Past events

Summer School: Global Europe. Connecting European History (17-21 Century)

@Sciences Po, Reims, 6-8 June 2018
Follow us under #Graines2018 – GRAINES 2018 Programme Summer School


The rapid development of global history in the last twenty years has undoubtedly opened historiography to less known parts of world history leading to the call for a general “provincialization” of Europe in a global context (Chakrabarty). However, many studies that were conducted in this perspective perpetuated (and continue to do so) traditional visions of Europe and its history that conceptualized the continent as a more or less homogeneous cultural entity clearly distinguished from others, i.e. non-European cultures or civilisations.

PhD Presentations

The same binary vision that sharply divides Europe from the non-European world underpins many classic and more recent studies in the field of Imperial history, including some works claiming to write in the vein of “post-colonial” perspectives. Numerous studies, however, have shown how problematic the assumption of such clear-cut distinctions are, not only when looking to the so-called European “peripheries” like the Ottoman or the Russian Empires or to “third spaces” of mixed cultures (Homi Bhabha) that flourished in colonial towns, but also with regard of the “core” of what has been defined as “European culture”. Indeed, migration and circulatory processes have always been a part of the continent’s culture(s) thus influencing, for instance, as Kapil Raj has shown the construction of what has been called “European sciences”. In this vein, rising up to the challenge of global history means to fully develop an entangled or connected history of Europe that also tracks down the hybrid forms of culture within European societies and cultures.

Kapil Raj (EHESS)

Based on this broad approach the GRAINES summer school 2018 will take a closer look at the multiple and multi-directional entanglements that shaped Europe and its cultures from the 17th to the 21st century. We will focus on various fields of studies, from the history of “peripheries” like the Mediterranean Sea, the Ottoman or Russian Empire to the new imperial/colonial history or the history of non-European-European encounters that took place within European societies. Questions we seek to address include: How did historical actors in these different situations and settings debated about Europe and its identity? What kind of stereotypes and visions of “civilizational” standards and hierarchies were mobilized? What kind of circulatory regimes and power relations characterized different periods of global transfer of people, objects, and knowledge? How did the latter shape Europe’s inner divisions and hierarchies? How did national rivalries and regional specificities influence the broader global connections of Europe?

During our seminars, reading groups, and lectures we will discuss the conceptual challenge that such a connected history means for the writing of “European history” and how the questions posed by the introduction of a global perspective can be approached from various disciplinary and methodological standpoints.

Market Krizova (Prague)

The summer school is organised by the Centre d’Histoire de Sciences Po Paris in Cooperation with the Graduate Interdisciplinary Network for European Studies GRAINES ( The program includes reading and discussion groups, lectures and excursions, as well as room for the presentation and discussion of student projects. While the summer school will have a distinct interdisciplinary and trans-epochal character, potential participants should demonstrate historical awareness and general interest in history. We invite postgraduate students from a broad range of theoretical perspectives and disciplines to submit their project proposals to the organisers

The working language of the summer school is English.

Inscription fee: 100 Euros. Accommodation costs will be covered, a limited number of travel bursaries may be available

To apply, please send your project proposal of maximum 1000 words and a one-page CV by 30 March 2016 to Thomas Gauchet (Sciences Po Paris):

Summer school organized by:

Thomas Gauchet, Giacomo Parrinello, Jakob Vogel (Centre d’Histoire, Sciences Po Paris) in cooperation with the partners of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Network for European Studies GRAINES

Co-financé dans le cadre du PFR « Europe : une histoire globale (XVIIIe-XIXe siècle) » du CIERA, Paris.


Summer School: Interconnected. Actors, Objects, and Ideas on the Move

@St Andrews University, Institute for Transnational & Spatial History; School of History, 7-10 June 2015

Follow us under: #Graines2015 (Twitter) and


Summer School: From the Margins

Menton, France, 17-20 June 2013

More information on the #Menton 2013 blog. Photos are available on this page (@Menton).

Speakers at the summer school included Monica Juneja (Heidelberg), Akiyoshi Nishiyama (Tokyo), Elena Marushiakova (Sofia). The summer school organised by GRAINES was the first of its kind and we hope to see this kind of event travelling in the future from one GRAINES institution to another. This year it will bring together some 22 PhD researchers from Europe and beyond Europe. These will be joined by ten members of staff.

SUMMER SCHOOL “Wissensgesellschaften vom 16. bis zum 20. Jahrhundert / Societies and Knowledge, 16th to 20th centuries”

Basel Graduate School of History, 29 August – 1 September 2012


Die Summer School wird sich in der Form des Seminars an erster Stelle der Lektüre-Diskussion widmen. Teilnahme-Voraussetzung ist die vorgängige Lektüre der Seminartexte. Ausserdem besteht die Möglichkeit über Dissertationsprojekte zu referieren, die sich dem Gesamtthema der Summer School zuordnen lassen.


Die Kosten für die einzelnen Teilnehmerinnen/Teilnehmer belaufen sich auf CHF 400. In diesen Beitrag eingeschlossen sind Kost und Logis sowie eine Exkursion in die nahe gelegenen Beatushöhlen.


Sigriswil ist ein Kurort im Berner Oberland, hoch über dem Thunersee gelegen, mit Blick auf die Berner Alpen. Die Unterbringung der Teilnehmerinnen/Teilnehmer erfolgt in Doppelzimmern.


Bewerbungen in elektronischer Form mit einem kurzen Lebenslauf und einer Beschreibung des laufenden Dissertationsprojekts bis zum 30.04.2012 an die Projekt-Koordinatorin: Elisa Frank, Historisches Seminar, Universität Basel, e-mail:


— Prof. Dr. Caroline Arni, Universität Basel (19. Jahrhundert)

— Prof. Dr. Christina Brandt, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (20. Jahrhundert)

— Prof. Dr. Kaspar von Greyerz (Leiter der Summer School)

— Prof. Dr. Gianna Pomata, The John Hopkins University (16. – 18. Jahrhundert)

Graduate Conference: Transformation in European History, Preconditions, Processes, Perceptions

6th Annual Graduate Conference in European History
Vienna | May 3–5, 2012

organised by the University of Vienna

Universität Wien, Historisch-Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät) in cooperation with the Central European University (CEU), Budapest and the European University Institute (EUI), Florence

The “transicion” of political systems in Southern Europe and Latin America since the 1970s and the revolutionary changes in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989/91 have resulted in the rise of “transformation studies” in the social sciences. The term transformation is commonly understood as the politically steered transition from communist dictatorship to democracy, from a planned to a market economy, and from a closed to an open society. In contrast to this teleological reading the 6th GRACEH conference intends to explore a historical approach to transformation. A very broad working definition of the term would characterize transformation as a “period of especially intense and accelerated structural changes on a political, social, economic, and cultural level” caused by major political and social upheavals such as the breakdown of the continental empires in 1918, the French Revolution in the late eighteenth century, or the Reformation. Unlike the social sciences, we wish to broaden the application as far back as to the beginning of modern age. In what way can this concept of transformation be applied to contemporary, modern and early modern contexts? What kind of adjustments of the concept are required for the historicization of transformation?

For more information visit

The changing experience of time in the long nineteenth century. Local, Regional, Transnational and Global Perspectives

Centre for Transnational History, University of St Andrews, 18-19 May 2012

When the Industrial Revolution began in Britain during the second half of the 18th century, there was a clear divide between the ‘elite’ and ‘popular’ perceptions of time; between the educated townspeople, who accepted the structure of mechanical time, and the rural workers who divided their years according to the almanac and the festive calendar. Yet, by the start of the 20th century, the Western perception of time had become pretty much streamlined. Anywhere on the globe, wherever Western industry spread its influence, bank managers and unskilled factory workers alike told time by the clock and accepted its evenly divided twenty-four hour structure both at work and at home.

The story of the 19th century’s ‘temporal revolution’ is the story of the conflicts between science and religion, individuals and machines, villages and cities, local identity and standardization. It is also the story of the human experience of an industrial age of unprecedented growth and anxieties in which even a concept as universal as time could metamorphosize into something new.

The aim of this workshop is to explore the development of the modern experience of time from a variety of perspectives, not only across various disciplines but also on different spatial levels. The story of industrial time ranges from local micro histories that can focus in on a single town or individual, to broad macro histories of empires and corporations. It is a topic that bridges history, literature, and the sciences. Sharing ideas on how to link these perspectives, and these studies, can offer valuable insights into one of the most transformative, yet too often overlooked, aspects of life in a modern, industrialized society.

Possible themes and research questions could include, but are not limited to:

The shift from seasonal to mechanical time

~ In the age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution, why did it take so long for a mechanical solution to the pressing problem of finding longitude at sea to find acceptance? What challenges were involved? In what ways did new developments in precise, mechanical timekeeping affect the experiences of travelers, businesses, and shipping companies? How did early factory workers adapt to the demands of a life regimented by the factory clock?

The introduction of the geological or evolutionary time scale

~ What was the popular response to the clash between the new science of the 19th century and the traditional, Biblical view of time? In what ways did the scientific notion of an abstract, absolute timeline influence how the study of history was perceived and periodized during the long 19th century?

The experience of time in the newly industrialized environment

~ What effects did speed, structured time schedules, the telegraph, and the ubiquitous pocket watch have on public mentality? How did railways and other means of fast travel influence the development of cities, suburbs, and the concept of leisure time during the 19th century? What effect, if any, did the ‘annihilation of space and time’ caused by high-speed travel have on the public’s experience and understanding of local and national culture and local and international borders? How did the introduction of photography and film affect the public perception of time?

The demand for standardized time in an industrialized economy

~ How did time become a tool for imperial interests and their expanding trading and communications networks? Who were the major players that pushed for standardized time? Was the need for standardized time universally accepted, or was there opposition? How does the 19th century’s concept of standardized time compare with our 21st century understanding of time?

Rebellion against the regimentation of the clock

~ What were the psychological effects of life on a regimented time schedule? How did factory and other industrial workers cope, or fail to cope, with the demands of the clock? What outlets or recourse did they have? How did the push and pull of public and private time find expression in the art, literature, and anxieties of La Belle Époque? What is the origin of the modern image of time as an oppressor? How did the fight against the clock find expression in early cinema?


~ Could Reinhart Koselleck’s concept of ‘Sattelzeit’ (saddling time) be pluralized? Were there specific periods and regions that experienced an unbalanced acceleration of time? This is an invitation for scholars in history and neighboring disciplines to share their interest in the history of time and the origins of our modern battle to beat the clock—or, at least, to tame it.

If you would like to present a paper at this workshop, please send a 300 word abstract to Marie Ventura ( by 10 December 2011.

The workshop will be organized so that participants will not only have the opportunity to share their own research, but also to offer comments on the research of their peers. For this reason, papers should be sent two weeks in advance of the workshop date. Presentations should be about fifteen minutes long in order to leave time for a brief peer commentary and space for discussion and Q&A.

For any further information, please contact the organizer:

Marie Ventura (
PhD candidate
School of History, University of St Andrews
Centre for Transnational History

The Making of Landscapes in Modernity

Centre for Transnational History, University of St Andrews, 10/11 May 2012

The processes of industrialisation and urbanisation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries reshaped topographies across the globe and helped create a new polarity (perceived or otherwise) between the urban and the rural. This was often represented in art, which frequently idealised a bygone era of a rural past. In the process of this, nature was transformed into landscape. Furthermore, the emergence of nationalism and its corresponding polities made the search for the distinct character of certain states, countries, and regions imperative. Landscapes (local, regional, and transnational) became ‘nationalised’ as part of the quest for a national canon. However, some ruralist movements were often linked to primordial notions of nationhood, and also to more general ideas on modernity and the problems related to it. In this sense, there existed an interesting juxtaposition between the modern nature of nationalism and the pursuit for the old and established as manifested in landscapes. In addition, more remote regions became the object of desire for scientists, travellers, the state, intellectuals and others alike. They acted as canvasses onto which problems of late modern societies, ideas of nationally authentic characteristics, and images of the curious other were projected. While this discovery of landscape certainly played an important role for nationalism, it thus also acted as a vehicle for both regional and transnational images and debates on society and structures.

This workshop is therefore designed to bring scholars together with an interest in historical perspectives on landscape, especially – though not exclusively – in the 18th to 20th centuries. Participants are invited to ask a number of questions, which could include some of the following: Who were the main ‘discoverers’ of landscapes? How has landscape been represented? How has it been classified? Have different landscapes been treated as national, regional, or transnational spaces? What is national/regional/transnational about landscape(s)? What role have different ideologies ascribed to particular landscapes? What role have tourism and leisure played?

As a more general framework, participants may use the following categories (by no means comprehensive) to frame their papers:

(i) Debates on modernity and modernisation

(ii) Landscape and memory

(iii) Writing on landscape

(iv) Promoting the national canon

(v) Debates on the conservation of the natural

(vi) Tourism and landscape

(vii) Classifying landscape: Science

(viii) The meaning of landscape for ideologies

This workshop seeks to move the issue of landscape beyond a cultural geography by examining the changing meaning of landscape in history. We encourage scholars working across disciplines on the concept of landscape in the modern period to submit proposals (1-2 pages) for 20-30 minute presentations to James Koranyi ( by 17th December 2011.

Centre for Transnational History, University of St Andrews, 10-11 May 2011.

Historical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Borders

30 September – 1 October 2011, St Andrews

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