Reconceptualizing global history

A roundtable

Date: 1 September 2017, 09:00–12:00

Venue: Corvinus University, Fővám tér 8, room 338



During the last decade, Global History has become firmly established in the wider field of historical studies – in research practice as well as institutionally. Global History has in recent years developed a distinct research agenda. Master programmes have been established and the approach has even started to make a (still humble) impact on school curricula. Its historiographical roots have been discussed widely – as have the broader theoretical and methodological foundations of the field, which have usually been borrowed and adapted from neighbouring approaches such as Postcolonial Studies, Area Studies or World History. Interestingly, however, Global History has so far seen surprisingly little debate about the capacity and scope of its key analytical terms. In some cases, established terms have been taken over and introduced to Global History without specifying the implications regarding the field’s research agenda (think, for instance, of terms such as actors, globalization or comparison). In other cases, seminal terms have been black-boxed and not discussed as regards their analytical potential (the key term connection is a case in point). On the one hand, the terminological and analytical fluidity resulting from this practice creates a certain empirical flexibility that can foster an innovative research environment. On the other hand, however, this analytical fuzziness also makes it hard to establish exactly what impact global entanglements actually had on the course of human history and at which point they introduced a new quality to historical developments. Therefore, this roundtable panel suggests to take a good look into some of Global History’s analytical black boxes and to reconsider how what we find there impacts on the place of the field in historical research. It builds on a discussion initiated at the ESSHC in Valencia in spring 2016 and seeks carry this further and to encourage global historians to rethink both their guiding questions and their analytical terms. The roundtable panelists will give short impulses of 5-10 min each, which will tackle some of the principal conceptual challenges in the field. Then they will enter into a roundtable discussion to which the audience is encouraged to contribute


Roland Wenzlhuemer (Heidelberg University)


Johannes Paulmann (Leibniz Institute for European History Mainz)


Roland Wenzlhuemer (Heidelberg University)

Julia Angster (University of Mannheim)

Sujit Sivasundaram (University of Cambridge)

Monica Juneja (Heidelberg University)

Martin Dusinberre (University of Zurich)



Roland Wenzlhuemer: Connections in global history
Julia Angster: Bringing together the global and the national
Sujit Sivasundaram: The concept of ‘revolution’ in world history
Monica Juneja: Beyond connectivity – globality as a critical disciplinary tool
Martin Dusinberre: Scale in global history

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