Encountering the Global in Early Modern Germany

Workshop „Encountering the Global in Early Modern Germany“

Christina Brauner, Renate Dürr, Philip Hahn, Anne Sophie Overkamp, Simon Siemianowski
Universität Tübingen
Vom - Bis
01.07.2021 - 02.07.2021
Anne Sophie Overkamp, Seminar für Neuere Geschichte, Universität Tübingen

While global approaches to early modern history have so far concentrated mainly on the seafaring nations of Western Europe and their colonial empires, this workshop focuses on global encounters in early modern Germany. It also serves as a forum to think methodologically and systematically about current approaches to global history.

Workshop „Encountering the Global in Early Modern Germany“

While global approaches to early modern history have so far concentrated mainly on the seafaring nations of Western Europe and their colonial empires, this workshop focuses on a region that is still marginal in current debates about global history: the German-speaking areas of Central Europe. Taking our cue from recent inquiries into the hinterland of the slave trade and continental engagements with global trade and missionary ventures, we want to broaden the discussion and reconsider the question of entanglement and disentanglement. By integrating global perspectives and postcolonial approaches, we suggest to re-interpret the history of early modern Germany as one of global encounters.

Looking at global encounters from the unlikely vantage point of Central Europe raises important methodological issues that far surpass the German context, namely the relations between the global and the local. These relations have taken centre-stage in current debates about global micro-history and the re-evaluation of national and regional historiographies. Exploring the complex intersections between the global and the local is directly linked to the unevenness of global entanglements but also to more general questions of scale, agency, and inequality. While global encounters always take place locally, global spaces for action are not equally open in every place and to everyone.

Bringing together historians, literary scholars, and religious studies scholars, this workshop aims at an integrated understanding of the many global encounters that formed an important undercurrent of early modern German history. By focusing on this hitherto little explored space of global encounters, the workshop sets out to challenge some of the pivotal but often unexpressed notions and assumptions of global history. Namely, thinking about the global in early modern Germany calls for a particular reflection on an actor-centred approach to global processes happening beyond national or imperial privileges. Taking a comprehensive perspective on processes of entanglement and disentanglement also means to reflect on the effects of globalization narratives, not least within historiography. The workshop thus also serves as a forum to think methodologically and systematically about current approaches to global history.

The workshop is being held via Zoom. We cordially invite anyone interested to participate in our discussion, regardless of their field of research.
We will discuss both presentations given during the workshop as well as pre-circulated texts that are introduced by a short comment. To join us for the workshop and to receive the pre-circulated texts, please send an e-mail by June 25, 2021 to


Thursday, 01 July 2021

Introduction: Christina Brauner and Renate Dürr (Tübingen)

Panel I: Globalizing Practices: Collecting, Translating, Encountering
Chair: Philip Hahn (Tübingen)

Ulinka Rublack (Cambridge): Hainhofer’s Global Worlds

Jutta Wimmler (Bonn): Translating African slavery: European Travel Accounts for German audiences (pre-circulated paper)
Introduction: Eve Rosenhaft (Liverpool)

11.15-11.30 Short break

Richard Calis (Cambridge): Greek Orthodox Christians in the Holy Roman Empire

Felicia Gottmann (Newcastle):Prussia’s East India Companies: A Microcosm of European Expansion

13.00-14.00 Lunchbreak

Panel II: Embodying Differences and the Diversity of Global Lives
Chair: Simon Siemianowski (Tübingen)

Rebekka von Mallinckrodt (Bremen): Slavery in the Holy Roman Empire

Sigrid Köhler (Tübingen): Germany’s Share of the Global World: Enslavement and Abolition as Topics in German Popular Literature and Journal Reporting (1770-1790) (pre-circulated paper)
Introduction: Antje Flüchter (Bielefeld)

15.15-15.30 Short break

Tobias Graf (Berlin): ‘Poor Persecuted and Beleaguered ... Christians in Syria and Palestine’: Encounters with Christian Alms-Collectors from the Middle East in Eighteenth-Century Germany

Suzie Hermán (Princeton): Hansards as “Global Players”? Reflections on the Hanse, Art, and Architecture in the Early Modern Period (c. 1550-1650) (pre-circulated paper)
Introduction: Alexander Bevilacqua (Williamstown)

16.45-17.30 Coming together at wonder.me

Friday, 02 July 2021

Panel III: Hometowns? Peripheral Spaces of Trade and Appropriation
Chair: Anne Sophie Overkamp (Tübingen)

Jelle van Lottum and Lodewijk Petram (Amsterdam): VOCation: Migrants, Careers and the Dutch East India company

Francisca Hoyer (Uppsala): Reframing the History of the German ‘Ostindienfahrer’: Potentials and Limitations of Cross-referencing Archives (pre-circulated paper)
Introduction: Fabian Fechner (Hagen)

10.15-10.30 Short break

Klaus Weber (Frankfurt/Oder): Heavy Metal and Flimsy Linen: German-Made Products on Markets of the Atlantic World (15th-19th C.)

Christine Fertig/ Henning Bovenkerk (Münster): Sweet Coffee and Pretty Fabrics: Global Goods in Rural Households (Northwestern Germany, 17th/18th Centuries) (pre-circulated paper)
Introduction: Roberto Zaugg (Zürich)

11.45-13.00 Lunch break and wonder.me

Daniel Menning (Tübingen): Global Food in Southwestern Germany, 1650-1800 (pre-circulated paper)
Introduction: Hannah Murphy (Cambridge)

Kim Siebenhüner (Jena): Cultures of Paper. Why Europe Merchandised Knowledge and India did Not

14.15-14.30 Short break

Panel IV: The Location of Religion: Between Universalism and Appropriation
Chair: Simon Siemianowski (Tübingen)

Rebekka Voss (Frankfurt/Main): Jewish-Pietist Networks: The Pietist Mission to the Jews and Local Mechanisms of Cultural Transfer in Eighteenth-Century Germany

Renate Dürr (Tübingen): Bringing the World to Early Modern Germany: Lutheran Baptisms of Slaves and Muslims

16.00-16.15 Short break

Anne Mariss (Regensburg): Exotic Materials, Jesuit Martyrs, and Local Beliefs: Rosaries in the Holy Roman Empire

17.00-17.30 Break

Forum: The Global and the Local – New Narratives and the Politics of Perspective
Chair: Philip Hahn and Anne Sophie Overkamp (Tübingen)

Christina Brauner (Tübingen)
Ewald Frie (Tübingen)
Tim Neu (Wien)



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Englisch, Deutsch
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