Rethinking Europe in a Global Perspective. 11th Symposium of the Working Group for Early Modern History in the Association of German Historians

Lina Weber's picture
September 17, 2015 to September 19, 2015
Subject Fields: 
Atlantic History / Studies, Diplomacy and International Relations, Early Modern History and Period Studies, European History / Studies, World History / Studies


“Rethinking Europe in a Global Perspective” was the motto of the eleventh conference of the Working Group for Early Modern History in the Association of German Historians hosted by Susan Richter at Heidelberg University. The event marked the twentieth anniversary of the group’s first symposium held in 1995. Both in response to current development and from the point of view of contemporaries, the concept of Europe and its accompanying narratives need to be questioned. Therefore, the conference aimed at placing the continent more firmly into its early modern global contexts by inspecting self-perceptions as well as outside images of Europe and disclosing processes of transcultural transfers. True to the overarching theme, the conference and panel organizers undertook considerable efforts to open the event to participants from outside Germany. The success of this undertaking was reflected not only in the considerable number of speakers from abroad, but also the fact that roughly half the panels were held in English. This internationalisation, not least by introducing much-needed linguistic and cultural expertise, is a vital element of the ongoing geographical expansion of the discipline of early modern history beyond the confines of the European continent and the limited presence of Europeans abroad. In addition to the global scope of its speakers and papers, the conference showcased important methodological innovations in the study of early modern history. The participants addressed the necessity of overcoming the perspective of the nation state in order to rethink the present and illustrated the fruitfulness of this approach. In this respect, the history of the early modern period is and remains topical and politically relevant.


A detailed report of the conference in English (written by Tobias Graf [Heidelberg] and Lina Weber [Amsterdam]) as well as the full programme can be found on the website of the History Department at Heidelberg University: <>.  



Programme Outline


Speakers are listed in alphabetical rather than chronological order.


OPENING CEREMONY. Speakers: Arndt Brendecke (Munich), Gerrit Kloss (Heidelberg), Susan Richter (Heidelberg), Eckart Würzner (Heidelberg).



PANEL Ia: Provincial Europe and Global History in the Early Modern Period: Toward New Perspectives. Speakers: Fredrik Albritton Jonsson (Chicago), Renaux Morieux (Cambridge), Mark Somos (Harvard).


PANEL Ib: Global Merchandise – Entangled Cultures of Consumption: Europe’s Changing Material Culture. Speakers: Bruno Blondé (Antwerpen), Christine Fertig (Münster), John Jordan (Berne), Kim Siebenhühner (Berne).


PANEL IIa: Performing Indigenized Christianity: Adaptations of Catholic Sacraments between Tridentine Reform and Global Expansion. Speakers: Nadine Amsler (Berne), Cecilia Cristellon (Frankfurt am Main), Cesare Santus (Pisa/Paris), Christian Windler (Berne), Ines Zupanov (Paris).


PANEL IIb: War as a Motor of Entanglement? Global Conflicts in the Early Modern Period. Speakers: Sven Externbrink (Heidelberg), Marian Füssel (Göttingen), Christoph Kampmann (Marburg), Tim Neu (Göttingen).


PANEL IIIa: Knowledge and European Expansion: The Epistemic Setting of Institutions Acting on a Global Scale in the Early Modern Period. Speakers: Arndt Brendecke (München), Susanne Friedrich (München), Jorun Poettering (München), Benjamin Steiner (Erfurt).


PANEL IIIb: Discoverers, Conquerors, Diplomats, and Slaves: Hegemonic and Fragile Masculinities at the Borders of Early Modern Europe. Speakers: Susanna Burghartz (Basel), Anna Becker (Basel), Anna di Caprio (Basel), Claudia Opitz-Belakhal (Basel), Claudia Ulbrich (Berlin).


PANEL IVa: Entangled Objects and Hybrid Practices? The Material Culture of Transcultural Diplomacy (1500–1900). Speakers: Volker Depkat (Regensburg), Gregor Metzig (Regensburg), Harriet Rudolph (Regensburg), Sonal Singh (Delhi), Michael Talbot (Greenwich).


PANEL IVb: The View from Outside? The European Periphery and the European Centre in a New Perspective. Speakers: Christoph Kampmann (Marburg), Markus Koller (Bochum), Arina Lasarewa (Moscow), Inken Schmidt-Voges (Osnabrück).


