Area Studies vs. Global History? - 22.09.2016 - 23.09.2016

Workshop organized by Prof. Dr. Julia Tischler

In the past two decades, Global History has boomed, as seen in new research projects, study programmes, and institutions operating under this umbrella term. Global History is hailed by some as a welcome escape from “national containers” that seemed to circumscribe large parts of mainstream historiography. Instead, entanglements and comparisons across countries, areas, and continents, have moved to the centre. However, such developments have also been regarded with skepticism, which is often expressed in terms of an antagonism between “older” Area Studies, highlighting local specificity and expertise, and the new global approaches. These debates do not only play out on the level of research, but are also reflected in university strategies, M.A. and PhD courses, and funding priorities. The workshop aims at discussing the relationships between Area Studies, Global History/Studies, and traditional academic disciplines. What are the major differences? Are they in fact so different? What does it mean to do “global research”? When does one qualify as an area specialist? What are the potentials, but also the possible limitations of the different approaches? The first session of the workshop (22.09) consists of a roundtable, followed by an open discussion. The second session (23.09) is intended for M.A. and PhD students with an interest in debating these questions on the basis of pre-circulated texts. In addition, participants are invited to give a short input in which they discuss the texts in relation to their ongoing M.A./PhD research projects.

Organized by Julia Tischler (Basel), Assistant Professor of African History

When & Where

Th. 22.09.2016: Department of History, Hirschgässlein 21, Seminar room 1

Fr. 23.09.2016: Alte Universität, Rheinsprung 9, Seminar room 201


For all participants: no later than 15 September: via Flexiform

For PhD and MA students aiming to earn 1 ECTS point: additionally via MoNA


Thu 22.09.2016 

6.15-7:45 pm: Roundtable: Area Studies vs. Global History?

Madeleine Herren (Basel), Director of the Institute for European Global Studies; Benjamin Schenk (Basel), Professor of Eastern European History; Martin Dusinberre (Zurich), Professor for Global History; Gregor Dobler (Freiburg), Professor for Social and Cultural Anthropology

Moderation: Julia Tischler (Basel), Assistant Professor of African History

7:45: Small apéro

Fri 23.09.2016

9.15-10.45 am: Discussion of pre-circulated texts and inputs on M.A. – PhD research projects: Part 1

Chair: Martin Dusinberre (Zurich)

10.45-11.15 am: Coffee Break

11.15 am -12.30 pm: Discussion of pre-circulated texts and inputs on M.A. – PhD research projects: Part 2

Chair: Julia Tischler (Basel)

12:30 pm: Lunch buffet