Imperial Circulation of State Knowledge (savoirs d’État). Europe and the Non-European World in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Imperial Circulation of State Knowledge (savoirs d’État). Europe and the Non-European World in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Gudrun Gersmann (University of Cologne) and Jakob Vogel (Sciences Po, Paris) as part of the DFG-ANR project “Euroscientia”
University of Cologne, Historical Institute
Vom - Bis
21.03.2014 - 21.03.2014
Petra Overath

Under the rubric of the term “colonial situation”, the study of colonial history long examined primarily the development of specific ruling practices and forms on the part of European nations in their non-European colonial empires. The “New Imperial History”, in contrast, has for some time now attempted to take into greater consideration developments both within and outside of Europe, in all their interrelatedness and complexity. In actuality, governance patterns and administrative practices in the colonies generally developed in direct relation to practices within Europe, as well as affecting conditions in Europe in a variety of ways.

As a number of academic works, especially in the field of the social history of knowledge, have shown in recent years, state knowledge (savoirs d’État) did not circulate only between Europe and the non-European world. A brisk exchange of knowledge also existed within and between European empires, for example due to the circulation of civil servants, but also through the adoption or adaptation of administrative practices and policies. This workshop thus concerns itself with the specific conditions under which the circulation of administrative practices and of state knowledge (savoirs d’État) occurred in imperial contexts in the 18th and 19th centuries. By means of individual examples, we will examine in particular the differences and similarities of imperial relationships within Europe vis-à-vis comparable relationships in a colonial, non-European context.


March 21, 2014

12.30 pm Jakob Vogel (Paris/Cologne): Welcome
Kapil Raj (Paris): Introduction

1 PM-2.30 pm Section I, Chair: Petra Overath (Cologne)

Catherine Desbarats (Montreal):
“The Politics of State Financial Knowledge: the Case of France’s ‘Canada Debt’, 1750-1768”

Ulrike Lindner (Cologne):
"Imperial Knowledge Exchange in the 19th Century: From Scientific Experts toward the Development of Institutions"

Comments: Lothar Schilling (Augsburg)

2.30 pm-4 pm Section II, Chair: Jakob Vogel (Cologne/Paris)

Alexander van Wickeren (Cologne):
“Savoir d'État of Tobacco Cultivation in the Napoleonic Empire: Comparing Circulations from the Perspectives of Administrations in Alsace and Baden”

Dörte Lerp (Cologne):
“Passports, Deportations and Labour Recruitment. Migration Control within the German Empire" ”

Comments: Roberto Zaugg (Paris)

Coffee break

4.15 pm-5.45 pm Section III, Chair: Moritz Isenmann (Cologne)

Jakob Vogel (Cologne/Paris):
“On the Edge of Empire and Beyond. Circulating Mining Knowledge in the Napoleonic Era”

Helge Wendt (Berlin):
"Coal in Cuba. Trans-colonial Transfer of Knowledge in the Late Spanish Empire"

Comments: Ester Arens (Cologne)

5.45 pm
Bernd Klesmann (Cologne) & Jakob Vogel: Final comments


Petra Overath:

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