Eurasia in the Modern Period:Towards a New World History

Details of

Global History: Promises, Challenges, and Limits(Oct 6, 2012)

Oct 24, 2012

12-10-6 Conrad 4.JPGIn October 2012, the Eurasia research project lead by Prof. Masashi Haneda invited Prof. Sebastian Conrad of the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, FreieUniversität Berlin, one of the leading historians in Global History Studies in Germany, and held a workshop on this theme on October 6th (chaired by Prof. Yoko Matsui).

After the introduction by Dr. Mariko Fukuoka, who acted as a logistic organizer of this invitation, Prof. Conrad gave a lecture titled “Global History: Promises, Challenges, and Limits”, which was effectively illustrated by Power Point slides.

 

 

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The lecture consisted of four parts: the first part surveyed the most notable examples of Global History Studies so far, according to three categories (histories of the world; historical topics in a global context; history with a global consciousness).

The second part sketched out the features and methodological preference of Global History Studies, including its anti-Eurocentric thrust, a perspective that rejects internalist explanation, emphasis on historical interactions and synchronicity, etc.

In the third part, the most fundamental critiques of Global History Studies were introduced in detail, based on which the lecturer then elucidated the challenges that future global historians will have to confront.

Lastly, the fourth part introduced how Global History Studies have developed so far in Germany.

 

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The role of the commentator was then assumed by Prof. Haneda, who, after expressing his basic and general approval of the argument of the lecture, presented his comments according to the following six points:

(1) Global History and World History,

(2) World History describing the pre-modern period,

(3) dichotomic perception of World History (West vs. Non-West),

(4) World History and “tsushi”,

(5) World History for whom?,

(6) Global History/ World History in Japan and Germany.

 

Subsequently, Prof. Conrad responded to Prof. Haneda’s comments, which was then followed by discussions with the floor. On the whole, the workshop turned out to be a meaningful opportunity, where both sides enjoyed stimulating arguments and discussions over the promises, limits, and challenges of Global History.

(Reported by Mariko Fukuoka)

 

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