Frontiers in Global History. Connections and Disconnections

Frontiers in Global History: Connections and Disconnections

Moritz von Brescius / Christof Dejung (Bern), Steffi Marung / Antje Dietze (Leipzig)
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08.11.2023 - 10.11.2023
Moritz von Brescius

International conference, "Frontiers in Global History: Connections and Disconnections"

Frontiers in Global History: Connections and Disconnections

The workshop explores a central tension in the global history of the last two centuries: the dialectic of territorialization and globalization processes in the fields of migration, resource extraction, and economic, cultural, and social networking across borders and borderlands. We work with the hypothesis that it is not sufficient to think in a binary either-or scheme of increasing territorialization or cross-border interconnections, but rather that territorialization processes can often simultaneously trigger networking and globalization thrusts at other levels. Thus, in our view, it is not sufficient to think about border regulations and regimes, as in the example of migration legislation or resource extraction, only from a political-legal perspective, since human mobility and resource extraction often operate through informal networks that were little regulated by the state.


November 8, 2023:

Opening Keynote Lecture
Matthias Middell (Leipzig): „Französische Globalisierungsprojekte“ (Vortrag im Rahmen des FoKo „Geschichte nach 1800“)

Thursday, 9 November
Mittelstrasse 43, Room 228

9.00 – 9.15 a.m.
Welcome and Introductory Remarks by Moritz von Brescius & Christof Dejung (Bern)

9.15 – 10.45 a.m.
Panel 1: Migration and Mobilities
(Chair: Sibylle Marti)

Megan Maruschke (Leipzig): “Philadelphia as a City of Refuge, Relief, and Re- expulsion during the Age of Revolutions (circa 1780s-1810)”

Agnes Gehbald (Bern): “A Two-Way Movement across the Atlantic: The Production of Migrant Statistics in the Americas, 1857–1907”

10.45 – 11.15 a.m. Coffee Break

11.15 a.m. – 12.45 p.m.
Panel 2: Postcolonial Entanglements
(Chair: Philipp Horn)

Jan-Niklas Kniewel (Bern): “Okapi Diplomacy: International Conservation NGOs, Autocracy, and the Negotiation of the Conservation Frontier in the DR Congo, c. 1960-2006”

Katja Castryck-Naumann (Leipzig): “Shipping was very much an instrument of empire“: Władysław R. Malinowski, UNCTAD and Socialist Shipping Policy in the Decolonization of International Shipping (1946-1975)”

12.45 – 2.00 p.m.
Lunch Break
Taj, Länggassstrasse 43, 3012 Bern

2.00 – 3.30 p.m. Panel 3: Commodity and Energy Histories
(Chair: Agnes Gehbald)

Daniela Russ (Leipzig): “Toward a Rural Universal? The Rise and Fall of UNEP’s Rural Energy Centers (1975-1985)”

Rea Vogt (Bern): “A Returnee’s Drink. Diasporic Yerba Mate Trade Between Argentina and Lebanon (1920s-1950s)”

3.30 – 4.00 p.m. Coffee Break

4.00 – 5.30 p.m. Panel 4: Global Connections and Social Mobility
(Chair: David Rentsch)

Philipp Horn (Bern): “He Who Shall Not Be King. The Collapse of Social Frontiers in the Atlantic World and the Birth of the Afropean Middle Class (1880-1920)”

Steffi Marung (Leipzig): “Socialist (Im)mobilities: Contingencies, Moorings and the Challenges of the “Friendship Script””

6.00 p.m. Optional guided tour through the historic city centre of Bern (UNESCO World Heritage)

7.30 p.m. Dinner at the Restaurant Kirchenfeld, Thunstrasse 5, 3005 Bern.

Friday, 10 November
Mittelstrasse 43, Room 228

9.00 – 10.30 a.m. Panel 5: Africa, Empire and the Environment
(Chair: Rea Vogt)

Geert Castryck (Leipzig): “De-imperializing Colonialism: A Transimperial and Intercolonial Perspective on East and Central Africa in the 1920s”

David Rentsch (Bern): Yangambi and the Global Rubber Frontier: Science, Cash-Crops and Social Change in the Belgian Congo, 1910-1960”

10.30 – 11.00 a.m. Coffee Break.

11.00 – 11.45 a.m. Panel 6: The Role of International Organizations

Antje Dietze (Leipzig): “Globalizing the Cultural and Media Industries: The Role of International Organizations in the Twentieth Century”

11.45 a.m. – 12.15 p.m. Concluding Session
Commentary by Christof Dejung (Bern)

12.15 p.m. End of Program
Fingerfood Lunch (optional)


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