Globalized Peripheries. New Approaches to the Atlantic World 1680-1850

Frankfurt an der Oder
European University Viadrina, Chair for Comparative European Economic and Social History
05.07.2018 - 07.07.2018
Jutta Wimmler

Content and Goal of the Conference

The field of Atlantic History still suffers from notable blind spots. While the western and northern European “seaborne empires” have been thoroughly investigated as the initiators of and the driving force behind European expansion, the “peripheries” of the Atlantic world remain little researched and inadequately integrated into this narrative. This has led to a lopsided view of the early modern world and indeed, of the development of modernity. This historiographical narrative also reinforces ideas of western “development” and eastern “backwardness” that have become ever more dominant since the nineteenth century and were fortified by the Cold War and its aftermath. Historiography has thus actively contributed to the construction of centers and peripheries. This conference attempts to challenge this narrative by approaching the Atlantic World from its presumed “peripheries.”

The conference marks the conclusion of a research project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) from January 2015 to December 2017 entitled “The Globalized Periphery: Atlantic Commerce, Socioeconomic and Cultural Change in Central Europe (1680-1850)”, placed at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. It will take place in Frankfurt (Oder), on the German-Polish border, in accordance with one of the leading ideas of the University – and the research project: bridging the East-West divide within Europe. The conference is not restricted to a Central and Eastern European perspective, but invites proposals concerned with any and all perceived or actual peripheries of the early modern world economy.
Please note: The event is designed as a combination of workshop and conference. For this reason, and because we plan to publish selected papers by the end of 2018, preliminary papers need to be ready for circulation amongst participants by early June 2018.

Distinguished guests (confirmed):
- Mary Jo Maynes (University of Minnesota, USA)
- Göran Rydén (Uppsala Universitet, Sweden)
- Kim Siebenhüner (Universität Bern, Switzerland)
- José da Silva Horta (Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal)
- John Styles (University of Hertfordshire, UK)

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
- The exchange and movement of goods and people across the oceans
- Merchants and merchant networks
- Consumption and material culture
- (Proto-)Industrial production and development
- Theories of political economy
- (Religious) Minorities as agents of trade
- Gender from a global perspective
- Theoretical and methodological approaches to “Atlantic History” and/or “centers” and “peripheries”

Although the conference has no specific regional focus, we explicitly invite papers focused on the following “peripheries” of the Atlantic World and/or its historiography:
- Central and Eastern Europe
- West and West Central Africa
- South Asia

Proposals of ca. 300 words as well as a short CV (max. 1 page) should be sent to: by October 15th, 2017. We only accept proposals sent electronically to this e-mail address. Feel free to contact us at this address should you have any further questions. Please also indicate if you would like us to consider your proposal for publication.
We explicitly also invite early stage researchers to participate, and can offer a limited number of “travel grants” that cover accommodation and travel expenses. If you wish to apply, please attach a letter of motivation to your proposal and CV, explaining why this conference is important to your research and career. The selection committee for the travel grants consists of the project team (Klaus Weber, Jutta Wimmler, Anka Steffen and Torsten dos Santos Arnold) as well as an external member, Jan Musekamp (Contemporary European History, European University Viadrina).
Please combine all documents in one PDF file.

We look forward to receiving your proposals!
Klaus Weber, Jutta Wimmler, Anka Steffen & Torsten dos Santos Arnold


Globalized Peripheries. New Approaches to the Atlantic World 1680-1850, 05.07.2018 – 07.07.2018 Frankfurt an der Oder, in: H-Soz-Kult, 04.08.2017, <>.