World History Seminar: Dominic Sachsenmaier

April 20, 2017

"Global History and Global Hierarchies of Knowledge"

Dominic Sachsenmaier

Much has been written about the history of historiography, and many debates have revolved around its future directions. These academic reflections have long largely focused on concepts and institutions - yet social and cultural historical perspectives have curiously played a rather marginal role in the history of historiography. As a consequence, we only have a limited understanding of how historiography spread as a global professional field. But this is exactly what historiography has become during the past 150 years, at least at universities.

Reflecting upon these sociologies of knowledge in the past, present and future is not a mere academic exercise. Rather, it is of crucial importance for further developing our field, particularly branches like global and transnational history. Despite all critiques of Eurocentrism and related epistemological transformations, many hierarchies remain intact in the global landscapes of historical scholarship. In fact, while world orders have changed significantly, the distribution of historiographical influence and marginality looks much like it already did one hundred years ago. This becomes particularly apparent when we compare historiography with other global professional realms.

Dominic Sachsenmaier is Professor of Modern China with a Special Emphasis on Global Historical Perspetives at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Thursday, April 20, 2017
4:30 PM in E51-275