for the household. As David Sabean, Leonore Davidoff and others have shown, kin marriages across Europe such as those between cousins or ... (Show more)
In the mid-eighteenth century, new words marked a new paradigm in Germany: Geschwister was coined and Familie took over the meanings of a number of earlier words for the household. As David Sabean, Leonore Davidoff and others have shown, kin marriages across Europe such as those between cousins or between sibling-in-laws became common, forming kin grids or lattices. The extended families created in this way were built upon the foundation of original affective ties between siblings. If Sabean declares that in this period, the “healthy social body was one where the veins through which capital and blood flowed were the same,” this new confluence of blood and capital was produced by mechanisms of surveillance, control, expectation, and education within families. It was, however, not only the microcosm of the family (even if extended) that came to be organized through the newly constituted sibling affect. On the contrary, a set of genealogical theories and practices placed the sibling at the foundation of civic organization, economic networks, and collective identities based on genealogies of languages, religions, races, nations, and eventually even species. The patriarchal structure of the monarchy that was assumed to be mirrored in the family was thus replaced by a lateral formation with an even wider geopolitical scope. Rather than functioning merely analogously, however, the affect for these large-scale social formations reciprocally derived from and augmented the sibling affect of families.

In this paper, I will focus on structural parallels between familial, national-cultural, and civic-political affect-building in the period. The emerging comparative philology not only consolidated national cultural identity around language, it also divided cultures with their constituent languages into family trees in which sister languages played an important role in identifying cultural kin. Meanwhile civic bonds were constructed around fraternity. We continue to observe the political impact of such claims to the relatedness of national cultures in Putin’s definition of the Ukraine as a little-brother nation, following a long Russian and Soviet tradition. Meanwhile, Zelensky in front of the Polish legislature appeals repeatedly to his “Polish brothers and sisters,” a land “akin by nature,” for its support. (Show less)

Sophie Ruppel : Sharing Knowledge: Brothers in Science around 1800
This paper focuses on the cooperation of brothers in the natural sciences in the early 19th century. Research on early modern scholarly households has often emphasized the high relevance of the familial and social contexts of scholars and literati, even to the point of imagining a "collaborative culture of knowledge" ... (Show more)
This paper focuses on the cooperation of brothers in the natural sciences in the early 19th century. Research on early modern scholarly households has often emphasized the high relevance of the familial and social contexts of scholars and literati, even to the point of imagining a "collaborative culture of knowledge" (Dietz 2018). This structure of familial cooperation - in terms of the scholarly household and the role of the family members or students living in the household - has so far commonly appeared as a "pre-modern" structure. With the increasing institutionalization and professionalization of science and due to the spatial dissociation of work and family life, the family seemed to retreat into a "private sphere" at the turn to the modern era. In modern science, kinship support no longer appeared to be decisive for the scientific performance and productivity of the (mostly male) individual.
More recent kinship research on the other hand points to the importance of horizontal kinship networks in the 19th century. These were particularly relevant on the economic level and had a structuring effect on class formation (Sabean, Teuscher, Mathieu 2007). Segments of horizontal kinship networks - siblings, cousins etc. – increasingly came into view. Is that relevant for the history of science?
The starting point of this paper is the observation that brothers around 1800, working in the natural sciences, shared work processes to a large extent: Not only do we find papers in journals where it is not possible to distinguish which brother was finally responsible for the respective article, but we also come across explicitly joint projects and publications. Thus in the late 18th and early 19th centuries there seems to have been a regular division of labour and cooperation between brothers.
Two pairs of brothers active in the natural sciences will serve as examples in this paper. How brothers in the early 19th century were involved in the same fields of research, how they worked hand in hand or even published together will be illustrated.
The question to be asked is whether these forms of familial cooperation were structurally relevant to early 19th-century society and the developing modern sciences. Or - in other words - to what extent has the modern focus on an individual protagonist in the history of science obscured our view of such "working pairs"? Could it be that sisters, daughters or wives did in fact drop out of forms of collective knowledge production, but brothers did not? Did forms of familial and collective knowledge production still exist at the turn to the modern era, limited to the horizontal axes of the male family members - the brothers? (Show less)

Charlotte Zweynert : Shared Economies. Sibling Households of Writers around 1800
In recent years, various research contexts have emphasised the central importance of sibling relationships for the 18th century. For the 19th century, Stefani Engelstein has examined siblinghood as a social structure. The lecture refers to the thesis of siblinghood as a socially ordering factor. It focuses on writers who lived ... (Show more)
In recent years, various research contexts have emphasised the central importance of sibling relationships for the 18th century. For the 19th century, Stefani Engelstein has examined siblinghood as a social structure. The lecture refers to the thesis of siblinghood as a socially ordering factor. It focuses on writers who lived and managed their households together with their siblings. Particular attention is paid to the author Anna Louisa Karsch (1722–1791) and her half-brother Ernst Wilhelm Hempel. Karsch became famous in the early 1760s as an impromptu 'nature poet'. During this time she lived with her brother in Berlin for a time. This joint household was supplemented after a few years by Karsch's daughter, who eventually had to marry her uncle Hempel, her mother's half-brother. The sibling household of Hempel and Karsch functioned beyond the ideas of early modern domestic father literature. Likewise, it was not gender-coded in a binary-essentialist way, as the corresponding discourses since the second half of the 18th century might suggest. Furthermore, it allows answers to the question of how fraternal households could be arranged apart from purely financial rationalities.
In summary, the aim of the lecture is to examine the reasons why writers lived together with their siblings in one household, how work and resources were divided in this context (from a gender-historical perspective), which emotional economies shaped sibling life, and how the shared household contributed to successfully locating oneself in the period of transition around 1800 from a literary and economic perspective. (Show less)



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