Workshop: “Global Cultural Encounters (1750-1950)” (University of Michigan, August 2-4, 2017)

For readers of the Global History Blog, here’s a recent call for attendance at a workshop titled “Global Cultural Encounters (1750-1950)” at the University of Michigan on August 2-4, 2017. The workshop that will take place with the participation of many important scholars including Albert Wu, who was previously interviewed by the Toynbee Foundation.

Sponsored by the Thyssen Foundation, the workshop, “Global Cultural Encounters, – Between the Material and Immaterial, 1750-1950,” explores our world’s interconnectedness since the modern era. The workshop will take place at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

3:00–3:30 Registration

3:30–3:45 Welcome Address
Geoff Eley (University of Michigan), History Department Chair

3:45–4:00 Opening Remarks
Harry Liebersohn (University of Illinois) / Kira Thurman (University of Michigan) / Stefan Hübner (National University of Singapore)

4:00–5:00 Introductions and Discussion of Scholarly Goals

5:00 Reception

Thursday, August 3, 2017

9:30–11:00 Panel 1: The Pursuit of Scientific Knowledge in the Age of Empire
Chair: Harry Liebersohn (University of Illinois)

Moritz von Brescius (University of Konstanz), “German Science in the Age of Empire: Enterprise, Opportunity and the Schlagintweit Brothers”

Simon Layton (Queen Mary University of London), “The Sartorial Science of Sir Joseph Banks”

11:00–11:15 Coffee Break

11:15–12:45: Panel 2: The British in South Asia; South Asia in Great Britain
Chair: Amanda Armstrong-Price (University of Michigan)

  1. Barton Scott (University of Toronto), “Translated Freedoms: Karsandas Mulji’s Travels in England and the Anthropology of the Victorian Self”

Teresa Segura–Garcia (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), “Princely Alliances on a Global Stage: Baroda, the British Empire, and the World, c. 1875–1939”

12:45–2:00 Lunch Break

2:00 – 4:15 Panel 3: Musical Diasporas
Chair: Jesse Hoffnung–Garskoff (University of Michigan)

Kira Thurman (University of Michigan), “Encountering Beethoven in Rural Alabama: German Music and Black Education in the United States, 1870–1940”

Ted Sammons (University of Toronto), “From the Workshop to the World: Jazz Jamaica and the Black Freedom Movement”

meLê yamomo (Free University of Berlin), “Globalization in cylinders: Auditioning the early global acoustic epistemology”

4:15–4:30 Coffee Break

4:30–6:00 Panel 4: Global Ideological Encounters in East Asia
Chair: Perrin Selcer (University of Michigan)

Yurou Zhong (University of Toronto), “Toward a Chinese Grammatology”

Stefan Huebner (National University of Singapore), “The ‘Oceanic Colonizing Mission’ and floating city projects since the 1950s”

Friday, August 4, 2017

9:30–11:00 Panel 5: Colonial Projects in/and the Middle East in the Interwar Era
Chair: Melanie Tanelian (University of Michigan)

Elizabeth Matsushita (University of Illinois), “Alexis Chottin’s Moroccan Music: Race, Colonialism, and Modernity in the Protectorate’s Musicological Project”

Shuang Wen (National University of Singapore), “The YMCA and the Arab–Chinese Laborers in WWI”

11:00–11:15 Coffee Break

11:15–12:45 Panel 6: Policing the Body under Colonial Rule
Chair: Victor Mendoza (University of Michigan)

Emma Thomas (University of Michigan), “Rape, Indenture, and the Colonial Courts in German New Guinea”

T.J. Tallie (Washington and Lee University), “Sobriety and Settlement: the Racialized Politics of Alcohol Use in Colonial Natal”

12:45–2:00 Lunch Break

2:00–3:30 Panel 7: Measuring the Body: Global Medicine and Anthropology under Empire

Chair: Zhiying Ma (University of Michigan)

Albert Wu (American University of Paris), “Superstition and Quackery: Scenes from a Global History”

Fenneke Sysling (University of Utrecht), “Anthropometry and the human Wallace line”

3:30–3:45 Coffee Break

3:45–5:00 Final Discussion, Possible Plans for the Future, and Closing Remarks

Harry Liebersohn (University of Illinois)

6:00 Conference Dinner 

If you are interested in attending, please email Kira Thurman: thurmank(at)

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