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„Rethinking Early Modern Europe in a Global Perspective“

11. Conference of the Working Group on the Early Modern Period in the Association of German Historians

17th - 19th September 2015, University of Heidelberg



Europe has consistently been both a subject to and a concept of negotiation processes. However, certain readings predominate in historiography. On the one hand, historical research still often conceptualizes Europe from national perspectives, while on the other hand Europe is regarded as a space of enlightened, but also contested debate and culture, which has brought forth the achievements of a certain modernity. An essential factor constituting this modernity has been and continues to be the European attempt to structure and periodize it’s past, condensing, naturalizing, and transferring its norms as allegedly universal values – with ongoing geopolitical repercussions. The resulting implicit assumptions about time and history require more thorough historicisation and academic debate, both within Europe and engaging with non-European patterns of periodisation. It is a key aim of the conference to question existing European self-perceptions and narratives, opening them up for debate. The conference would like to present a wide view over current fields of research and question existing narratives. At the same time, the conference wishes to ask for a possible synthesis.

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Latest Revision: 2015-09-09
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