Doctoral Workshop: Tracing mobilities and socio-political activism (19th – 20th centuries)

Lisa van Diem's picture
June 29, 2016 to July 1, 2016
Subject Fields: 
History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Intellectual History, Modern European History / Studies, Political History / Studies, Social History / Studies
In this workshop organized by TIC Belgium, we will explore to what extent the notion of ‘mobility’ in current cultural and social theory (eg. Stephen Greenblatt, John Urry) can be fruitfully applied in historical research. Mobilities can be seen as cross-border movements of persons, objects, texts and ideas. How can we grasp mobility of people and ideas in the spheres of politics, learning and the arts? Within this context, we focus on the involvement of social, legal and educational reformers and other kinds of socio-political activists in (temporary) transnational intellectual networks on the one hand and their activities at home on the other. The conceptualization of intermediary persons as ‘rooted cosmopolitans’ (Sidney Tarrow), ‘mobilizers’ (Greenblatt) and ‘contact zones’ seem promising notions to unravel mobilities. The focus of the workshop is on European reformers and activists, but this does not mean that it is restricted to the European continent, as a lot of European nation states had colonies and cross-border cooperation and mobilities focused on colonial knowledge and governance took place in Europeas well as in the colonies themselves.
In this workshop PhD students will explore the notions of mobility and activism by presenting clear cut case studies. Participants will also reflect on methodological issues, for instance the usage of text mining, social network analysis and data visualization techniques in the humanities and social sciences.
  • Prof. Dr. Christian Topalov – Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS)
  • Dr. Kenneth Bertrams – Research Unit Modern and Contemporary Worlds (ULB)
  • Dr. Wolf Feuerhahn – Centre Alexandre Koyré (EHESS)
  • Dr. Damiano Matasci – Université de Genève
  • Dr. Sarah Panter – Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte (IEG) Mainz
Mundaneum in Mons (76 rue de Nimy, 7000 Mons, Belgium ;
Keynote by Christian Topalov on Wednesday 29 evening, workshop on Thursday 30 June and the morning of Friday 1 July
The call for papers is already closed. If you would like to attend the workshop please sign up by sending an email to Stéphanie Manfroid of the Mundaneum ( before 23 June.​
The programme for the workshop can be found here.
Contact Info: 

For further information or questions please send an email to Lisa van Diem (TIC-Belgium member and co-organiser of this event).