Berlin Workshop : Is Global History Truly Global (4-6 Dec.)

Workshop „Is global history truly global: Positionality of historians“

Berlin, 4 – 6 December: Venue: International Research Center „Work and Human Life Course in Global History (re:work)“

Humboldt University Berlin

Like every other form of historiography, global history is invariably influenced by the conditions under it emerges and the specific social context in which it is written. Even if the object of study is the world, that does not mean that interpretations are understood, let alone accepted, everywhere. As a result, the field of global history has been heralded with the call to multiply the perspectives, and to augment the range of interpretations by adding voices to the historiographical chorus. Recognition of a multiplicity of views on the world is an important advance and a defining feature of much recent global history. For the field in its entirety, it requires recognition that many competing, and sometimes mutually exclusive, readings of the global past co-exist.

This workshop attempts to further reflect upon the positionality of historians as a crucial aspect of writing global history. It has been initially suggested by Mashasi Haneda and is mainly devoted to Japanese perspectives on global history. However, in the context of the emerging global history collaboratory bringing together the Universities of Tokyo, Princeton, Harvard, the EHESS, Free University and Humboldt University Berlin, it seems useful to put these perspectives into a wider discussion and include papers from representatives of all institutions involved that address debates from and on other world regions as well. The aim should to be to avoid too detailed and long presentations but to allow for concise interventions of no longer than 20 minutes in order to have sufficient time for discussion.

Provisional program

Thursday, 4 Dec.:

18-20   Sven Beckert (Harvard): King Cotton: A global history of capitalism (public talk at Free University), followed by dinner, all workshop participants invited by FU

Friday, 5 Dec.:

9.30   Sebastian CONRAD (Berlin): “Positionality in Global History”

10.30 Masashi HANEDA (Tokyo), “History of Japanese Historiography and ‘Global History’”

Alessandro STANZIANI (Paris), “The Past and Present of Global History in France”

12.00 Takeshi FUSHIMI (Keio), “Searching the Place of American Civilizations in the ‘Japanese’ World History”

Andreas ECKERT (Berlin), “Another imperialism? Global History and African historians”

13.30 Lunch

14.30 Naoko YUGE (Waseda), “The Enlightenment and its Darkness”

Silvia SEBASTIANI (Paris) „The enlightenment project of universal history: a global understanding of historical processes?

16.00  Coffee Break

16.15  Akinobu KURODA (Tokyo), “Monetary Theory, Monetary History and Global History”

Jon LEVY (Princeton). “American Corporations and Global History”

18.00  Meeting Representatives Global History Collaboratory

19.30  Dinner

Saturday, 6 Dec.

9.30    Tomoko MORIKAWA (Hokkaido), “Global History and a View from West Asia”

Teresa SHAWCROSS (Princeton), “Globalism and the Crisis of Mediterranean Empires: A Medieval Historian’s Approach

11.00   Coffee Break

11.15   Sheldon GARON (Princeton), „Japan’s ‘Comparative Advantage’ in Global History”

12.00   Final Discussion and Future Perspectives

13.00   Lunch and Departure

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