Narrating an Entangled World: to What End(s) do we Write Global History?

Narrating an Entangled World: to What End(s) do we Write Global History?

A13 "Subaltern Diplomacy" / MC12 "Floating Spaces", Cluster Asia and Europe, University of Heidelberg
Karl Jaspers Centre, Room 212 Voss Str. 2, Building 4400
Vom - Bis
21.03.2014 - 22.03.2014
Timo Holste

Global History, in its attempt to narrate stories of an entangled world, is confronted with several challenges on different levels: the need for an adapted methodology enabling an altered read of conventional and the acquisition of new sources, the rethinking of established categories, concepts and their Eurocentric implications, and finally the reflection of possible meta-narratives. In other words, how do we write “global narrations” and where do they lead to? Older narratives, like National History or Marxist History were told along a predefined teleology and were furthermore directed towards a specific destination (e.g. the sovereign nation-state or a world-wide rule of the worker class). Does Global History lack such a linear storyline? If so, does it need one and do we as researchers share a common intention? Or are we telling stories with an open ending?

The five different sessions in the workshop will provide a platform for the presentation and discussion of ongoing research conducted by PhD, and Post-Doctoral scholars in the field of Global History. Based on these empirical case studies, each session shall bring the debate to a theoretical level and contribute to the overarching aim of the workshop which is essentially to encourage the participants to think about eventual meta-narratives.

On the first day of the workshop, we will examine central analytical concepts – 1. Ideas and Practices, 2. Actors and Networks, 3. Gender and Hierarchies – and discuss their value for Entangled History. The sessions on the second day will then move from concepts to dimensions: acknowledging time and space as inevitable reference points of historical writing, we will explore their relation to and significance for our research. A complementary round table session at the end of the workshop will provide the opportunity for an open discussion of the issue of big narratives in the history of an entangled world: to what end(s) do we write?

Please register for participation by sending an e-mail with your name and institution to


Friday, March 21

09:45 Registration

10:00 Welcome and Opening Remarks
Benjamin Auberer / Timo Holste (Cluster Asia and Europe Heidelberg)

10:30‐12:00 Session I: Actors and Networks
Moderation: Roland Wenzlhuemer (University of Innsbruck/Heidelberg)

Max Gawlich (Heidelberg University):
Same Same but Different. Transnational Histories of Electroconvulsive Therapy.

Christiane Berth (Basel Institute for European Global Studies):
Global Trade Networks in Times of Crisis

Dolf‐Alexander Neuhaus (FU Berlin):
Entangled Asia: Korean Students, Japanese Protestants and Regional Consciousness in Japan, 1905 – 1920

13:30‐14:30 Session II: Gender and Hierarchies
Moderation: Stefanie Michels (University of Düsseldorf)

Elife Biçer‐Deveci (University of Bern):
The Turkish Women’s Union and the International Alliance of Women from an Entangled Perspective

Ivan Simić (SSEES, University College London):
Soviet Influences on Yugoslav Gender Policies, 1945‐1955 – The Impact of Collectivization

15:00‐16:30 Session III: Ideas and Practices
Moderation: Julia Angster (University of Mannheim)

Michael Offermann (University of Bern):
“Imprisonment is the Punishment to Which we Must Chiefly Trust.” Imperial Networks, Knowledge and the Prison in 19th Century British India

Phillip Wagner (HU Berlin):
Practices of Expert Internationalism – The International Federation for Housing and Town Planning in the First Half of the 20th Century.

Susann Liebich (James Cook University Australia):
‘New Zealand Soldiers’ Reading Practices on Troopships During the First World War: Local, Global or Oceanic Print Cultures?

18:15 Keynote lecture by Angelika Epple (University of Bielefeld):
Beyond Synthesis: The Return of Microhistory in Global Contexts

Saturday, March 22

09:00‐10:30 Session IV: Space
Moderation: Johannes Paulmann (Leibniz‐Institute of European History Mainz)

Johanna de Schmidt (Cluster Asia and Europe Heidelberg):
“Our Small Republic on Board, Which is Confined Within so Narrow Limits” – Space Arrangements on Intercontinental Ships

Pascal Schillings (University of Cologne):
The End of the Last Blank Spot on the Map. European Antarctic Exploration around 1900

Amalia Ribi (Graduate Institute Geneva):
Around the World in 926 days. The Global Travels of Leon Estabrook for the First World Agricultural Census in 1930

11:00‐12:30 Session V: Time
Moderation: Dominic Sachsenmaier (Jacobs University Bremen)

Nadine Willems (University of Oxford):
Questioning Modern Time: Japanese Anarchism in a Global Context During the First Decades of the Twentieth Century

Carolin Liebisch (Cluster Asia and Europe Heidelberg):
“A Turkist is at the Same Time an Internationalist” – from Studying Turkish Modernization Ideology to a Global History of International Organizations

Judith Fröhlich (UFSP Asien und Europa, Universität Zürich):
The Age of Revolution and the Historical Writing of Japan

13:30‐15:00 Round table discussion: Writing Big Narratives?
Moderation: Isabella Löhr (Basel Institute for European Global Studies)

Discussants: Julia Angster (University of Mannheim), Angelika Epple (University of Bielefeld), Madeleine Herren (Basel Institute for European Global Studies), Johannes Paulmann (Leibniz‐Institute of European History Mainz), Dominic Sachsenmaier (Jacobs University Bremen)

15:00 Farewell


Timo Holste
A13 Subaltern Diplomacy
Cluster Asia and Europe in a Global Context
Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies
Voss Str. 2, Building 4400
69115 Heidelberg, Germany
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