Annual Seminar 2017
Participants of the Annual Seminar 2017. Photo: Thomas Abel/BGHS
From 13 to 15 July 2017 the BGHS hosted the 9th Annual Seminar which was focused on the subject Grappling with the Global: The Challenge of Boundaries in History and Sociology. Within the three-day conference young researchers from Germany and abroad discussed national and global interdependencies and consequential challenges with a sociological and historical perspective. The discussions covered current social and political phenomena and questions beyond national contexts, but also processes and connections of the past.
Welcome by BGHS Director Ursula Mense-Petermann
At the beginning of the Annual Seminar, Ursula Mense-Petermann, director of the BGHS, welcomed the participants. In addition to the doctoral researchers of the BGHS and members of the Faculty of Sociology and Department of History, she especially greeted the young researchers and keynote speakers.
Julia Engelschalt, who organized the conference with her colleagues Britta Dostert, Lasse Bjoern Lassen, Pınar Sarıgöl and Sebastian Matthias Schlerka, gave a brief introduction into the topic of the seminar. The first keynote speech was held by Ahmet Öncü, professor of sociology at the school of management, Sabancı University, Istanbul. He spoke about the topic Hakk or Right: A Veblenian Reflection on the Social Origins of Juridical Sensibilities in Western Europe and Turkey. The discussion afterwards was moderated by Pınar Sarıgöl.
The organizing team of the Annual Seminar (from the left): Julia Engelschalt, Pınar Sarıgöl, Britta Dostert, Sebastian Matthias Schlerka, Lasse Bjoern Lassen
Keynote Lecture: Ahmet Öncü (Sabancı University, Istanbul): Hakk or Right: A Veblenian Reflection on the Social Origins of Juridical Sensibilities in Western Europe and Turkey
In the afternoon the programme continued with two panel sessions, which contained a total of six presentations. The first panel session was about Shock and Awe - Violent Conflicts and their Global Repercussions, the second about Outside the Box - Reflecting the Global in the History of Ideas. The panels were chaired by Lasse Bjoern Lassen and BGHS Visiting Fellow Andrew Mitchell.
Panel 1: Shock and Awe - Violent Conflicts and their Global Repercussions: Moran Zaga (Haifa): The Challenge of Boundaries in Syria: Past, Present and Future
Panel 2: Outside the Box - Reflecting the Global in the History of Ideas: Zoltán Boldizsár Simon (Bielefeld): Is There a Global Subject of History?
Saskia Sassen (Columbia University, New York) gave the second keynote lecture on the first conference day to the topic Embedded Borderings: Making New Geographies of Centrality. The event was moderated by Sebastian Matthias Schlerka.
Keynote Lecture: Saskia Sassen (Columbia University, New York): Embedded Borderings: Making New Geographies of Centrality
The first conference day ended with a conference dinner.
On the second conference day, a total of three panel sessions were on the conference schedule. The topics were Globalism avant la lettre? - Rethinking Empire, Crossing Borders - Global Dimensions of Religion and Behind the Scenes - Staging the Global in the Political Arena.
Panel 3: Globalism avant la lettre? - Rethinking Empire: Adetiba Adedamola Seun (Grahamstown): "Tracks of Death": A Global History of Railway and Malarial Mortality in Twentieth Century Africa
Panel 4: Faith Crossing Borders - Global Dimensions of Religion: Rouven Wirbser (Bielefeld): From East Asia to Westphalia: The Global Cult of St. Francis Xavier and His Veneration in the Prince-Bishopric of Paderborn
Panel 5: Behind the Scenes - Staging the Global in the Political Arena: Melinda Harlov-Csortán (Budapest): UNESCO World Heritage: Connecting Local to Global in One Cultural System
In the afternoon, the third keynote lecture followed, hold by Drew Thompson, (Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson), concerning the topic Naming Mozambique's Dead Photographs. The moderation of the keynote lecture had Julia Engelschalt.
Keynote Lecture Drew Thompson (Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson): Naming Mozambique's Dead Photographs
The second conference day ended with an artist talk by multimedia artist Karina Smigla-Bobinski (Munich). Her analogue-interactive installation (kinetic sculpture/ post-digital drawing machine) was chosen by the organizers as key visual for the Annual Seminar. The title of her lecture was ADA - Grappling with the Globe. Britta Dostert moderated the artist talk.
Artist Talk by Karina Smigla-Bobinski (Munich): ADA - Grappling with the Globe
The last conference day dealt with two panel sessions and a total of five lectures about Globalised Cities and Migration in a Globalising World. The sessions were led by Sebastian Matthias Schlerka and BGHS-Alumni Kristoffer Klammer.
Panel 6: Inside Moloch - Dissecting the Globalised City: Baptiste Colin (Paris): Beyond the Phenomenological Global Reading: Introducing a Global Perspective. Squatting as a Way to Link Scales and Boundaries
Panel 7: Transcending Identities - Migration in a Globalising World: Jialin Christina Wu (Louvain): The Location of the Global: Anecdotal Histories of Diasporic Identities in Colonial Southeast Asia
A roundtable discussion to the topic Grappling with the Global, moderated by Dr. Sabine Schäfer (Executive Manager of the BGHS) summarized the panel sessions and the keynote lectures of the Annual Seminar.
The programme of the Annual Seminar 2017 in detail is available at:
The reportings and press releases by Bielefeld University about the Annual Seminar 2017 and further information about the annual conferences of the BGHS since 2009 as well, are available at: