Author Archives: jordangirardin

#GRAINES2015: Follow our third Summer School

The third GRAINES Summer School is under way until Thursday 10th June!

You can follow us on Twitter #GRAINES2015 or  on our website.

“Spaces – Objects – Knowledge. An Integrative Perspective on Recent Turns in Historical Research”

Graines is delighted to promote the work published by two PhD members of the University of Cologne, Alexander van Wickeren and Pascal Schillings.

How can spaces, objects and knowledge be integratively analysed  in historical investigations? New answers and perspectives can be found in “Spaces – Objects – Knowledge. An Integrative Perspective on Recent Turns in Historical Research”, the upcoming focus of the journal Historical Social Research.

For a foretaste, check the introduction written by Pascal Schillings and Alexander van Wickeren on

PhD mobility at GRAINES

We are pleased to announce that our network has started to support research mobility for our PhD students. Basel, St Andrews and Sciences Po are now linked through the work of their doctoral researchers and more projects will soon enjoy the variety of our institutions.

  • The Centre d’Histoire de Sciences Po has just welcomed Ousmane Seydi from Basel. Ousmane will be staying until January 2015 under the supervision of Roberto Zaugg. His work examines the circulation of scientific knowledge in Senegal.
  • From September to December 2014, the Basel Graduate School of History welcomed Jordan Girardin from St Andrews. Jordan’s thesis is an entangled analysis of the Alps between 1750 and 1830, focusing on travel and transnational routes. This semester has allowed him to broaden his historiographical knowledge, to take part in the department’s conferences and seminars, and to travel through Switzerland and France to collect primary sources. Jordan is currently finishing up his research in Alpine archives and will present his work in Basel next week during the Themennachmittag “Vorstellungen von Naturräumen”.

Starting PhD Scholarships (Basel, starting 15 April 2015)

The Basel Graduate School of History (BGSH) is offering three 1-year starter scholarships, each worth CHF 25,000 (approx. EUR 20,000, in two tranches with evaluation). Their purpose is to support graduates during the starting phase of their doctorate while the scholars are developing their research project and submitting it to the Swiss National Science Foundation, or other funding institution.

For further Information:

“Beyond modernity. Transepochal perspectives on spaces, actors, and structures” (Basel, 28-29 Nov)

An international conference on “Beyond modernity. Transepochal perspectives on spaces, actors, and structures” will take place in Basel on 28-29 November 2014, organised by the Basel Graduate School of History (BGSH) and the Institute for European Global Studies. By looking at the interplay between longue-durée approaches and postcolonial theory, this conference raises the question of whether “transepochal” perspectives can be rediscovered without adopting the normative assumptions that deeply affected the tale of modernity. The conference is organised within the context of the Annual Meeting of the BGSH.

GRAINES members are warmly welcomed to participate.


Ph.D. scholarships starting April 2015 (Cologne)

The a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne announces 3-year PhD scholarships starting in April 2015. The deadline for the application is the 17 October 2014. For further information see:

Vienna Summer School #Graines2014

GRAINES is currently holding their second Summer School! After Menton in 2013, we are in Vienna this week to discuss The European City in Transformation.

You can get more information on the Vienna 2014 webpage or on Twitter with the #GRAINES2014 hashtag.

8 scholarships for PhD Preparation (a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School Cologne)

Starting October 1st, 2014 the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne, the Graduate School of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Cologne offers 8 Scholarships for PhD Preparation each of € 950 and for a time period of six months.

The a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School, a winner of the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments, addresses graduates who have recently obtained their university degrees. The scholarship offers the opportunity of developing a PhD research project to be pursued at the University of Cologne and with particular focus on interdisciplinary questions.

The Graduate School orientates itself within a specialised concept of the Humanities, going beyond the dichotomy of the arts, cultural and natural sciences. We lay particular importance not only on cognitive and linguistic models of knowledge but also value hermeneutic and historically-contextual models. These concepts encompass the cognitive, cultural and theoretical principles of intellectual work and create the conditions necessary for the emergence and formation of knowledge. They also incorporate the perception and reception of transculturation processes and their factual anthropological-ethical terms.

Closing date is June 6th, 2014. Please send your application to the following address:

a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne
University of Cologne
Dr. Artemis Klidis-Honecker
Albertus Magnus Platz
D-50923 Köln | Germany

For further information on a.r.t.e.s. and the application procedure see

Call for Papers “Mapping Flows & Visualising Data in the Era of Digital Humanities” (St Andrews, 29 August 2014)

St Andrews’ Centre for Transnational History is supporting and hosting a PhD-led workshop on Digital Humanities, taking place on Friday 29 August 2014 in St Andrews.

“Mapping Flows & Digital Visualising Data” will continue the discussions initiated this year at St Andrews, but will also introduce the new Digital Humanities agenda of the University for 2014-2015. It will articulate academic presentations of DH projects and technical tutorials of how to acquires the necessary technological skills.

Applications are welcome until 19 May 2014 for Humanities projects that could or already do benefit from digital technology. We are also looking for people specialised in computer science, programming, mapping who would be willing to present some aspects of Digital Humanities through short workshops.

Click here to access the Call for Papers

Review: “Classer et nommer les savoirs d’État (1750-1850)”

Workshop organized by the French-German research group “Euroscientia” in Strasbourg, 27-28 November 2013

Over the last years, European history has fruitfully been challenged by historians who analyzed historical formations of science and knowledge in their broader social contexts. A workshop organized in Strasbourg at the end of November 2013 took up these strands and called for an investigation of the classification and categorization of savoir d’État or knowledge relevant for the state. The organizers Isabelle Laboulais and Petra Overath applied the concept to frame the various practical and disciplinary knowledge traditions that developed in the 18th and 19th century to support issues of states and administrations. The participating historians were invited to take a transnational perspective and investigate the entanglements as well as the differences of European areas concerning categorizations and classifications of savoir d’État.

Most of the presentations of the workshop focused on the formation of scientific disciplines of state relevant knowledge. Virginie Martin for instance analyzed the development of a diplomatic science in France during the French Revolution. Pierre-Yves Lacour and Peter Jones held presentations on differentiations in the field of agricultural knowledge around 1800. Similarly, other talks by Hjalmar Fors on the role of mining expertise in 17th century Sweden or by Frédéric Audren on the self-perception of French law as a social science focused on the creation of disciplines. Furthermore, participants described the public classification of savoir d’État in books or journals. Anna Karla’s account on the influence of historical knowledge on the French state during the restoration or Marie-Cécile Thoral’s analysis of the discourses on the applicability of books for the French military were interesting examples. Three contributions took a perspective from within state administrations. Eric Szulman analyzed the knowledge of canal construction in the French administration of inland navigation. André Holenstein focused on the usage of inquiries in the Helvetian Republic in the late 1790s as a tool for the process of state-building. Peter Becker, finally, investigated the 1912 inquiry of the Habsburg state that was supposed to shed light on communication problems between the administration and the Habsburg citizens.

The workshop highlighted classification and ordering processes of savoir d’État in various European states and territories in an interesting way. Yet, the transnational flows and circulations of such knowledge remained underrepresented. Nonetheless, the workshop proved the utility of a concept of savoir d’État that was not limited to scientific disciplines, but embraced also the rather practical spheres of knowledge that were relevant for states. For those who are interested in more detailed comments on the workshop I would like to refer to a larger version of the conference report written by Manuel Manhard and me. French and German versions.

Alexander van Wickeren