Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition: A Conceptual Framework (Working Paper Draft)

Matthias Middell (SFB 1199 & Leipzig U) & Steffi Marung (SFB 1199)


After a year and a half of intensive work in the field and the archives as well as in our workshops and colloquia, it seems to be the right time to compare the original intentions of the SFB’s programme with results of our efforts so far. The working paper drafted in preparation of this session is an attempt to revisit the programmatic promises of our Collaborative Research Centre, which were – to make a long story short – typological considerations of the different spatial formats coming out of the various processes of (re-)spatialization that we are investigating as well as a historical narrative of that development.

Biographical Note

Prof. Dr. Matthias Middell (SFB 1199 & Global and European Studies Institute, Leipzig University, Germany)
Matthias Middell studied history at Leipzig University, earning a PhD in the field of French revolutionary history there in 1989. He then began his habilitation with a study of world history writing during the twentieth century in 2002. His research interests currently include the historical evolvement of the global condition, the comparative and global history of revolutions, and the history and methodology of history writing in a global age. As head of the Erasmus Mundus Global Studies Consortium, he teaches regularly at partner universities and co-supervises PhD candidates together with colleagues from France, South Africa, and Ethiopia.

Dr. Steffi Marung (SFB 1199, Leipzig University, Germany)
Steffi Marung gained a PhD in global studies from Leipzig University with a study on shifting border regimes of the expanding European Union since 1990. Prior to earning her PhD, she had studied political science and German literature in Halle, Berlin, and Prague. From there she further developed her interest in processes of (re-)spatialization into an ongoing book project on the transnational history of Soviet African studies during the Cold War. In the framework of the international collaborative project “Socialism Goes Global”, she has extended this research towards more general questions of the geographies of East-South encounters during the Cold War. Teaching global history courses at the Global and European Studies Institute at Leipzig University and being involved in further book projects on a transnational history of East Central Europe since the nineteenth century as well as on a global history of area studies and a handbook project on transregional studies, she contributes to the SFB’s programme with research on the historiographical background and the multiple disciplinary theoretical foundations for the investigation of spatial formats and spatial orders. To this end, she endeavours to facilitate and promote joint cross-project discussions and the formation of a common theoretical language and framework.