Universität Wien
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070216 SE Research Seminar Applied Global History - Global Food History (2022S)

10.00 ECTS (4.00 SWS), SPL 7 - Geschichte
Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung


Hinweis: Ihr Anmeldezeitpunkt innerhalb der Frist hat keine Auswirkungen auf die Platzvergabe (kein "first come, first served").


max. 25 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch


Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

No classes on April 25 June 13, and June 20, 2022.
Instead, two blocks of individual office hours on April 18, and May 18, 2022. Schedules will be organized in class.

Montag 14.03. 13:15 - 17:00 Seminarraum 6, Kolingasse 14-16, EG00
Montag 21.03. 13:15 - 17:00 Seminarraum 6, Kolingasse 14-16, EG00
Montag 28.03. 13:15 - 17:00 Seminarraum 6, Kolingasse 14-16, EG00
Montag 04.04. 13:15 - 17:00 Seminarraum 6, Kolingasse 14-16, EG00
Montag 25.04. 13:15 - 17:00 Seminarraum 6, Kolingasse 14-16, EG00
Montag 02.05. 13:15 - 17:00 Seminarraum 6, Kolingasse 14-16, EG00
Montag 09.05. 13:15 - 17:00 Seminarraum 6, Kolingasse 14-16, EG00
Montag 16.05. 13:15 - 17:00 Seminarraum 6, Kolingasse 14-16, EG00
Montag 23.05. 13:15 - 17:00 Seminarraum 6, Kolingasse 14-16, EG00
Montag 30.05. 13:15 - 17:00 Seminarraum 6, Kolingasse 14-16, EG00
Montag 13.06. 13:15 - 17:00 Seminarraum 6, Kolingasse 14-16, EG00
Montag 20.06. 13:15 - 17:00 Seminarraum 6, Kolingasse 14-16, EG00
Montag 27.06. 13:15 - 17:00 Seminarraum 6, Kolingasse 14-16, EG00


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

The globalization of food production and consumption is a phenomenon as old as agriculture and animal husbandry. However, the growing speed and scale of transnational flows of food products, foodways, and fodder provision have resulted in increased cross-border dependencies for supplies, related environmental implications, and epidemic viral diseases.
Global history has set out to overcome Eurocentric positions. Global food and environmental history show that Europe as a geographical research setting does not encompass the whole picture. Especially because the origin of domesticated plants, animals was not European, there only epidemic diseases were triggered. A global historical perspective shows that domestication first emerged in the Fertile Crescent region of the Middle East. Only, successively, together with settled agriculture and encompassing urbanity, epidemics spread to Europe through all kinds of interactions foremost, changed foodways and intensified animal breeding as the primary causes.
The so-called Columbian Exchange (900 to 1900), a term coined by Alfred Crosby, describes this unprecedented process of global interaction. A long-durée perspective (Fernand Braudel) reveals the causes for the mass death of indigenous peoples in the Americas that implicated the Eurasian expansion of animal husbandry and human-caused environmental alterations. Not surprisingly, with the European invaders, germs and viruses reached the colonies with devastating consequences for the indigenous populations and the environment. Particularly zoonotic pathogens were carried by livestock, horses, swine, sheep, fowl, rodents, etc. Plants and animals invaded European colonies as secondary pioneers and continuously changed the global ecosystem by causing so-called “virgin soil epidemics” (Crosby 1982).

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

Select a topic that relates to the timespan from 1600 to 1900, referring to the changing mode of food production and its relations to the spread of so-called virgin-soil epidemics in European colonies. Specific historical cases are the founding of the academic paper to be prepared in the course of the semester.
The individual paper should comprise about 30 pages including the bibliography. A step-by-step process in the development of the topic is accompanied by the seminar group. Counter-reading of colleagues' preliminary versions is an inevitable aspect of academic collaboration. Therefore, topics will be elaborated on in teamwork and coordination with fellow students. Depending on the number of participants of the course every student will most probably get the chance to present her/ his work in progress on two occasions.

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

Continuous attendance and participation in class as well as in individual meetings are indispensable for the success of the seminar and count for 40% of the final grade.
Presentations and cross-readings of student fellow’s work-in-progress writings count for 30%.. The final paper, due on June 30, 2022, counts for 30%.

Mind! The research seminar counts 10 ECTS. This means half the workload of a master's thesis or two seminars. Therefore, it is recommended to concentrate on it and possibly not to take additional seminars. Lectures, excursions, and guided reading courses are no problem in this regard.


Global historians are often blamed for not relying sufficiently on primary sources. This has to do with the idea that the archive is the basis of secured historical knowledge. This way of doing history has its justification. However, drawing basically on written archival sources is Eurocentric, because archives as the basis of historical research are a European invention. This is not to claim that history can do without provable research. But these are much more diverse in food and environmental history, making interdisciplinarity the key element. For achieving this goal in this research seminar, common ground must be laid. Starting with Mike Davis (2005), "The Monster at Our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu", we will relate to the global impact of zoonosis through meat-based food consumption, in this case, fowl. Alfred Crosby’s book "Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900", opens our perception of prior forms of globalization and environmental consequences in a historical panorama. And, last but not least, to better understand how indigenous people made their living before they were subjected to colonization and exploited, we will read parts of Eric R. Wolf’s classic "Europe and the People Without History", first published in 1982.


Mandatory readings:
• Alfred Crosby’s (first edition 1986) Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press 2019; 2. ed., 9th print (History Library: SP VII 63/3/eng./2.A.; PDF online).
• Mike Davis (2005), The Monster at Our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu. New York: New Press (University Library: Magazin: (NT 9) I-1415434; PDF online).
• Eric R. Wolf’s (first 1982) Europe and the People without History. Berkeley: University of California Press 2010 (https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.uaccess.univie.ac.at/lib/univie/reader.action?docID=865264).

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

MA Globalgeschichte und Global Studies
MA Geschichte: Schwerpunkt Globalgeschichte

Letzte Änderung: Mo 07.03.2022 16:48