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Basic Concepts in transcontinental perspective

Basic Concepts in transcontinental perspective

This key
research priority addresses
processes of negotiating political, social and cultural basic concepts in the
history of transcontinental spaces and empires in the nineteenth and twentieth
century, with a special focus on East Asia, Europe, the Near East and North
America. By using approaches of cultural studies, history of ideas and
conceptual history we explore by what practices, actors and channels assumingly
European basic concepts of modernity (such as progress, freedom, power, labor,
economy, property, family, sovereignty, but also the concept of modernity
itself) are translated and disseminated. We analyze how and in what way these
concepts are received and rejected, adapted and changed, disseminated and
re-imported globally as heuristic categories to understand societies. The main
goal of this research field is to generate fundamental insights in the
transcontinental circulation of concepts and to differentiate them in their linguistically
and culturally specific historicity. By doing so it aims at transcending
established disciplinary boundaries between the area studies and historical
sciences, and at understanding the function and effect of basic concepts in the
increasingly globalizing humanities.

Projects:

Das Projekt geht von der These aus, dass soziale und politische Gefüge
in der Moderne ganz wesentlich über materielle Verfügungs- und
Handlungsrechte ausgehandelt wurden. Als produktive Sonde in das
Handeln, die Aushandlungsprozesse und die Konflikte rund um Eigentum
nutzt das Projekt Diamanten. Denn Diamanten waren im 19. und 20.
Jahrhundert auf doppelte Weise eine umstrittene Ressource. Zum einen
stellten sie ein in hohem Maße begehrtes Gut dar. Sie galten als
verlässliche Wertspeicher, symb…

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In the past decades, the history of science has experienced numerous
turns due to new methodologies or the investigation of previously
overlooked sources. This gave rise to new perspectives that have
emphasized the contribution of non-European societies to both the
emergence and formation of academic disciplines. While these findings
have been analyzed in detail for late imperial and Republican China, the
case for the People’s Republic of China during the Cold War era has
remained a…

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Publications: