From the Margins. Revising European History, c.1400 to present
17-20 June 2013, Menton, France
Submission of Applications: 15 January 2013
Venue/Date: SciencesPo Menton, France 17-20 June 2013
In recent years traditional narratives of European History have been fundamentally questioned. Paradigms of progress and modernisation, as well as narratives of European integration and Europeanisation haven been criticised. Even the unity of European history, as a distinct research field, has come under scrutiny. Many voices call for a polycentric or a ‘provincialised’ history of Europe (D. Chakrabarty) and for a European history that understands itself as part of a wider form of transnational or global history.
European history needs to confront, review and revise its traditional historiographical narratives. This is the guiding theme of the summer school“From the Margins: Revisiting European History, c.1400 to present”, organized by the Graduate Interdisciplinary Network for European Studies (GRAINES). Participants of the summer school will engage with approaches in global, transnational as well as post-colonial history in order to enhance the field of European history and develop new understandings of the history of this area. We see the recent critiques of European history as a challenge and an opportunity to develop new analytical perspectives on the interactions and transfers between Europe and non-European regions. The engagement with ‘margins’ of Europe comprises a two-fold perspective: a geographical as well as analytical one. The summer school seeks to engage with both.
On the one hand, the history of Europe can be embedded in a global context. Such a global setting of Europe draws on insights from colonial or post-colonial history as well as analysis of relations and interactions between Europe and non-European regions. The global or European perspectives from the ‘margins’ are applied in order to question established narratives on the development of European regions and states from within. Related as well as relational processes of globalization can be traced back to transcontinental trade relations of the medieval period or to the later ages of discovery of the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. The modern notion of Europe is deeply marked by these transnational and global interactions from the ‘margins’ since the early modern era.
On the other hand, the conceptual distinction between centres and peripheries, derived from post-colonial studies, can illuminate the analysis of differences within Europe, such as between northern and southern Europe, or western and eastern Europe. Such a framework also sheds new light on the role of peripheries – peripheries at the borders but also from social as well as cultural ‘margins’ at the core of European countries – for modern European history. Too many of the traditional narratives of European History are merely based on the three Western European countries: France, Britain and Germany.
In revisiting approaches and interpretations of European history from the margins the summer school seeks to discuss avenues in European history along the following key axis:
Centres and peripheries: Along this axis we seek to (re)discuss aspects such as the shifting dynamics between different centres and peripheries over time as well as shifting perceptions and identities of Europe along and between centres and peripheries.
Borders and contact zones: At this level the summer school seeks to engage with concepts of border and border studies. Europe is the smallest continent and arguably the one with the most dynamic and most frequently shifting borders. Borders within and around Europe divide and unite. The discussion of he role of territorial, social, economic and cultural borders will be addressed as a key element of a multi-layered European history.
Circulations and trading zones: Along this axis the summer school seeks to address a perspective on European history that focuses less on the well established narrative along states and nation-states but rather the complex, again multi-layered circulation of people, objects and artefacts of culture, knowledge and science, which – through processes of circulation, translation and transfers across (cultural, linguistic, state) borders and between centres and peripheries – often escape the neat national description.
Based on these approaches, the summer school seeks to discuss new interpretations and conceptualisations, which have the potential to question and revise traditional notions of Europe and classic views of Europeanization, and to prepare the ground for a new understanding of European History. The organizers invite scholars from a broad range of theoretical, geographical and chronological perspectives, stretching from political and economic to social and cultural history. Temporally, the summer school is trans-epochal and covers the pre-modern and modern periods.
The summer school, 17-20 June 2013, is set at the beautiful Mediterranean SciencesPo campus of Menton and will comprise different components including keynote speakers, seminar-style reading groups based on selected readings and presentations by participants. It is expected that participants present on their research in form of a short paper as part of a discussion group.
Speakers at the summer school include Monica Juneja (Heidelberg), Akiyoshi Nishiyama (Tokyo), Elena Marushiakova (Sofia).
The working language of the summer school is English though a passive knowledge of German and/or French is desirable.
Fees and Conditions
The summer school is open to PhD candidates and PostDocs. The Summer School is organized and subsidised by the GRAINES network. A fee of 150 Euro applies for all participants. The fee includes accommodation and catering. Travel expenses are not included. Limited funding may be available for travel expenses. For a limited number of places fees may be waived at request. For participants travelling with children childcare will be provided.
Submission date is 15 January 2013.
Please submit your application (CV 1 with current status, institution max. 1 page; project outline max. 1 page) to Bernhard.email@example.com
Please indicate briefly in your application if you are seeking financial support or a fee waiver from GRAINES in order to participate at the summer school.
For information on SciencesPo Menton see