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8-9 dec 22, international workshop “Colonial violence beyond the borders of empires”

Troops of the Eight-Nation Alliance stand together during the Boxer War in China, 1900 (image adapted after a colourised photo by Julius Jääskeläinen, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=91532070)

On 8-9 December 2022, the Centre, in cooperation with the University of Cologne, will hold an international workshop focussing on the topic of Colonial violence beyond the borders of empires: dis/connections, transfers, and mobilities, ca. 1850–1954.

In recent years, historians have increasingly sought to write imperial history beyond the borders of individual, ‘national’ empires. Such transimperial histories have had an impact on several research fields. However, this approach has been far less applied to one crucial aspect of colonial rule: violence. More than a decade ago, Robert Gerwarth and Stephan Malinowski postulated a common ‘Western’ ‘colonial archive’ on violence. We still know little about the exact forms this archive took, who contributed to it, how it might have been formed, and whether it was indeed as exclusively ‘Western’ as Gerwarth and Malinowski assumed. In this workshop, we would like to answer some of these questions and expand the field as a whole.

We strive to do so by addressing different aspects of transimperial connections concerning colonial violence. On a conceptual level, we need considerations on their specific nature, while, on an empirical level, case studies will assist in approaching the different dimensions in which these entanglements manifested themselves on the ground. Finally, contributions will also seek to complicate the notion of connectivity itself. One of our hypotheses is that colonial violence presents a more complex field of connectivity than we might find in other transimperial histories. We aim at analysing points of disconnection, of absences, detours, misunderstandings, distortions, or creative/hybrid appropriations. We are interested in whether and how transimperial histories can change our view of the different theories of nationally specific colonial cultures of violence.

Covering a wide range of empires and European and non-European actors, papers will look among others at specific conflicts, epistemic structures, practices, cooperations, expert exchanges, ideals of masculinity and processes of remembrance that extended colonial violence beyond the borders of individual empires. The workshop will feature keynotes by Bernhard Schär (University of Lausanne) and Kim Wagner (Queen Mary University of London).

  Please click HERE to download the programme and HERE for the conference report by Callie Wilkinson.  

Place & date: Munich, 8-9 December 2022

Language: English

Host institutions: Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich; University of Cologne, Cologne

Organisers: Dominique Biehl (University of Basel, Basel), Ulrike Lindner (University of Cologne, Cologne), Tom Menger (Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich), Markus Wurzer (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale)

Venue: Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, Maria-Theresia-Str. 21, 81675 Munich   Continue Reading

21-22 nov 22, international workshop “oceans disconnect”

On 21 and 22 November the Centre will hold an international workshop focused on Oceans Disconnect.  "Oceans connect" was the motto of the first wave of oceanic history in the 1990s: journal issues bore the title, as did a germinal research group. The slogan reflected the explicit ambition of its practitioners to go beyond the nation-state but also encoded the implicit teleological logic of globalisation at the time: that the world was becoming one, that barriers and borders were melting into air, and that the fluidity of "liquid modernity" began with, and upon, the ocean as a matrix of integrative processes. Accordingly, over the past three decades, the rapidly expanding historical literature on oceans and seas has traditionally been framed around the geographical units of the world's water bodies; it has been directed towards tracking long-distance connections, so as to problematise the political and specialist organisation of historical knowledge around “nation”, “area” and “civilisation.” Yet the promise of the first, boosterish, phase of oceanic history has lately ebbed. Globalisation now looks more reversible and halting. And transnational historians more generally are examining disconnection rather than connection as a dynamic in world history. Along these lines, new work in oceanic history is insisting on particularity, friction, interruption, materiality and resistance. There is growing attention to the critical foundations of connection, where people, things, ideas, legal systems, could demonstrate instability, violence, and invisibility at the very nodes of globalisation. And historians are increasingly focusing on the choke-points within theworld's oceans: straits and narrows, gulfs and bays; pirates' nests and contested waters; natural disaster and commercial risk; closed seas and maritime limits, among other topics. This conference, hosted by the new Käte Hamburger Research Centre, with its innovative focus on dis:connection, and also by two leading scholars of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, will interrogate the underside of connection and the dynamics of disconnection in oceanic history.   Please click HERE to download the programme.    

