On behalf of all participants, we would like to thank the Science Po team around Jakob Vogel and Thomas Gauchet for organising and hosting our 5th Graines Summer School at the beautiful Sciences Po campus at Reims, 6th to 8th June 2018.
Global Europe #Graines2018
Our summer school on “Global Europe. Connecting European History (17th to 21th Century) brought together some 30 scholars – staff, Master students, PhDs, postdocs – from Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, USA, Turkey, Germany, France, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Italy, the UK, and Switzerland.
For 2.5 days we discussed themes, topics, and readings ranging from colonial encounters in 18th-century Calcutta, to versions of maritime history, early modern European missions and visions of Latin America, to “Eurafrica” and colonial as well as transnational connections to migration history and the globally connected village. Formats ranged from keynotes to reading groups, 5-mins speed-presentations by our PhDs to a sprint-pair-writing session on aspects that had arisen from discussions. The programme can be found here: GRAINES 2018 Programme Summer School.
Market Krizova (Prague)
Following two intense and packed days of keynotes, presentations and project discussions, students were asked to team up in pairs and pick any point of discussion or feedback and co-write for 2×25 mins as a team. The challenge was a multiple one: it was later in the evening, co-writing (with very limited time) is normally not what we do as historians, and English was not the native language for most participants. Yet the reflections were highly inspiring. Here are some tasters:
Celtic Revivalist Movements: From Comparative approaches to Interconnected Methodologies (Martina)
My PhD project seemed well defined before arriving to GRAINES summer school. My intention was to extract differences and similarities between Irish, Welsh, Scottish and Breton revivalist groups participating in Pan-Celtic Congress, and their approach and reasoning about Celtic Identity as label or tool, within the context of their goals. It should have been “classical” comparison, studying each of the groups more or less separately. However, discussions and the whole topic of the venue (Global and Transnational Historical Approaches) made me think not only about the interconnections between these groups, individual actors, but also external influences. I’ve realized that by applying this perspective I will be more likely able to formulate the aspects that influence the social group representation, and to see through the motivations of each of these groups or individuals. Microhistorical and transnational approach in combination with comparison could be a good starting point.
Neither Really Global nor Imperial? – How to Conceptualise Connectivity over Countries, Empires, Continents and Oceans (Tom & Merle)
Global and Imperial History, increasingly seen as overlapping, have been hotly discussed in recent years and its popularity among historians only seems to be growing. As a consequence, more and more attempts are coming up to specify the exact workings of such global and imperial connections. One of them is the article Global History, Imperial History and Connected Histories of Empire by Simon J. Potter and Jonathan Saha. We both think this could revolutionise our understanding of such connections. We will illustrate this with our respective projects.
Imperial violence in the fin de siècle period was ubiquitous and took very similar forms in many different empires, be they British, German, Dutch or otherwise.
This has had historians puzzling where this violence came from. Was it something that arose out of the specific conditions of colonial warfare that colonial troops saw themselves confronted with? For instance, most colonial wars sooner or later took the form of an asymmetric conflict. This might have led to imperial armies coming up with the same kind of solutions in different contexts. In this vein, Dierk Walter has argued that these armies had to ‘re-invent the wheel over and over again’. However, there were also many different forms in which knowledge on specific techniques of colonial violence was passed on. These forms included accounts of colonial wars, specific handbooks for prospective colonial soldiers, but also a mouth-to-mouth conveyance wherein soldiers with colonial experience, either on the spot in the colony, or within certain regiments, could teach persons new to colonial warfare about its specifics. Continue reading