Author Archives: Bernhard Struck

Welcome to Ulrike Lindner

We would like to welcome Ulrike Lindner as part of the Steering Committee of the GRAINES network. Ulrike has recently joined Cologne University as a specialist in late modern European and imperial history. Roberto Zaugg has moved from Basel University to Science Po, Paris and will keep contributing to GRAINES activities from Paris.

Reading & Workshop Group Mapping Transnational (Hi)Stories

Over the coming year, the St Andrews part of GRAINES will initiate a number of reading group events, followed by a smaller series of workshops to which all GRAINES members are more than welcome.

Events and readings will both be updated here under Projects, Interests and (virtual) Groups as well as on the Centre for Transnational History webblog.

Impressions from Menton

Impressions of the Summer School “From the Margins” are now available.


Learning from the “Reichsland”

Learning from the Reichsland . The Japanese Empire’s encounter with Alsace-Lorraine 

 Travelling to Europe from East Asia in the 1890s was a long way. But why, of all places, Alsace-Lorraine that had been annexed by the German Reich in 1871 and had become the Reichsland? This was the focus of Akiyoshi Nishiyama (Tokyo) in his witty and fascinating key note on “A Borderland seen from a ‘borderless’ country”. 

After the Meji Restauration in 1868 and during the early decades of the expanding Japanese Empire, expeditions and individual experts were sent to Europe and Germany in particular. The German Reich was regarded as the country to study. It was here where the Japanese government and experts thought to learn how to do Empire. Image

Prussia was regarded as similar to Japan in recent history – from small and second-rank to European power. The borderlands of the Wilhelmine Empire, Alsace-Lorraine in particular but also the Posen region, were seen as ethnically mixed regions from which the ethnically homogenous Japan could learn during its phase of expansion into East and South-East Asia. This was the context in which missions and individuals were sent to the Reichsland to study language policies, education and administration in the border region.