PANEL Va: Entangled in Global Networks: Practices, Actors, and Objects in Natural History. Speakers: Renate Dürr (Tübingen), Alix Cooper (Stony Brooks), Sarah Easterby-Smith (St. Andrews), Anne Mariss (Tübingen), Andres Prieto (Boulder), Ulrike Strasser (San Diego).


PANEL Vb: Zones of Barbarism in an Enlightened Europe? Mapping Europe in the Age of Enlightenment. Speakers: Moritz Baumstark (Halle), Karsten Holste (Halle), Klemens Kaps (Sevilla), Andreas Pečar (Halle), Damien Tricoire (Halle).


PANEL VIa: Provincializing European Diplomacy: The Global Origins of Diplomacy. Speakers: Antje Flüchter (Bielefeld), Jan Hennings (Istanbul), André Krischer (Münster), Florian Kühnel (Berlin), Christian Windler (Bern).



PANEL VIb: “U Kraina” – “at the Margins”: On Continuities and Discontinuities in Europe’s Early Modern Periphery and What We Can “Learn from History”. Speakers: Kerstin Jobst (Wien), Jan Kusber (Mainz), Christine Roll (Aachen).


PANEL VIIa: The Globalization of Knowledge? Extraeuropean Knowledge and the European “culture of innovation” in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Speakers: Regina Dauser (Augsburg), Marcus Popplow (Berlin), Lothar Schilling (Augsburg), Jakob Vogel (Paris).


PANEL VIIb: Discourses about Orient and Occident in the Early Modern Period: Problems and Chances of a Transcultural Historical Comparison. Speakers: Charlotte Colding Smith (Melbourne/Mannheim), Hiram Kümper (Mannheim), Erich Pelzer (Mannheim), Martin Wrede (Grenoble).


PANEL VIIIc: Extraeuropean People, Animals, Plants, and Objects in Early Modern Europe: Transfer, Appropriation, and Adaptation. Michaela Mark Häberlein (Bamberg), Alan Ross (Paris/Berlin), Schmolz-Häberlein (Bamberg), Eva Ströber (Leeuwarden).


EVENING EVENT: Chronologics: Why China did not have a “Renaissance” and why that matters: An interdisciplinary dialogue between Thomas Maissen (Paris/Heidelberg) and Barbara Mittler (Heidelberg). Discussant: Henry Keazor (Heidelberg). Introduced by Nikolas Jaspert (Heidelberg).


PANEL VIIIa: Languages of Communication: Southeast and East Asian Rulers in Treatises and Epistolary Communications (c. 1500–1750). Speakers: Peter Borschberg (Singapur), Alexander Drost (Greifswald), Manuel Lobato (Lissabon), Antonio Vasconcelos de Saldanha (Macau).


PANEL VIIIb: Order and Diversity: Dealing with Normative Plurality in European and Extraeuropean Contact Zones in the Early Modern Period. Chair: Isabelle Deflers (Freiburg). Speakers: Christina Brauner (Bielefeld), Antje Flüchter (Bielefeld), Thomas Duve (Frankfurt am Main), Wolfgang Kaiser (Paris), Ulrike Ludwig (Dresden).


PANEL IXa: Europe in the Perspective of a Global Microhistory. Speakers: Dagmar Freist (Oldenburg), Lucas Haasis (Oldenburg), Margaret Hunt (Uppsala), Hans Medick (Göttingen), Annika Raapke (Oldenburg), Francesca Trivellato (Yale).


PANEL IXb: European America – Extraeuropean Russia? The Recognition of the United States under the Law of Nations and Russia’s Status as a Great Power in Eighteenth-Century Europe. Speakers: Michael Hochgeschwender (München), Simon Karstens (Trier), Henner Kropp (Regensburg), Helga Schnabel-Schüle (Trier).


CONCLUDING COMMENTS by Renate Dürr (Tübingen), Thomas Maissen (Paris/Heidelberg), and Hillard von Thiessen (Rostock).

Contact Info: 

Lina Weber

Amsterdam School for Historical Studies

University of Amsterdam

Spuistraat 134

1012 VB Amsterdam


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