Author Archives: jordangirardin

GRAINES Summer School 2014: applications welcome!

After the first edition on the French Riviera in 2013, the second Summer School of the GRAINES network will take place in Vienna from 10 – 14 June 2014. This year’s theme will be “The European City in Transformation: from the Early Modern Period to the Present”.

A Call for Papers has been issued, and applications are welcome until 15 March 2014. Please send a project proposal (max 1,000 words) and a one-page CV to Markian Prokopovych.

Download the Call for Papers

In 2015 we hope to host a joint GRAINES – FUTH (Flying University of Transnational Humanities) at St Andrews.

Call for Papers: Mapping and Visualising Transnational (Hi)Stories. Connecting History, Space and Digital Tools

Transnational history has been broadly defined as being interested in connections across borders as well as in flows of goods, people, ideas across, through and above nations. As a perspective or way of seeing transnational history has been characterised as being primarily concerned with people as actors that create webs of connections as well as circulations, honeycombs and nodes of interaction across borders.

St Andrews’ Centre for Transnational History, in collaboration with GRAINES, is organising a three-day conference/workshop on the next two themes:

– How to marry transnational and spatial history
– Learning transnational tools and increasing digital skills to serve transnational history

When? 8-10 June 2014
Where? School of History, St Andrews, UK
Convenors: Dr Bernhard Struck, Dr Konrad Lawson

A call for papers and workshops is now open. Proposals (max. 250 words) can be submitted to Dr Bernhard Struck ( by 10 January 2014.

Download Call for Papers

Professor Stéphane Van Damme joins the EUI (Florence)

From the Autumn 2013 onwards, Stéphane Van Damme (former professor at Sciences Po Paris and co-coordinator of the 2013 Summer School in Menton) holds the chair of History of Science at the European University Institute in Florence. Although he has moved with his family to Italy, he will certainly continue to keep close ties with the members and the doctoral students of the GRAINES network. We wish him a successful start in his new job! His new e-mail-address is

After the Summer School

On behalf of the GRAINES team we would like to thank all participants and, in particular, all our key note speakers who stayed for the entire time of the Menton summer school for making this a very inspiring meeting discussing broad issues in European history. Some impressions of “From the Margins” can be found here under #Menton2013 and @Menton.


(Above: Karin Kuchler, Vienna, presenting @Menton)

In Reading Groups, Project Discussions and following the Key Notes the summer school had lively and broad debates on borders and border regions as for instance following Akiyoshi Nishiyama’s (Tokyo) fascinating Japanese view on the Alsace-Lorraine Reichsland and how Japanese experts tried to learn from this European borderland for the practice of Japanese Empire around 1900. How to frame European history with but beyond the nation was discussed in panels on Circulations and Trading Zones as well as in discussions on readings and projects on Cores and Peripheries.

Discussing European history from the margins, often with a “transnational awareness” rather than along strict definitions, and with perspectives from Kiev, Basel, London, Greece, Galway or Budapest – to name just a few – is a great experience on its own. While there were moments of vagueness, openness and at times the plea to “define terms and concepts”, the awareness grew that Menton was “histoire croisée” in practice, speaking with Michael Werner and Bénédicte Zimmermann (one of the key texts of the meeting). Rather than defining and fixing terms that might suit one perspective or a particular project, Menton showed that reflexivity and multi-perspectivity enriches the view on Europe – a small but complex and globally interconnected continent as Monica Juneja’s (Heidelberg) inspiring Key Note on the circulation of art works from India in the late Mogul Empire to Europe and the Habsburg palaces in particular in the 18th century showed.

(Above: A well-deserved break after lively discussions @Menton)

Equally important as the stimulating discussion are the many ties between scholars and institutions, across languages and discipines that were knitted at Menton. It is our mission to enhance students PhD students’ experiences by allowing them to easily move between GRAINES institutions or join them from outside as visiting scholars for some time. Some of the participants will soon be moving from one place to another and will, thus, be adding new perspectives to their research from a different place and from a different institutional culture.

The Menton summer school gave us the opportunity of planning ahead. We are most likely looking at a summer school in Vienna in 2014 and in St Andrews in 2015. In terms of smaller meetings some students have signalled an interest in getting together for a workshop on post-colonial theory and concepts and their relevance in their respective research areas. Another group, most likely steered from St Andrews for a start, will start planning a series of smaller meetings for mapping and visualising transnational flows and connections. In terms of organising the network we invite interested students to join the GRAINES Steering Committee. Together we are aiming to develop the web-based GRAINES network further as a hub and repository for research in European history.