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Strijken of niet strijken: That’s the Question


Leen Dorsman

Royal Netherlands Historical Society (reviews), NL
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To Iron or not to Iron: That’s the Question
Geschiedenis als metgezel [History as a companion] can be read in different ways. An interesting aspect to this book is that it contains a large part of the history of universities and the history of a scientific discipline. We have many official and institutional histories, but those studies reveal only a part of the real life in academia. The merit of the book by Bunna Ebels-Hoving is that it merges official history and personal history. For instance it shows that statistical emancipation of the female scientist does not mean that there is no longer any practical problem. Revealing is the part in the book in which she recounts a discussion with a colleague: should one stop ironing or not. By mixing simple (?) household questions with observations about (inter)disciplinarity this book shows what – in the words of Max Weber – Wissenschaft als Beruf really means.


This review is part of the discussion forum 'Geschiedenis als metgezel' (Bunna Ebels-Hoving).

How to Cite: Dorsman, L., 2012. Strijken of niet strijken: That’s the Question. BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, 127(3), pp.93–99. DOI:
Published on 01 Oct 2012.


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