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070390 KU Methods of Global History (2006W)

Methods of Global History

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 7 - Geschichte
Continuous assessment of course work

First meeting: Friday, October 6, 2006, 11am-1pm, lecture room 45.
Block upon arrangement


max. 25 participants
Language: English



Currently no class schedule is known.


Aims, contents and method of the course

At the present historical juncture when globalization, diasporas and transnational forms of political terror have all drawn attention to "networks" and "connections" across national and geographical boundaries, it might be useful to trace the past trajectories of scientific enterprises to write history beyond the nation state. The course takes as its starting point the elucidation of labels and perspectives associated with this historiographical trend - from universal history to world history and the new global history, from connected to comparative and postcolonial histories. It proceeds to look at the objects of investigation privileged by global perspectives by highlighting the ways in which the field of global interactions has in the recent years extended from an examination of economic structures of production and exchange to include new subjects - the global expansion of religious groups, the history of gender relations within a transnational frame, a global history of genocide, to name only a few.

If the new trends in global / postcolonial historiography strive for more than an "extension" of the field and envisage a change of paradigm, what are the methodological questions that such a perspective raises? Here we shall engage with issues such as periodisation, the definition of units of analysis, questions of multiperspectivity, sources and conceptual categories. One of the important methodological problems involved in the writing of global history is the question of language and concepts. How do you write about two or more cultures in one language - most often a European language - and yet avoid the dangers of imposing Eurocentric categories on non-European cultures? How can we work towards making our conceptual terms more elastic so as to respond to the challenge of cultural plurality?

The course will be structured as a combination of lectures, group discussions around a choice of seminal texts and debates, and individual student presentations of case studies that problematise the methods of writing global history.

Assessment and permitted materials

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Examination topics

After a few introductory sessions where the groundwork will be laid through a discussion of a broad framework, the subsequent sessions will be based on individual or group presentations of specific themes. Methodological questions will be continuously interwoven with the discussion of themes.

Reading list

Basic readings:
Benedikt Stuchthey / Eckhardt Fuchs (eds), Writing World History 1800-2000, Oxford: OUP 2003; Margarete Grandner / Dietmar Rothermund / Wolfgang Schwentker (eds), Globalisierung und Globalgeschichte, Vienna: Mandelbaum Verlag 2005; Peter Feldbauer / Andrea Komlosy, Globalgeschichte 1450-1820. Von der Expansions- zur Interaktionsgeschichte, in: Carl-Hans Hauptmeyer et al (eds), Die Welt quer denken. Festschrift für Hans-Heinrich Nolte zum 65. Geburtstag, Frankfurt a. Main: Peter Lang Verlag 2003; Philippa Levine (ed.), Gender and Empire, Oxford: OUP 2004; Dipesh Chakrabarty, Postcolonialty and the artifice of history, in: Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincialising Europe. Postcolonial thought and historical difference, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.

Association in the course directory

W2; LA-W2; MWG03

Last modified: Fr 31.08.2018 08:49