ONLINE – Circulating concepts of diversity – and mobilizing the nation? New global history writing, the transfer of bestsellers, and the academic landscape in Europe

June 11 | 09:00

Dynamiken und Erfahrungen der Globalisierung

Workshop in Kooperation mit dem Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte

Organisation: Leyla Dakhli & Anne Friedrichs

Circulating concepts of diversity – and mobilizing the nation? New global history writing, the transfer of bestsellers, and the academic landscape in Europe

11 June 2021 Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin

This workshop will take the publication of a Globalgeschichte Deutschlands (Global History of Germany) in September 2020 as an occasion to discuss the possibilities and limitations of historical knowledge and models of diversity as disseminated and popularized through bestselling books. In response to increasing debate about the nation following the attacks on “Charlie Hebdo” in 2015 and the spread of nationalist movements in France as well as in other countries such as the United States, French historians proposed a Histoire mondiale de la France (World History of France) in 2017 that offers a “non-nationalist history of the nation” (Patrick Boucheron) based on various events and perspectives. Since then many other countries and regions such as Flanders, Germany, Italy or Spain have organized similar global and world- historical syntheses that address a broad public.

Taking this transfer of knowledge as a starting point, the workshop will provide a forum for discussing and reflecting on where such bestsellers and models of history are leading us. We invite colleagues interested in global history writing to present their readings of the Histoire mondiale de la France, the Globalgeschichte Deutschlands, and similar syntheses in five- to seven- minute presentations. What is the conception of time and dynamics in the works and contributions under consideration? How is the historical diversity of views and ways of life in relation to the nation as well as to other modes of political-legal, socio-economic and cultural belonging communicated to a broader public? What does the conception and transfer of such historiographical bestsellers say about the European academic landscape and the public? To follow up on the discussions of three main topics, we would also like to reflect on the conclusions we can draw from the conception and discussion of these global histories for our own historical studies, models, and processes of exchanging knowledge.


Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte


Friday, 11 June

9.00 Welcome

Anne Friedrichs (Mainz)
Leyla Dakhli (Berlin)

9.10 Time and dynamics (I)

Chair: Thomas Weller (Mainz)

Introductory remarks:

Pre-modern history: Christina Brauner (Tübingen)
19th century: Noëmie Duhaut (Mainz)
20th century: Joël Glasman (Bayreuth) 
Present & future: Silke Mende (Münster)

10.40 Coffee break

11.10 Space, mobilities and human-environment relationships (II) 

Chair: Emmanuel Droit (Strasbourg)

Introductory remarks:

Africa, the Mediterranean and the world: Manuel Borutta (Konstanz)
Mobilities and modes of belonging: Sarah Panter (Mainz)
Human-environment relationships: Bernhard Gißibl (Mainz)

12.40 Lunch


13.45 Publicity, knowledge transfer and scientific landscape (III)

Chair: Esther Möller (Munich)

Introductory remarks:

Book market & publicity: Séverine Nikel (Éditions du Seuil, Paris)
Europe – our history: Jakob Vogel (Berlin)

14.45 Coffee break

15.00 Final discussion: Conveying diversity in relation to the nation – and now? (IV) 

Chair: Pierre Monnet (Frankfurt)

Breakout sessions

Introductory remarks: 
Negotiating differences in Europe: Johannes Paulmann (Mainz)