Place & date: Munich, 21-22 November 2022

Language: English

Host institution: Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, LMU Munich

Organisers: David Armitage (Harvard), Sujit Sivasundaram (Cambridge), Roland Wenzlhuemer (LMU Munich)

Venue: Historisches Kolleg, Kaulbachstrasse 15, 80539 München

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20-21 Oct 22, Annual Conference Dis:connectivity in processes of globalisation

Dis:connectivity in processes of globalisation: theories, methodologies, explorations gd:c annual conference (hybrid), 20-21 Oct 22

The first annual conference of the global dis:connect research centre aims to rethink our understanding of globalisation processes past and present. Global connectivity, which seemed unassailable just 15 years ago, is increasingly in turmoil. The disruption is both ideational, with the rise of anti-globalism and chauvinist nationalism as influential political currents, as well as material, as evidenced in protectionist curbs on global trade, the increasing prevalence of border walls, and global supply chains floundering due to pandemic and war. Talk of de-globalisation has become ubiquitous. This conference takes the current moment to ask whether we might not need a more sophisticated understanding of globalisation, both historical and contemporary. The participants will present new theories, methodologies and case studies to ground a new approach to globalisation — an approach that we denote as dis:connectivity — that notes how globalisation processes have always been characterised by a dynamic and co-constitutive relationship of connection and disconnection. Friction, absence, interruptions and detours are as integral to globalisation as are entanglement, exchange and connection. Since the rise of global history, global art history and global theatre history, scholars have arguably focused on questions of increasing connectivity. Already in 2017, the historian Jeremy Adelman warned of the blind spots of such a one-sided approach.[1] For global art history, Monica Juneja has recently pointed out the meaning of dis:connections in ‘world making’.[2] Overall, however, scholars have really just begun to think about what such a different approach to researching globalisation processes might look like theoretically, methodologically and thematically.[3]

As a research centre founded precisely to advance this research agenda, global dis:connect is delighted to host this annual conference, titled Dis:connectivity in processes of globalisation: theories, methodologies, explorations. We invite everyone to explore what theories, methodologies and cases might be best suited to research dis:connectivity. By focusing on theories and methodologies, as well as diverse case studies, this interdisciplinary and international conference aims to ground further study in this emerging field.

The conference will survey the range of dis:connectivity by bringing together historians, art historians and theatre scholars, reflecting the interdisciplinarity required to capture dis:connectivities in all their facets. Panels are structured around three themes that are particularly pertinent to our research: interruptions, detours, and absences. We will also bring scholars into conversation with creative professionals from the arts, whose approaches offer privileged access to the fluidity and transience that mark many of the phenomena in question.

Confirmed speakers are: Aleksandra Domanović, Valeska Huber, Richard M. Kabiito, Gabriele Klein, Anupama Kundoo, Peter W. Marx, Meha Priyadarshini, Kerstin Schankweiler, Promona Sengupta, and Sujit Sivasundaram.

On the evening of 20 October, the conference will also feature a conversation between the artist Parastou Forouhar and anthropologist Cathrine Bublatzky on The Global Dis:connect: embodiment and positionality as symbols of interruptions, detours and absences in Parastou Forouhar’s art. The conference will close on 21 October with a screening of the short film Atlantiques (Mati Diop, 2009) with a commentary by Fabienne Liptay.


Click HERE to download the flyer and HERE to download the programme.

Language: English

Venue: IBZ, Amalienstr. 38, 80799 Munich.

Conference concept and organisation: Hanni Geiger and Tom Menger.

    [1] Jeremy Adelman, ‘What Is Global History Now?’, Aeon (blog), 2 March 2017, https://aeon.co/essays/is-global-history-still-possible-or-has-it-had-its-moment. [2] Monica Juneja, ‘Awkward, unstable, creative: Dis:connection as world-making’, opening speech for the Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, Munich, 12 May 2022. [3] For one example, see: Zoltán Biedermann, ‘(Dis)Connected History and the Multiple Narratives of Global Early Modernity’, Modern Philology 119, no. 1 (2021): 13–32, https://doi.org/10.1086/714972.       Continue Reading

17 october 22, reading with rudi anschober

Rudi Anschober, 2021; Copyright: Ulrik Hölzel; Kontakt: info@hoelzel-photography.com, www.hoelzel-photography.com

