Tag: Freie Universität Berlin

Global History as Past and Future: A Conversation with Sebastian Conrad on “What Is Global History?”

It’s a common question that teachers of global history face. We belong to one of the most quickly-moving, contested, and changing subfields within the historical profession, and the travel schedules on many of our dockets—Istanbul one week, Tokyo the next—make our colleagues who slave away in the same provincial state archive blush. The years spent learning foreign languages begin to pay off, as one can not only read the newspaper but also foreign colleagues’ peer review comments on an article scheduled for publication in this or that journal. Life, it seems, is good.

But when it comes time to teach global history as a field, one hesitates. For audiences of graduate students, of course, it’s possible to follow the tactic of assigning a pile of monographs bringing global history perspectives to different regions of the planet: China the one week, the Gambia the next. But how to put it all together into one common language that speaks to the Americanists and the East Asianists in one seminar? Worse yet: how to teach this all to undergraduate audiences for whom the monograph approach would incite revolt?

Sebastian Conrad's "What Is Global History" (Princeton University Press, 2016), the subject of this latest installment of the Global History Forum

Sebastian Conrad’s “What Is Global History” (Princeton University Press, 2016), the subject of this latest installment of the Global History Forum

Fortunately, as we’ve noted in earlier installments of the Global History Forum, scholars of global history who formerly had to throw their hands up in response to this dilemma increasingly have at their disposal an array of good introductory works to the field. One might only think of the work of Diego Olstein, for a recent work in just this niche in English, or, for German-speaking audiences, a 2011 book that fills the same need by Austrian economic historian (and former TPF interviewee) Andrea Komlosy. At the field grows and becomes more sophisticated, though, so, too, are the options for introductory texts expanding. One of such works constitutes the focus of this installment of the Global History Forum, namely the aptly-titled What Is Global History? (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016) by Professor Sebastian Conrad, the Chair in Modern History at the Free University of Berlin.

Billed as a “problem-oriented” approach to global history that provides much-needed criticism and pauses alongside enthusiasm, Conrad’s What Is Global History? appears at just the right time for a field in much need of explaining itself to students—and to critically interrogating its own limits. Recently, Toynbee Prize Foundation Executive Director Timothy Nunan had the chance to speak with Professor Conrad to discuss his recent book and what he sees as the biggest challenges facing the field as it matures and grows in years ahead.…

Global History Graduate Student Conference (Freie Universität Berlin, May 21-22, 2016)

Over at the M.A. Program in Global History in Berlin, our colleagues announce the second iteration of their global history conference for graduate students. This is a terrific opportunity for graduate students in Europe to begin networking, to get a sense of the shape of the field, and to receive helpful feedback and criticism on their…

“All Things Transregional” Interview with Sebastian Conrad (Freie Universität Berlin)

Over at the blog Transregionale Forschung (“Transregional Research”), jointly run by the Berlin-based Forum Trasnsregionale Studien and the Max-Weber-Stiftung, a new interview project has launched, featuring conversations with historians working with a trans-regional or trans-national methodology. The first guest to the feature, “All Things Transregional,” is Sebastian Conrad, Professor for Global History at the Freie Universität zu Berlin. One…

Two Doctoral Student/Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter Positions in Latin American History, Global History at Freie Universität Berlin

Another opportunity in Berlin, courtesy of our colleagues at the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut of the Freie Universität Berlin. “The Department of History,” notes a recent application, invites applications for two positions (50%) for Doctoral Students / Research and Teaching Associates (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter) in Global and in Latin American History, commencing September 1, 2015. These are half-time (50% of…

Global History Student Conference (Freie Universität Berlin, April 25-26)

A quick note to readers based in central Europe: this weekend (April 25-26), the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut of the Freie Universität Berlin will host a Global History Student Conference, featuring ten panels with the work of graduate students hailing from around the world. The conference will also feature two workshops (“Collaborative Working” and “Global History and International Development: Listening…