RTG 2248/1: Global Intellectual History – Transfers, Circulation of Ideas, Historical Actors (18th-20th century)

One of the aims of a global history of the modern world (18th-20th century) is to explain processes of intellectual entanglement, and the transregional and cross-cultural transfer of concepts and ideas. While in the realms of the international political system, the global economy, and infrastructure and communications policies, the establishment of global standards has been well documented, the emergence of shared ideas, concepts, norms, and ideologies was a multifaceted and highly complex process. What factors brought it about? Who contributed to their development? Which ideas were able to cross borders and under which conditions? Indeed, a global historical approach should allow for a more complete understanding of a global history of ideas and concepts, as well as their respective roles in processes of global integration. To this end, the proposed graduate school aims to explore the field of global intellectual history. Such an approach to intellectual history, still very much in the making, differentiates itself from more diffusionist historiographies. Instead, a global intellectual history approach places non- Western actors and their agency in the foreground, thereby helping illuminate the complexities of transfer and entanglement processes. Institutionally (and methodologically), the graduate schools approach rests on the cooperation of the fields of history and area studies. For the field of intellectual history, until now dominated by overwhelmingly Eurocentric scholarship, such collaboration promises innovative results. The aims of the proposed graduate school are three-fold: First, we will explore the intellectual reactions to processes of entanglement, and thus study the trans-border spread of ideas, claims to universal validity, as well as counter-movements to such claims. Second, we intend to inquire into the role of non-Western actors and their agency. Third, the proposed graduate school will contribute to methodological discussions in the field of global intellectual history. An additional unique aspect of the program is its integration with the activities of the Global History Collaborative, including its international summer schools. This will allow for doctoral students to not only research global history, but also to enter into and profit from a transcontinental dialogue with alternative perspectives on global history.

Principal investigators
Eckert, Andreas Prof. Dr. phil. (Details) (African History)

Further project members
Houben, Vincentius Prof. Ph.D. (Details) (History of Southeast Asia)
Mann, Michael Prof. Dr. (Details) (Cultures and Societies of South Asia)

Participating organisational units of HU Berlin

DFG: Graduiertenkollegs

Duration of project
Start date: 04/2017
End date: 09/2021

Research Areas

Research Areas
Afrikanische Geschichte, Antikenrezeption, China, cultural history, Erinnerungskultur, Gesellschaftsgeschichte, Globale Geschichte, Indian Studies/Südasienstudien, Japan, Kulturgeschichte

Last updated on 2023-27-04 at 06:30