On 17 October 2022, former Austrian Minister of Health Rudi Anschober will present and read from his book Pandemia - Einblicke und Aussichten. Written after his resignation for health reasons, in the book Anschober describes the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic using the examples of five people - an intensive care physician, a research coordinator, a Long Covid patient, a single bookseller and a minister. In doing so he provides the inside view of a state of emergency. The reading will take place at IBZ München, Amalienstraße 38, 80799 München and start at 18:30. Please note that both the reading and discussion will be in German. This event will comply with the COVID-19 regulations applying at IBZ at the time of the event.     Continue Reading

8-10 Sep 22, Conference Roads to Exclusion at GHI Washington

In September 2022, the international conference "Roads to Exclusion: Socio-Spatial Dynamics of Mobility Infrastructures since 1800" will take place at the GHI Washington. It aims to explore the (intended or unintended) dynamics of inclusion and exclusion entailed in mobility infrastructures, ranging from the nineteenth century to the present. The event is jointly organized by the German Historical Institute Washington within the framework of its research area “Histories of Mobilities and Migration” and global dis:connect. The conference will take place from September 8–10, 2022 and will be hosted by the German Historical Institute in Washington D.C. Please click HERE for the programme and HERE for the conference report.           Continue Reading

14 Aug 22, FILAMENTOUS MAGIC CARPETS at Lenbachhaus, curated by Enis Maci

On 14 August 2022, the Lenbachhaus will host an event called FILAMENTOUS MAGIC CARPETS. The event has been curated by our Fellow Enis Maci and combines a reading, a roundtable discussion, a concert, a film screening and a book launch. The Kolleg's very own Anna Nübling also participates in the roundtable. Parts of the event will take place in English, others in German.  

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3-5 Aug 22, Summer School “Postcolonial interruptions?”

From 3 to 5 August the Käte Hamburger Kolleg global dis:connect will hold its first annual interdisciplinary Summer School at the premises of the center. This year, we will focus on Postcolonial interruptions? Decolonisation and global dis:connectivity and explore how dynamics of decolonisation reordered processes of globalization. We will ask how geopolitical alliances, economic networks, and cultural as well as epistemological bonds were questioned and interrupted permanently or temporarily and at the same time existing connections were reshaped, and new ones appeared. The Centre invites scholars and artists in early stages of their careers to discuss related projects with experts. The courses will foster dialogue between various scholarly approaches and artistic research. Click HERE to download the programme. Concept and organisation: Nikolai Brandes and Anna Sophia Nübling.   Continue Reading

21-22 Jul 22, Conference “High Society in a Global Perspective”

On 21 and 22 July 2022, the international conference "High Society in a Global Perspective. Media and Social Transformation in the 20th Century" will take place at the Historisches Kolleg in Munich. At the beginning of the 20th century and thus earlier than previously assumed, the so called High Society developed as a new social formation in North America. It was largely constituted by mass media visibility and thus offered an (additional) alternative to social advancement through economic success, family relationships or status. The High Society was actually much more open and dynamic than the upper class of the Gilded Age. At the same time, however, media visibility created an ambivalent interplay of empowerment and disempowerment that affected social structural categories such as gender, age, body, and family and created new social asymmetries. The conference will focus on the question of the extent to which comparable media logics and social formation processes developed simultaneously or with a time lag in other countries and regions, as in the case of the High Society in North America. In addition, did a global networking of people attributed to the High Society, of media professionals, and of various media sub-publics take place during this period? The event has been organized by Nicolai Hannig (Darmstadt), Juliane Hornung (Cologne) and Margit Szöllösi-Janze (Munich). The Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect acts as co-host. The conference will take place at the Historisches Kolleg, Kaulbachstrasse 15, in Munich. You can find the full programme HERE. For more information, please contact Julia Hornung.         Continue Reading

4 july 22, reading and discussion with timo feldhaus

On 4 July, author and journalist Timo Feldhaus presented his book of historical fiction on the eruption of the Mount Tambora volcano (Sumbawa, modern Indonesia) in 1815. The eruption was the most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history, and it induced climatic, social and artistic repercussions that affected the entire planet for years. Together with Urs Büttner, a scholar of literature, Feldhaus discussed the event as a moment of global rupture that demonstrates the dis:connections between the weather, climate and artistic production. For more information about the book click HERE.   Discussant: Urs Büttner is a literary scholar at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf and currently working on a global history of literary meteorology.   The event was organised and moderated by Hanni Geiger and Burcu Dogramaci.     Continue Reading