The first congress was held in 2005 in Leipzig with about 300 participants from all over Europe and other parts of the world, meeting in almost 50 panels.
Three purposes guided the three-day conference:
- giving a broad overview of the numerous efforts in various European countries, not only with respect to research questions, but also with regard to how world and global history is or should be taught at schools and universities;
- stimulating a discussion about the intellectual traditions of world history writing which are viewed in various European countries as a positive reference or as the background for the current debates in world and global history;
- addressing fundamental methodological questions of today’s global history writing since, especially from a European perspective, world history has to confront the long tradition of Eurocentric thinking and to explore new ways of analysing the relationship between Europe and extra-European regions as well as reflecting on the role of Europe or its nation states in international organisations and global networks.
The opening speeches were given by Prof. Michael Geyer (University of Chicago) and Prof. Patrick O’Brien (London School of Economics). The closing event was a round table discussion with William Clarence-Smith (SOAS London), Patrick Fridenson (EHESS Paris), Alexander Nützenadel (Universität zu Köln), Hannes Siegrist (Universität Leipzig), and Peer Vries (Universiteit Leiden).